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 7332

Ulrich, E. O. (Edward Oscar), 1857-1944

Edward Oscar Ulrich Papers, circa 1880-1938 and undated

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Ulrich, E. O. (Edward Oscar), 1857-1944
Title: Edward Oscar Ulrich Papers
Dates: circa 1880-1938 and undated
Quantity: 4.26 cu. ft. (7 document boxes) (1 half document box) (1 3x5 box) (1 5x8 box)
Collection: Record Unit 7332
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

This collection documents the professional career and personal life of Edward Oscar Ulrich. It includes incoming and outgoing correspondence mostly concerning his paleontological research and professional activities after he joined the USGS in 1897. A small number of letters deal with family matters and personal affairs. The collection also includes photographs, many of which were taken at the 12th International Geological Congress held at Toronto in 1913, and during Ulrich's field work in England and Europe in 1925; manuscripts, notes, specimen lists, plates, charts, and related materials from his paleontological research; and various personal materials such as bank books, greeting cards, certificates and awards, notebooks, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.

Historical Note

Edward Oscar Ulrich (1857-1944) was an invertebrate paleontologist specializing in the study of Paleozoic fauna and formations. He developed an interest in fossils as a youth, collecting in the rich formations around his home in Covington, Kentucky. Ulrich attended German Wallace and Baldwin College at Berea, Ohio and the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati, but did not receive a degree from either. In 1877, he was appointed Curator of the Cincinnati Society of Natural History. He resigned the position in 1880 to become superintendent of the Little Caribou silver mines near Boulder, Colorado. Ulrich returned to Cincinnati in 1883 and for the next fourteen years worked as a free lance geologist and paleontologist, as well as an illustrator of geological monographs. During this period he was employed on the state geological surveys of Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio, and Kentucky. In 1897, Ulrich was appointed Geologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). He remained with the USGS until his retirement in 1932. He continued his paleontological studies as a Research Associate at the United States National Museum until his death.

Ulrich has been called "... the greatest descriptive paleontologist that America has ever produced." He was an authority on Paleozoic invertebrates, particularly the Bryozoa, Ostracoda, and conodonts. His bibliography included over 120 titles, with "Revision of the Paleozoic System," (1911) generally considered his classic work. In this work, Ulrich introduced radical changes in the classification of early Paleozoic formations and proposed two new systems -- the Ozarkian and Canadian. Ulrich did extensive field work in most of the Paleozoic formations east of the Rocky Mountains. He also conducted six field investigations in Europe between 1922 and 1931.

Ulrich was active within the scientific community, and served several organizations in elected or appointed capacities. He was an original Fellow of the Geological Society of America, President of the Paleontological Society, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was the recipient of the Mary Clark Thompson medal of the National Academy of Sciences in 1930, and the Penrose medal of the Geological Society of America in 1932. Ulrich was awarded an honorary M.A. (1886) and D.Sc. (1892) from German Wallace and Baldwin College.

For additional biographical information on Ulrich see "Memorial to Edward Oscar Ulrich," by Ray S. Bassler. Proceedings Volume of the Geological Society of America Annual Report for 1944, pp. 331-352, May 1945, and, "Biographical Memoir of Edward Oscar Ulrich, 1857-1944," by Rudolf Ruedemann. National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoirs, volume XXIV, 1947.

Top of Page

Introduction

The 1879 act establishing the United States Geological Survey (USGS) declares, "And all collections of rocks, minerals, soils, and fossils, and objects of natural history, archaeology, and ethnology, made by the Coast and Interior Survey, the Geological Survey, or by any other parties for the Government of the United States, when no longer needed for investigations in progress, shall be deposited in the National Museum." Many of the paleontologists affiliated with the USGS Paleontology and Stratigraphy Branch have been stationed at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) to study and care for the national collections. This close working relationship between the USGS and the NMNH has resulted in the Smithsonian Archives acquiring records and special collections documenting paleontological work of the Survey and its scientists.

Top of Page

Descriptive Entry

The papers of Edward Oscar Ulrich provide partial documentation of his professional career and personal life. The collection includes incoming and outgoing correspondence documenting Ulrich's paleontological research, professional activities, family matters, and personal affairs. Of special interest are letters documenting his unsuccessful bid to become Kentucky Inspector of Mines, 1895-1897; letters of Henry Burger and Henry Dickhaut describing activities of the Caribou Mining Company, Boulder, Colorado, during the early 1880s; and letters documenting an attempt by Ulrich and others to change the method for nominating and electing officers of the Geological Society of America, 1921. The collection also contains photographs, including shots taken at the XII International Geological Congress held at Toronto in 1913, and images taken during Ulrich's field work in England and Europe in 1925. Ulrich's paleontological research is documented by manuscripts, notes, specimen lists, plates, charts, and maps. Finally, the collection contains personal materials of Ulrich including bank books, greeting cards, certificates and awards, notebooks, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia.

Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7332, Edward Oscar Ulrich Papers

Top of Page

Container List

Series 1

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, 1880-1937, AND UNDATED. ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY.

The letters found here are just a fragment of the correspondence written and received by Ulrich during his professional life. The majority of the correspondence is written after he joins the United States Geological Survey in 1897. Many of the letters concern Ulrich's investigations of the lead and zinc resources of western Kentucky. Also included is a small amount of correspondence with his family and friends.

Box 1

Folder 1 A-C, general. Correspondents include William Bullock Clark, 1896; A. F. Crider, 1902.

Box 1 of 10

Folder 2 Bradley, William O., 1895-1897. Bradley was Governor of Kentucky. The correspondence concerns Ulrich's unsuccessful application for the position of Kentucky Inspector of Mines.

