Finding Aid to the T.Y. Lin Papers, 1932-1998

Processed by Leah F. Rosenblum and Marilyn Kwock
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2003
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the T.Y. Lin Papers, 1932-1998

Collection number: BANC MSS 99/308 cz

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Collection Processed By:
Leah F. Rosenblum and Marilyn Kwock</
Date Completed:
August 15, 2002
Finding Aid written by:
Leah F. Rosenblum
© 2003 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

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there is incoming and outgoing correspondence, a large amount of publicity collected by Lin, writings (published and unpublished), photographs, and slides.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


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.
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.
T.Y. Lin International.
Online Archive of California.
History of science and technology collection.

Administrative Information


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.


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.

Container List

Carton 1

Series 1: Personal, 1937-1998


Arranged alphabetically by subject.

Scope and Content Note

The series contains TY Lin's biographical and personal materials from 1937-1998. Materials include awards, various lectures given and symposia participated in, one folder of notes for courses he taught at UC Berkeley interviews written up in several publications, family reunion notes (1996), general and miscellaneous correspondence.
carton 1, folder 1

Activities undated

carton 1, folder 2

Awards undated

carton 1, folder 3-5

Biographical and Interviews 1960-1996

carton 1, folder 6

Chinese Railroad Bridges [photocopy of photograph album] 1937-1938

carton 1, folder 7

Civil Engineering 134 and 144 1972-1976

carton 1, folder 8

Lin Family Reunion 1996

carton 1, folder 9

Miscellaneous Correspondence undated

carton 1, folder 10

Taiwan Bridge Postage Stamps 1986

Carton 1, Oversize Folder 1

Series 2: Writings, 1932-1997


Arranged alphabetically by subject, and then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of materials that document both Lin's career at Berkeley and in the professional engineering world. It includes various publication lists and Lin's written work, both published and unpublished, from the 1930's to the 1990's in ascending order of date. Much of the writing between the late 1940's to the end of the 1970s concerns pre-stressed concrete. After that, it becomes focused on Lin's specific projects and Chinese political interests. Languages other than English include German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Chinese. Additional notes, outgoing correspondence and drafts are interfiled throughout the entire collection.
carton 1, folder 11

Publications List 1952-1982

carton 1, folder 12-23

Written by Lin undated

carton 2, folder 1-2

Written by Lin undated

Oversize folder 1B

Written by Lin 1932

Cartons 2-6, Box 2, Oversize Folders 2-15

Series 3: Professional, 1957-1998


Arranged hierarchically by company, further arranged chronologically by project start date.

Scope and Content Note

This series is dedicated to Lin's work with TY Lin International, a steel and concrete bridge engineering firm that Lin founded in 1953, and Lin Tung-Yen China, another consulting firm that Lin founded after leaving T.Y. Lin International in 1992. The series is divided into two sub-series: T.Y. Lin International and Lin Tung Yen China. The first sub-series is further divided into seven categories: publications (arranged alphabetically by subject), publicity (arranged chronologically by publication date), Intercontinental Peace Bridge (arranged chronologically), Rio Colorado Bridge (arranged chronologically), Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge (arranged chronologically), Gibraltar Strait Bridge Crossing (arranged chronologically), Pudong Development (arranged chronologically), and Golden Gate Bridge Retrofit (arranged chronologically). Lin's work on the Pudong Development took place at both at TY Lin International and Lin Tung Yen China.
Included in materials about the Intercontinental Peace Bridge are the work of Illinois architect Myron Goldsmith and his graduate student Peter Seger, public relations specialists James Murray and Robert Wagstaff, Dennis Corrin, USSR politician Vladmir Mironov and David Billington of Princeton University. The Lin Tung Yen China series contains a corporate brochure describing both the mission and past work of the company.

