Finding Aid - Contains Digitized Material

Reference Request

* required
Please succinctly provide us with any information pertinent to your inquiry. If you are writing to us about a research request, provide as much detail as possible about the collections in which you are interested (including collection numbers, box numbers, and folder titles).
(if known)

The Smithsonian Institution Archives is using Constant Contact, a third-party contact management software vendor, to manage contacts and send eNewsletters. Please be advised that Constant Contact's Privacy Statement and Terms and Conditions apply to your use of these services. The Smithsonian Institution Archives has access to your name and email address which is subject to our privacy statement.

Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 7062

Meek, F. B. (Fielding Bradford), 1817-1876.

Fielding B. Meek Papers, 1843-1877 and undated

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Meek, F. B. (Fielding Bradford), 1817-1876.
Title: Fielding B. Meek Papers
Dates: 1843-1877 and undated
Quantity: 5.69 cu. ft. (10 document boxes) (1 16x20 box)
Collection: Record Unit 7062
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These papers consist of correspondence, mostly incoming, concerning specimens and geological observations; notebooks and diaries resulting from field work; manuscripts and original plate illustrations; and miscellaneous personal papers.

Historical Note

Fielding B. Meek (1817-1876) was born December 10, 1817, in Madison, Indiana, of Irish Presbyterian ancestry. His father was an eminent local lawyer who died when Meek was only three years old. Meek's early education in Indiana, and later Kentucky, was constantly interrupted due to ill health. Health problems, including deafness and tuberculosis, continued to plague him throughout his life. Meek attended good public schools, but was largely self-educated in the natural sciences. His first practical scientific experience was gained as an assistant in David Dale Owen's U.S. Geological Survey of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in 1848 and 1849. During 1852-1858 (excepting three summers) Meek was employed at Albany, New York, by the paleontologist James Hall. The summer of 1853 was spent in the Bad Lands of Nebraska in association with Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, while those of 1854 and 1855 were spent with George Clinton Swallow's Geological Survey of Missouri. Meek's association with Hall was terminated in 1858 when a dispute arose over the discovery of the occurrence of Permian fossils in North America.

Meek joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution in 1858 as the Institution's first full-time paleontologist. In lieu of salary, Joseph Henry allotted Meek living quarters in the Smithsonian Castle Building. Until his death, Meek continued to live in the Castle, eventually gaining the title of resident collaborator in paleontology. At the Smithsonian Meek also renewed his acquaintance with F. V. Hayden, joining him on many of Hayden's surveys of the western territories. Meek and Hayden's most notable resulting publication was Paleontology of the Upper Missouri (1865). Meek also worked for the Ohio Geological Survey under John Strong Newberry, and with Amos Henry Worthen on the Geological Survey of Illinois. Although Meek was responsible for most of the invertebrate fossil work for the Illinois Survey, the reports were published jointly under the names of Worthen and Meek. Meek's bibliography contains 106 titles, including those publications written in conjunction with Hayden, Worthen, and others. His most important publication was his "Report on the Invertebrate Cretaceous and Tertiary Fossils of the Upper Missouri Country" (1876). Fielding B. Meek died of tuberculosis in his quarters at the Smithsonian on December 21, 1876.

Top of Page

Descriptive Entry

The collection consists of correspondence 1849-1876, mostly incoming, concerning specimens and geological observations; notebooks, 1846-1872 and diaries, 1871-1875, resulting from Meek's field work; manuscripts and original plate illustrations; and miscellaneous personal papers, including a catalogue of the Meek library made soon after his death.

Top of Page

This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7062, Fielding B. Meek Papers

Top of Page

Container List

Series 1

INCOMING AND OUTGOING CORRESPONDENCE, 1849-1876, ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY.

Box 1

Folder 1 A - Al

Box 1 of 11

Folder 2 Am

Box 1 of 11

Folder 3 An - Az

Box 1 of 11

Folder 4 B - Bai

Box 1 of 11

Folder 5 Baird, Spencer

Box 1 of 11

Folder 6 Bak - Baz

Box 1 of 11

Folder 7 Be - Big

Box 1 of 11

Folder 8 Billings, E.

