Douglass, Earl, b. 1862

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact

Narrow Your Results


Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.

Biographical History

Earl Douglass was born in Medford, Minnesota, on October 18, 1862. His interest in the sciences, especially geology, began during his childhood. He enrolled at the University of South Dakota in 1888, and in 1893 received his B.S. from Iowa State College (University). Douglass continued his education and in 1900 received his M.S. in geology from the University of Montana. He soon began teaching at a series of primary schools throughout Montana before taking a teaching position at the University of Montana in 1899. The following year, he was granted a fellowship in geology at Princeton University. In 1902, Douglass was hired at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to complete research work in the field of Paleontology. Returning to a familiar region of the country, he began collecting fossils for the museum throughout Montana and the surrounding states. In the summer of 1909, Earl Douglass traveled to Utah to search for dinosaur skeletons. In August of 1909, he made an extraordinary discovery of an Apatosaurus fossil. Douglass soon began working full time with fossils in the Utah desert and the site was later designated as Dinosaur National Monument. Over the next 13 years Douglass, continued his work at the quarry as an employ of the Carnegie Museum. In 1923 and 1924, he provided assistance to the Smithsonian, U.S. National Museum, and the University of Utah in looking for dinosaur fossils. In 1924, after all excavation at the quarry ended, Douglass resigned from the Carnegie Museum. He spent the next two years at the University of Utah working to preparing fossils from the quarry for mounting. In 1905 he married Pearl C. Goelschius, and the couple had one son, Gawin Earl Douglass. His wife, and one year-old son, joined Douglass in Utah in September of 1909. The family set up a ranch not far from the dinosaur quarry, where they lived until 1923. He died on January 13, 1931.


Dougles, G. E. (2009). Speak to the Earth and it will teach you: The life and times of Earl Douglass, 1862-1931. BookSurge Publishing.

Related entities

Carnegie Museum of natural history: He worked for the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Birth Date


Death Date





Personal name