MIT Press has launched an eBook collection of previously undigitised classic architecture and urban studies publications which have been requested by the public for years.

Titled MIT Press Open Architecture and Urban Studies, the collection features out-of-print works by George L. Hersey, Richard Freedman, Mark Jarzombek, Moshe Safdie, Peter Rowe, Galen Cranz, Arthur Pulos, Gilbert Hubert, and others available as ebooks for the first time.

The curation was made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of the Humanities Open Book Program – an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities – which enabled MIT Press to pay the cost of image permissions and cater for complex design requirements of eBooks.

The publications also feature fresh forewords that bring new insights to bear on many of these classic texts. Many of the titles will also be made available on the open access platform PubPub where readers will be able to interact with and annotate the works with contemporary context and related readings.

Timothy Hyde, an Associate Professor for MIT’s Architecture Department, says the collection contains information and thinking from a time period that is crucial within modern architecture and design.

“The books in this collection are drawn from an absolutely formative period in the discourse of architectural and urban history and theory. These are essential publications to have available again, as they represent to some degree the founding of an independent discipline.”

Published between 1964 and 1998, the collection is a quintessential blend of theory, practice, history, and technology. The two volumes of The Staircase by John Templer, On Leon Battista Alberti: His Literary and Aesthetic Theories by Mark Jarzombek, Possible Palladian Villas: (Plus a Few Instructively Impossible Ones) by George L. Hersey and Richard Freedman, and Making a Middle Landscape by Peter Rowe all feature within the curation.

Amy Brand, MIT Press’ Director, says the collection is an example of the university’s commitment to publishing works that are significant to not only architecture, but all facets of learning.

“The MIT Press is committed to reimagining daily what academic publishing can be,” she says. 

“This partnership with the Humanities Open Book Program not only gives these important works a second-life and introduces them to new generations of scholars and readers, it also reaffirms our commitment to making scholarship available as widely and openly as possible.”

To view and read the collection, click here. For more information about the Humanities Open Book Program, head to