Box 1 of 11

Folder 9 Bin - Bla

Box 1 of 11

Folder 10 Ble - Bra

Box 1 of 11

Folder 11 Bre - Bu

Box 1 of 11

Folder 12 C - Case

Box 1 of 11

Folder 13 Cass - Com

Box 1 of 11

Folder 14 Conrad

Box 1 of 11

Folder 15 Cook - Cooper

Box 1 of 11

Folder 16 Cope

Box 1 of 11

Folder 17 Cou - Cr

Box 1 of 11

Box 2

Folder 1 D - Dall

Box 2 of 11

Folder 2 Dana, 1857-1860

Box 2 of 11

Folder 3 Dana, 1861-1862

Box 2 of 11

Folder 4 Dana, 1863-1864

Box 2 of 11

Folder 5 Dana, 1865-1867

Box 2 of 11

Folder 6 Dana, 1868-1871

Box 2 of 11

Folder 7 Dana, 1872-1876

Box 2 of 11

Folder 8 Dan - Dav

Box 2 of 11

Folder 9 Daw - Daz

Box 2 of 11

Folder 10 De

Box 2 of 11

Folder 11 Di - Dy

Box 2 of 11

Folder 12 E - Ell

Box 2 of 11

Folder 13 Elm - Es

Box 2 of 11

Folder 14 Et - Ez

Box 2 of 11

Folder 15 F

Box 2 of 11

Folder 16 Gabb

Box 2 of 11

Folder 17 Gac - Gib

Box 2 of 11

Folder 18 Gilbert, G. K.

