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Finding Aid to the T.Y. Lin Papers, 1932-1998
BANC MSS 99/308 cz  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: T.Y. Lin papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1932-1998
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 99/308 cz
    Creator: Lin, T. Y. (Tung Yen), 1911-
    Extent: Number of containers: 6 cartons, 1 box and 15 oversize folders Linear feet: approximately 7.9
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: The T.Y. Lin papers, 1932-1998, consist of personal and professional records of Lin's engineering and political work including calculations, drawings, reports and analyses for five major design projects: the Rio Colorado Bridge, the Intercontinental Peace Bridge, the Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge, the Gibraltar Bridge, the development of Shanghai's Pudong District and the proposal to retrofit the Golden Gate Bridge. Additionally, there is incoming and outgoing correspondence, a large amount of publicity collected by Lin, writings (published and unpublished), photographs, and slides.
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English, Chinese, German, Russian, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Italian

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library for all materials except for those copyrighted by T.Y. Lin and materials relating to Pudong. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator or the Head of Public Services for forwarding. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and the copyright. For commercial use, permission must first be obtained from T.Y. or Margaret Lin, or their heirs, successors, or assigns.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], T.Y. Lin papers, BANC MSS 99/308 cz, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    T.Y. Lin International.
    Inter-Continental Peace Bridge, Inc.
    University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Engineering--Faculty.
    Lin Tung-Yen China, Inc.
    Bridges--Bering Strait--Design and construction.
    Bridges--Costa Rica--Design and construction.
    Bridges--Gibraltar, Strait of--Design and construction.
    Bridges--California--American River, Middle Fork--Design and construction.
    Structural design.
    Structural analysis (Engineering).
    Civil engineering.
    Prestressed concrete.
    Prestressed concrete construction.
    Structural engineering.
    Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, Calif.).
    United States--Relations--China.
    China--Relations--United States.
    China--Relations--Taiwan.
    United States--Foreign relations--Soviet Union.
    Pu-tung (Shanghai, China)--Buildings, structures, etc.
    Inter-Continental Peace Bridge (Bering Strait : Proposed).
    Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge (Calif. : Proposed).
    Faculty papers.
    Blueprints.
    T.Y. Lin International.
    Online Archive of California.
    History of science and technology collection.

    Administrative Information

    Provenance

    The T.Y. Lin Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by T.Y. Lin on May 8, 1999. Additions were made by William Kallas of T.Y. Lin International on March 29, 2000.