Box 1 of 10

Folder 3 Caribou Mining Company, 1881-1882. Ulrich served as Superintendent of the Colorado company for two years in the early 1880s. These letters are from Henry Burger and Henry Dickhaut to Ulrich describing activities of the company.

Box 1 of 10

Folder 4 D-J, general. Correspondents include August F. Foerste, 1915, and undated.

Box 1 of 10

Folder 5 Geological Society of America (GSA), 1921. Correspondence concerning an attempt by Ulrich, and others, to change the method for nominating and electing GSA officers. Correspondents include Ray S. Bassler, Henry Andrew Buehler, Ermine Cowles Case, John Mason Clarke, Henry Platt Cushing, C. A. Fisher, Arthur Hollick, William Otis Hotchkiss, Edmund Otis Hovey, Charles Kenneth Leith, Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose, Jr., Rudolf Ruedemann, Josiah E. Spurr, John August Udden, and David White.

Box 1 of 10

Folder 6 K-L, general. Correspondents include G. Marshall Kay, 1929; C. S. Knight, 1902-1908.

Box 1 of 10

Box 2

Folder 1 M, general. Correspondents include Rector Duvall Mesler, 1911; Arthur M. Miller, 1912; F. B. Moodie, 1902-1905.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 2 McQueen, Henry S., 1937. Includes copies of field notes from a collecting trip to Missouri and Arkansas by Ulrich and McQueen, April 21 - May 1, 1937.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 3 Mineral Belt Mining and Tunneling Company, 1880. Ulrich's report on the company's mining property.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 4 N-R, general. Correspondents include Albert Homer Purdue, 1909; Percy E. Raymond, 1906.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 5 S-Y, general. Correspondents include Charles Schuchert, 1910; Cyril J. Stubblefield, 1929.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 6 Ulrich, Albert, 1897

Box 2 of 10

Folder 7 Ulrich, Albertina Zuest (Mrs. E. O.), 1914. Postcard from Ulrich to his first wife.

Box 2 of 10

Folder 8 Ulrich, Charles, 1895-1896, 1902. Includes an advertisement for Charles Ulrich's play, "A Celestial Maiden."

Box 2 of 10

Folder 9 Drafts of outgoing letters written by Ulrich, 1894-1898

Box 2 of 10

Folder 10 Copies of outgoing letters written by Ulrich, 1913-1915

Box 2 of 10

Folder 11 Unidentified fragment of a letter, 1902

Box 2 of 10

Series 2

PHOTOGRAPHS, CIRCA 1913-1930, AND UNDATED.

Box 3

Folder 1 XII International Geological Congress, Toronto, Canada, 1913. Mostly photographs of unidentified participants.

Box 3 of 10

Folder 2 Souvenir album of photographs of historic Quebec. Probably acquired at the XII International Geological Congress, Toronto, Canada, 1913.

Box 3 of 10

Folders 3-4 England and Europe, 1925

Box 3 of 10

Folder 5 Unidentified, but possibly photographs taken on excursion during the XII International Geological Congress, Toronto, Canada, 1913

Box 3 of 10

Folder 6 Unidentified, but possibly Gustav Steinmann, the German geologist, circa 1930

Box 3 of 10

Folder 7 Unidentified, but possibly Ulrich's office at the United States Geological Survey, undated

Box 3 of 10

Loose Two group photographs of the XII International Geological Congress, Toronto, Canada, 1913

Box 3 of 10

Series 3

RESEARCH MATERIALS, CIRCA 1905-1938, AND UNDATED.

Box 4

Folder 1 Chazyan sections. Notes and lists, undated.

Box 4 of 10

Folder 2 Manuscript. "Cincinnati Folio, Descriptive Geology, Stratigraphy," undated

Box 4 of 10

Folder 3 Manuscript. "The Medina and Clinton Formations in the Appalachian Region," 1920.

Box 4 of 10

Folder 4 Manuscript. "The Ordovic in the Cincinnati Uplift," undated.

Box 4 of 10

Folders 5-7 Ordovician fossils. Miscellaneous notes, lists, and plates, 1923-1937, and undated.

Box 4 of 10

Box 5

Folder 1 Richmond Group. Notes and lists, undated.

Box 5 of 10

Folders 2-3 Tennessee Sections. Notes, lists, and maps, 1938, and undated.

Box 5 of 10

Folders 4-7 Miscellaneous notes, lists, plates, charts, maps, and related materials on invertebrate paleontology, undated

Box 5 of 10

Box 6

Folders 1-5 Miscellaneous specimen lists, circa 1905-1936, and undated. Appears to be a draft version of the catalogue to Ulrich's specimen collection.

Box 6 of 10

Series 4

PERSONAL MATERIALS, CIRCA 1890-1933, AND UNDATED.

Box 7

Folder 1 Bank books, 1901-1908

Box 7 of 10

Folder 2 Birthday and Christmas cards, undated

Box 7 of 10

Folder 3 Certificates and awards, 1908-1909, 1914. In cludes American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Social Studies Association.

Box 7 of 10

Folder 4 Drafts of Ulrich's will, undated

Box 7 of 10

Folder 5 Memorabilia, circa 1895-1933, and undated

Box 7 of 10

Folder 6 Newspaper clippings, 1890, 1895. The clippings concern Ulrich's account of the natural resources of Kentucky (18 Dec 1890), and his interest in the position of Kentucky State Geologist and Inspector of Mines.

Box 7 of 10

Folder 7 Notebook and address book, undated

Box 7 of 10

Folder 8 United States Civil Service Commission. Examination for Assistant Geologist, 1901.

Box 7 of 10

Series 5

NEGATIVES.

Box 8

Glass Plate Negatives of Fossils

Box 8 of 10

Box 9

Nitrate Negatives SA7332-8 to SA7332-238

Box 9 of 10

Box 10

Copy Negatives

Box 10 of 10