Box 2 of 11

Folder 19 Gill

Box 2 of 11

Folder 20 Go - Gu

Box 2 of 11

Box 3

Folder 1 H - Hale

Box 3 of 11

Folder 2 Hall

Box 3 of 11

Folder 3 Ham - Hay

Box 3 of 11

Folder 4 Hawn, #1-17, 1856-1857

Box 3 of 11

Folder 5 Hawn, #18-26, 1857-1858

Box 3 of 11

Folder 6 Hayden, 1850-1855

Box 3 of 11

Folder 7 Hayden, 1856

Box 3 of 11

Folder 8 Hayden, 1857

Box 3 of 11

Folder 9 Hayden, 1858

Box 3 of 11

Folder 10 Hayden, 1859

Box 3 of 11

Folder 11 Hayden, 1860-1861

Box 3 of 11

Folder 12 Hayden, 1862-1865

Box 3 of 11

Folder 13 Hayden, 1866-1869

Box 3 of 11

Folder 14 Hayden, 1870-1873

Box 3 of 11

Folder 15 Hayden, 1874-1875

Box 3 of 11

Folder 16 Hayden, 1876

Box 3 of 11

Folder 17 He

Box 3 of 11

Folder 18 Hi - Ho

Box 3 of 11

Folder 19 Hu - Hy

Box 3 of 11

Folder 20 I - Ja

Box 3 of 11

Folder 21 Jewett

Box 3 of 11

Folder 22 Ji - Ki

Box 3 of 11

Folder 23 Kl - Ky

Box 3 of 11

Box 4

Folder 1 L - La

Box 4 of 11

Folder 2 Lea

Box 4 of 11

Folder 3 Leb - Leh

Box 4 of 11

Folder 4 Leidy

Box 4 of 11

Folder 5 Lew - Li

Box 4 of 11

Folder 6 Lej - Les

Box 4 of 11

Folder 7 Lo - Ly

Box 4 of 11

Folder 8 M - Marc

Box 4 of 11

Folder 9 Mard - May

Box 4 of 11

Folder 10 Me - Mi

Box 4 of 11

Folder 11 Mo - My

Box 4 of 11

Folder 12 N - Newberry, 1859-1861

Box 4 of 11

Folder 13 Newberry, 1862-1870

Box 4 of 11

Folder 14 Newberry, 1871-1872

Box 4 of 11

Folder 15 Newberry, 1873-1875

Box 4 of 11

Folder 16 Newt - Nol

Box 4 of 11

Folder 17 Nor - On

Box 4 of 11

Folder 18 Orton

Box 4 of 11

Folder 19 Os - Pa

Box 4 of 11

Folder 20 Pe - Po

Box 4 of 11

Folder 21 Pr - Pu

Box 4 of 11

Box 5

Folder 1 R - Ric

Box 5 of 11

Folder 2 Rid - Roe

Box 5 of 11

Folder 3 Rog - Ru

Box 5 of 11

Folder 4 S - Sa

Box 5 of 11

Folder 5 Scarborough, Edwin - George, 1851-1858

Box 5 of 11

Folder 6 Scarborough, George, 1859-1867

Box 5 of 11

Folder 7 Scarborough, George, 1868-1876

Box 5 of 11

Folder 8 Sch - Sh

Box 5 of 11

Folder 9 Shumard, 1849-1856

Box 5 of 11

Folder 10 Shumard, 1857-1866

Box 5 of 11

Folder 11 Shun - Sim

Box 5 of 11

Folder 12 Sinclair, 1864-1871

Box 5 of 11

Folder 13 Sinclair, 1872-1873

Box 5 of 11

Folder 14 Sinclair, 1874-1876

Box 5 of 11

Folder 15 Sind - Stevens

Box 5 of 11

Folder 16 Stevenson

Box 5 of 11

Box 6

Folder 1 Stimpson, 1861-1866

Box 6 of 11

Folder 2 Stimpson, 1867-1871

Box 6 of 11

Folder 3 Sto - Su

Box 6 of 11

Folder 4 Sw

Box 6 of 11

Folder 5 T

Box 6 of 11

Folder 6 U - Wac

Box 6 of 11

Folder 7 Wad - Whe

Box 6 of 11

Folder 8 White, C. A., 1865-1867

Box 6 of 11

Folder 9 White, C. A., 1868-1869

Box 6 of 11

Folder 10 White, C. A., 1870-1873

Box 6 of 11

Folder 11 White, C. A., 1874-1876

Box 6 of 11

Folder 12 White, J. - Whitfield

Box 6 of 11

Folder 13 Whitney, 1858-1864

Box 6 of 11

Folder 14 Whitney, 1865-1874

Box 6 of 11

Folder 15 Whitt - Winchell, A., 1856-1865

Box 6 of 11

Folder 16 Winchell, A., 1866-1874 - Winchell, N. H.

Box 6 of 11

Folder 17 Wing - Wor

Box 6 of 11

Folder 18 Worthen, A. H., 1857-1861

Box 6 of 11

Folder 19 Worthen, A. H., 1862-1865

Box 6 of 11

Box 7

Folder 1 Worthen, A. H., 1866-1867

Box 7 of 11

Folder 2 Worthen, A. H., 1868-1876 - Worthen, T. A.

Box 7 of 11

Folder 3 Wu - Z

Box 7 of 11

Folder 4 Unidentified Correspondence

Box 7 of 11
MANUSCRIPTS AND RELATED PAPERS, 1865-1876 AND UNDATED. ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.

Box 7

Folder 5 Paleontology of the Upper Missouri, Part 1, Plates #1-2, 4-5 (plate #3 is missing), 1865

Box 7 of 11

Folders 6-12 Paleontology of the Upper Missouri, Part 2, Plates #1-35, 1865 (7 folders)

Box 7 of 11

Box 8

Folders 1-2 Paleontology of the Upper Missouri, Part 2, Plates #36-45, 1865

Box 8 of 11

Folder 3 Ohio Paleontology, Plates A-W, circa 1873

Box 8 of 11

Folder 4 Report of the Paleontological Collections of the Expedition, 1876 (from Explorations Across the Great Basin of Utah in 1859, by J. H. Simpson)

Box 8 of 11

Folder 5 "Fossils of the Fresh and Brackish-water Lignite Series," undated

Box 8 of 11

Folders 6-9 Unidentified manuscript, pp. 1-99, undated - mostly specimen descriptions

Box 8 of 11

Folder 10 Incomplete manuscript notes, undated

Box 8 of 11

Series 3

MISCELLANY, 1843-1877 AND UNDATED, UNARRANGED.

