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History of City Planning: Finding Books & Articles

This is a bibliographic guide to research resources for the history of city planning and urbanism at the University of California, Berkeley libraries and on the Web, with an emphasis on American and California city planning.

Search Terms

Here is a selected list of catalog subject headings which may be useful in your search. Check also for other useful subheadings, such as Bibliographies, History, Handbooks, etc. Guidebooks to cities may also have sections on city planning history.

For city planning research start with the Oskicat catalog; Oskicat covers UC Berkeley and has great keyword searching.

When Oskicat isn't enough, particularly when your topic is geographically remote from California, the Western U.S., Latin America, or the Pacific Rim, search Melvyl, a database of more than 1.5 billion records, for all libraries. Request items through The Library's Interlibrary Borrowing Service.

[place name]--Description and travel

[place name]--Guidebooks

Cities and towns--[place name]--History

City planners--Biography

City planners--[place name]

City planning--[place name]

City planning--History

Garden cities --[place name]--History

Land use, Urban --[place name]--History

New towns--[place name]--History

Regional planning--[place name]--History

Transportation--[place name]--Planning--History

Urban renewal--[place name]--History

Urbanization--[place name]--History

Find Books, Journal Titles, and More

Use OskiCat or Melvyl to find books or journal titles (not articles) by checking if UCB or UC has the journal. If UCB does not have it, you can request the book/article though the request feature in Melvyl.  You can also search for journals by title


Newspaper Indexes

In addition to the indexes listed here, some newspapers are available full text on the Web; information regarding archives of older issues is sometimes available at these sites. See the Library's home page→How to Find→Databases→ Databases: By Type→ News Articles Databases for a list of links to online full-text local and international newspapers and other news media.

Finding Articles

Use journal and newspaper indexes and databases to discover articles on your topic. Some online databases include the full text of the articles you discover or the icon which may lead you to the full text elsewhere. In many cases, however, you will need to locate the print journal in the Library's collections; search the Library's catalogs by the journal title in order to find the shelving location and call number for the journal. For UC Only or UCB Only titles, go to The Library's home page→ How to  Find → Articles

Selected Journals for Planning History

Here's a selection of historical and current journals containing articles relevant to city planning or urban history.


Specialized bibliographies can help you find publications on your topic. Also look for bibliographies in books as well as in journal and encyclopedia articles. To find additional bibliographies, search the Oskicat catalog: subject = City planning--History--Bibliography.