    Biography

    T.Y. (Tung Yen) Lin (b. Fuzhou, China November 14, 1911), is professor emeritus at University of California, Berkeley and an eminent and pioneering engineer in the arena of prestressed concrete and in the design and construction of long-span bridges.
    Although Lin was interested in studying philosophy and letters, his father was successful in steering him towards a career in engineering. After earning his Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering at Chiaotung University in Tangshan, China (1931), Lin completed his Masters degree at Berkeley in 1933. From 1933 to 1945, he served as Chief Design Engineer and Chief Bridge Engineer of Chinese Railways and completed over 1000 bridges in rugged, mountainous regions of China. In 1941, he married Margaret Kao and the two came back to California in 1946 at the invitation of University of California, Berkeley, where he assumed a position as professor of civil engineering. A popular lecturer, he was known for his ability to teach engineering both at the conceptual and the detail level. He held chairmanships of the Structural Engineering Division and the campus-wide Board of Education Development and served as director of the Structural Engineering Laboratory at Berkeley. His excellence as a professor and administrator earned him the Berkeley Citation, status as a Berkeley Fellow, and, in 1994, Alumni of the Year, the highest honor of the California Alumni Association.
    Lin founded TY Lin International, a consulting engineering firm that employs over 500 people in more than 5 countries, in 1954. Upon his resignation from TY Lin International in 1992, he founded the Lin Tung-Yen China Company in California. His most famous projects had their birth at TY Lin International, and include the Puente Rio Colorado, an upside-down suspension bridge across a deep gorge in Costa Rica; the Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge, a 45( angled, cable hung bridge over the North Fork of the American River in California; his plans to bridge the Gibraltar Strait, uniting Europe and the continent of Africa; and the development of the Pudong District of Shanghai. Perhaps his most famous project, though never constructed, is the Intercontinental Peace Bridge (ICPB). Lin's dream-to bridge the United States and the Soviet Union across the Bering Strait-brought him international praise for promoting peace, communication and understanding between nations as well as providing a method of economic development for the rich natural resources of the region.
    His efforts with the ICPB were especially significant in light of the arms race and Cold War that raged during the life of the project. Although the urgency of the project lessened as relations between the United States and Soviet Union improved and interest in developing the region waned (the project dissolved in 1996), President Ronald Reagan conferred the National Medal of Science upon Lin in 1986. In recognition of his excellence in bridge building and prestressed concrete, Lin was awarded the American Consulting Engineers Council Award of Merit (previous recipients include to Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower), the coveted Freyssinet Medal from the International Federation for Prestressing, the Prix Albert Caquot from the French Association of Construction and was elected a member both of the Chinese Academy of Science and of the National Academy of Engineers. He has earned four honorary doctorate degrees in the US and in China.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The T.Y. Lin papers, 1932-1998, consist of personal and professional records of Lin's engineering and political work including calculations, drawings, reports and analyses for five major design projects: the Rio Colorado Bridge, the Intercontinental Peace Bridge, the Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge, the Gibraltar Bridge, the development of Shanghai's Pudong District and the proposal to retrofit the Golden Gate Bridge. Additionally, there is incoming and outgoing correspondence, a large amount of publicity collected by Lin, writings (published and unpublished), photographs, and slides.
    Biographical and personal materials are minimal in the collection, consisting of lists of awards, professional and personal activities, personal interviews that Lin granted to the media, and some miscellaneous correspondence, including a letter from William Randolph Hearst. Highlights include a photocopy of a photo album presented to Lin by workers after he completed work on Chinese railroads in 1937, postage stamps honoring his work on Taiwan Bridge and some information on the Lin family genealogy. There is one folder of notes from courses that Lin taught at the University of California, Berkeley.
    Lin's written work-as student, professor, and professional structural engineer-is a testament to the innovation and achievement of Lin's research, design, and building projects. This written work, which spans more than six decades, also illustrates Lin's impact on global politics and his passionate involvement. Most of the writing in this section of the collection is published in journals, though there are occasional drafts and unfinished notes. One of the collections many treasures, and the oldest document in the collection, is Lin's 1932 report on the truss and foundation of a proposed bridge. More unpublished (and some published) writing can be found throughout the collection, much of it attached to sketches and calculations.
    Documents from Lin's non-academic career make up the bulk of the collection, specifically those that were generated by Lin's projects at T.Y. Lin International: the Intercontinental Peace Bridge (ICPB), Rio Colorado Bridge, Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge, Gibraltar Bridge, the development of the Pudong District of Shanghai, and a retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge. Most of the corporate documents relate to fundraising, government and media relations, and the various administrative work attendant to the major projects. Drawings, calculations and plans are most concentrated in files relating to the Ruck-A-Chucky and Gibraltar Bridges but are present for every project. Aside from working on the ICPB from the design side, Lin founded ICPB, Inc., a foundation dedicated to promoting the project. This corporation was funded both privately and by T.Y. Lin International. He was also heavily involved with the Inter-Arctic Development Corporation (IADC), which was dedicated to development of the northern Alaska and Siberia, the two lands that Lin hoped to bridge with the ICPB. In addition to English, which is the dominant language, some materials are written in Russian, Chinese, Italian, Bulgarian, German and Spanish. Treasures include a US Airlines in-flight magazine covered in Lin's detailed drawings and notes and his grandson Erik Lin's research report on the Gibraltar Bridge.
    Lin was active in politics, working on behalf of peace between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, for the possible unification of China and Taiwan and for better China-United States relations. Evidence of his political work is found throughout the collection (concentrated heavily in the ICPB and Pudong Development documents) but is the primary concern of his research materials and correspondence in his subject files on China. These materials are written primarily in Chinese.