Box 8

Folder 11 Miscellaneous notes, undated (mostly specimen descriptions) (continued)

Box 8 of 11

Folder 12 Photographs and drawings, 1875 and undated (Meek's family and friends, some specimens)

Box 8 of 11

Folder 13 Newspaper clippings, 1855-1876 and undated

Box 8 of 11

Folder 14 Circulars and announcements, 1858-1876 and undated

Box 8 of 11

Folder 15 Financial Records, 1858 and 1866-1874 (mostly re: real estate taxes)

Box 8 of 11

Folder 16 Catalogue of the Library of Fielding B. Meek, 1877

Box 8 of 11

Folder 17 Lawrence, Byrem. A Concise Description of the Geological Formations and Mineral Localities of the Western States; ...Boston, 1843, 48 pp.

Box 8 of 11

Folder 18 Certificates, 1854-1873

Box 8 of 11

Box 9

Folder 1 Certificate from the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, April 29, 1836

Box 9 of 11

Folder 2 Certificate from the American Philosophical Society, April 22, 1867

Box 9 of 11

Folder 3 Certificate from the Academy of Science of St. Louis, August 11, 1856

Box 9 of 11

Folder 4 Certificate of Membership in the National Academy of Sciences, September 1, 1869

Box 9 of 11

Series 4

NOTEBOOKS AND DIARIES, 1846-1875, ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY.

Box 10

Folder 1 Sketchbook - Kentucky and Minnesota, undated

Box 10 of 11

Folder 4 Notebook 7, David Dale Owen's Survey, 1849, Part II

Box 10 of 11

Folder 5 Notebooks 8-10; 8, Notes, circa 1852; 9, Owensboro, Kentucky, and Albany, New York, 1852-1853, Washington, D.C., 1861; 10, Notes, 1853

Box 10 of 11

Folder 6 Notebook 11, Missouri Geological Survey, 1853-1854. Catalogue of Professor James Hall's library, undated

Box 10 of 11

Folder 7 Notebooks 12-14; 12, Missouri Geological Survey, Notebook No. 2, 1854; 13, Kentucky, 1857; Account with Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, 1857-1859; Montana and Wyoming, undated; List of addresses of foreign geologists, undated; List of books on paleontology in Smithsonian Institution library, undated; 14, Nebraska Territory (?), 1858

Box 10 of 11

Box 11

Folder 1 Notebooks 15-16; 15, Wisconsin, Missouri, etc., 1858-1859; Washington, D.C., 1862; 16, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, New York, 1860-1869

Box 11 of 11

Folder 2 Notebooks 17-19; Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 1862; 18, New Jersey, 1863; 19, Account book with the Ridgely National Bank, 1866-1869

Box 11 of 11

Folder 3 Notebook 20. Iowa and Nebraska, 1867 (also contains loose material from Kansas and Missouri, undated)

Box 11 of 11

Folder 4 Notebooks 21-22; 21, Notes, circa 1868; 22, Ohio, 1870-1871

Box 11 of 11

Folder 5 Notebooks 23-24; 23, Diary, 1871; 24, Diary, 1872

Box 11 of 11

Folder 6 Notebooks 25-26; 25, Union Pacific Railroad (with Henry M. Bannister), 1872; 26, Diary, 1873

Box 11 of 11

Folder 7 Notebooks 27-28; 27, Diary, 1874; 28. Diary, 1875

Box 11 of 11