T.Y. Lin International, 1957-1998


Publications, ca. 1960's-1990's

carton 2, folder 3

Lin Tee-O-Gram/Engineering Bulletin (TY Lin International Newsletters) 1960-1990

carton 2, folder 4-5

Promotional 1960s-1990s


Publicity, ca. 1950's-1990's

carton 2, folder 6-13

News Clippings 1950s-1990s


Intercontinental Peace Bridge (ICPB), 1957-1996

carton 2, folder 14-16

Publicity undated

carton 2, folder 17

Bering Strait Area Map Requests to US Geodetic Survey 1968

carton 2, folder 18

Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws 1968; 1986

carton 2, folder 19

Tax Information 1968-1974; 1986-1987

carton 2, folder 20

Statement of Project 1969

carton 2, folder 21

Cost and Vital Statistics 1969-1970

carton 2, folder 22

Pier Drawings 1970

carton 2, folder 23

Public Relations 1970-1992

carton 2, folder 24

Lim Hong Lee Research Project 1971

carton 2, folder 25

Trans-Alaska Pipeline 1971-1972

Oversize folder 2C

Trans-Alaska Pipeline 1971-1972

carton 2, folder 26-31

Correspondence undated

carton 3, folder 1

Integrated Pipeline Transportation System Publicity 1974

carton 3, folder 2

Integrated Pipeline Transportation System Correspondence 1974

Oversize folder 3A

Integrated Pipeline Transportation System Correspondence 1974

carton 3, folder 3

Peter Seger Research Report 1980

carton 3, folder 4

Stationery Circa 1980s

carton 3, folder 5

Myron Goldsmith 1980-1981

Oversize folder 4C

Myron Goldsmith 1980-1981

carton 3, folder 6

Peking to Paris Overland Expedition 1981

carton 3, folder 7

ICPB, Inc. Annual Report Information 1982

carton 3, folder 8

Peace Bridge Drafts and Documents 1982

carton 3, folder 9

Media Relations 1982-1990

carton 3, folder 10

T.Y. Lin International: Financial Support of ICPB, Inc. 1985

carton 3, folder 11-12

Drawings and Calculations undated

carton 3, folder 13

TY Lin International ICPB Meetings 1985-1986

carton 3, folder 14

Project Descriptions and Justifications 1985, undated

carton 3, folder 15

Rome, Italy 1986

carton 3, folder 16

Engineering Bulletin 1986

carton 3, folder 17

ICPB, Inc. Board of Directors Meetings 1986-1988

carton 3, folder 18

International Arctic Development Corporation Correspondence undated

carton 3, folder 19-23

International Arctic Development Corporation undated

carton 3, folder 24

Dennis Corrin, ICPB, Inc. Executive Secretary undated

carton 3, folder 25

Slides, Negatives and Photographs 1986, undated

carton 3, folder 26

Finances 1987

carton 3, folder 27

Government Relations, James Murray 1988-1989

carton 3, folder 28

Government Relations, James Murray and Robert Wagstaff 1989-1990

carton 3, folder 29

Tunnel Under Bering Strait 1989-1995

carton 3, folder 30-32

Responsive Energy & Technology Symposium & International Exhibition (RETSIE) Conference 1990-1991

carton 3, folder 33

Finance and Administration 1990

carton 3, folder 34

Other Arctic Proposals 1990-1991

carton 4, folder 1

Development Proposal by Peace Race Society 1990

carton 4, folder 2

Vladmir Mironov Papers 1991-1992

carton 4, folder 3

ICBP, Inc. Board of Directors 1991

carton 4, folder 4-5

USSR Oil and Gas undated

carton 4, folder 6

Alaska Rotary Club Banquet 1992

carton 4, folder 7

Dissolution Papers 1995-1996


Rio Colorado Bridge, Costa Rica, 1966-1967

carton 4, folder 8

Drawings, Calculations and Papers 1966-1967

Oversize folder 5C

Drawings, Calculations and Papers 1966-1967


Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge, 1972-1978

carton 4, folder 9

Design of Hanging Arc undated

carton 4, folder 10

Proposals 1975-1976

carton 4, folder 11

Rejected Types 1975-1976

Oversize folder 6A

Rejected Types 1975

carton 4, folder 12

Development of Hanging Arc 1975-1976

Oversize folder 6A

Development of Hanging Arc 1975-1976

carton 4, folder 13

Analysis of Hanging Arc 1975-1978

Oversize folder 7B

Analysis of Hanging Arc 1975-1976

carton 4, folder 14

Hanging Arc 1976

carton 4, folder 15-16

Calculations 1976

carton 4, folder 17

Truss and Girder 1976

Oversize folder 8C

Truss and Girder 1976

carton 4, folder 18

EQ Piers, Hanging Arc 1976

Oversize folder 9A

EQ Piers, Hanging Arc 1976

carton 4, folder 19

Initial Design 1976

carton 4, folder 20

Suspension 1976, undated

Oversize folder 10C

Suspension 1976, undated

carton 4, folder 21

Costs and Correspondence 1976-1977

carton 4, folder 22

Articles and Publicity 1976-1977

carton 4, folder 23-24

Final Design Report 1977-1978

carton 4, folder 25

Figures 1977, undated

box 1, folder 1

Final Plans 1978


Gibraltar Strait Bridge Crossing, 1982-1997

carton 4, folder 26

Proposals and Design 1982-1991

Oversize folder 11C

Proposals and Design 1982-1991

carton 4, folder 27-28

References 1983

carton 4, folder 29-30

Design and Administration 1984-1992

carton 5, folder 1-2

Design and Administration 1984-1992

Oversize folder 12B

Design and Administration 1984-1992

carton 5, folder 3

History 1992

carton 5, folder 4

Administrative 1984-1987

carton 5, folder 5-7

Studies, Reports and Analyses 1984-1992

carton 5, folder 8

All Schemes 1984-1990

Oversize folder 13A

All Schemes 1984-1990

carton 5, folder 9-10

Publicity 1984-1991

carton 5, folder 11-12

Calculations undated

carton 5, folder 13-14

Bridge Comparisons-1 1985-1986; 1991

carton 5, folder 15

Images and Research 1985-1990

carton 5, folder 16

Morocco 1989-1991

Oversize folder 14A

Morocco 1989-1991

carton 5, folder 17

Administrative 1990

carton 5, folder 18

National Company for Studies of the Straits (SNED)-Spanish Company for Studies of a Fixed Link Across the Straits of Gibraltar (SECEG) 1990-1991

carton 5, folder 19

Feasibility undated

Oversize folder 15C

Plans and Drawings 1990-1992

carton 5, folder 20

Finance and Administration 1991

carton 5, folder 21-22

International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering [IABSE] Paper Award 1993-1994

carton 5, folder 23

Post Resignation Materials 1992-1993

carton 5, folder 24

Papers and References 1994-1996

carton 5, folder 25

Erik Lin; David Billington 1996


Pudong Development, 1985-1998

carton 6, folder 26-27

Reports undated

carton 6, folder 1-5

Correspondence 1987-1998

carton 6, folder 6

Planning and Finance undated

carton 6, folder 7

Planning and Background 1993, undated

carton 6, folder 8

Publicity 1990. undated

carton 6, folder 9

Shanghai Correspondence and Publicity 1998, undated

carton 6, folder 10

Hua Mu Report 1992-1993

carton 6, folder 11

Slides and Photographs [ca. 1990's]


Golden Gate Bridge Retrofit, 1989-1991

carton 6, folder 12

Articles, Correspondence, Legal undated


Lin Tung Yen China, 1992

carton 6, folder 13

Corporate Brochure [ca. 1990s]

Carton 6

Series 4: Subject Files: China, 1982-1997


Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content Note

Chinese language materials, arranged in alphabetical order by folder title. The series consists of information pertaining to Lin's interest in the politics of his native China and possible unification with Taiwan and the creation of a new constitution. There is also information regarding Sino-United States relations, specifically correspondence between Peoples Republic of China leaders and information on United States-China policies.
carton 6, folder 14

Analysis of China's Future 1996-1997

carton 6, folder 15-18

China Constitution 1988-1995

carton 6, folder 19

China/Taiwan Unification Correspondence 1992-1997

carton 6, folder 20-21

Constitution, Unification undated

carton 6, folder 22

Non-China Constitutions 1982-1995

carton 6, folder 23-24

Peoples Republic of China Leaders Correspondence [ca. 1983-1998]

carton 6, folder 25-26

Related Chinese Publications [ca. 1990s]

carton 6, folder 27

United States-China Policy Report 1995-1997