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

Accession 20-089

McGee, W J, 1853-1912

William John McGee Papers, circa 1883, 1890

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: McGee, W J, 1853-1912
Title: William John McGee Papers
Dates: circa 1883, 1890
Quantity: 0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Collection: Accession 20-089
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

W J McGee (William John McGee was known to his colleagues and signed his notebooks as "W J McGee", without periods) was a geologist with the United States Geological Survey primarily in charge of surveying the Atlantic Coastal Plain, 1881-1893 and was an ethnologist in charge of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) at the Smithsonian Institution from 1893 to 1903. After resigned from the BAE McGee lead the Department of Anthropology of the St. Louis Exposition. Then, from 1905 to 1907, he was the first Director of the Saint Louis Public Museum. In March of 1907 he was elected Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the federally created Inland Waterways Commission and also was appointed as an expert on soil waters in the Bureau of Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture; he held both positions until his death in Washington, D.C. in 1912. The McGee Papers consist of four field books from his geological trip during the summer of 1890 that saw him go from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania, then on down to Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. There is also one field book that contains his geological observations in Iowa. The field books document his geological observations and include occasional drawings and lists of expenses incurring during his travel. For additional materials related to McGee, the National Anthropological Archives and the University of Arizona have collections of photographs taken while McGee was at the BAE, while the Library of Congress holds the W J McGee Papers, 1880-1912.

Descriptive Entry

W J McGee (William John McGee was known to his colleagues and signed his notebooks as "W J McGee", without periods) was a geologist with the United States Geological Survey primarily in charge of surveying the Atlantic Coastal Plain, 1881-1893 and was an ethnologist in charge of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) at the Smithsonian Institution from 1893 to 1903. After resigned from the BAE McGee lead the Department of Anthropology of the St. Louis Exposition. Then, from 1905 to 1907, he was the first Director of the St. Louis Public Museum. In March of 1907 he was elected Vice-Chairman and Secretary of the federally created Inland Waterways Commission and also was appointed as an expert on soil waters in the Bureau of Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture; he held both positions until his death in Washington, D.C. in 1912.

The McGee Papers consist of four field books from his geological trip during the summer of 1890 that saw him go from Washington, D.C. to Pennsylvania, then on down to Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. There is also one field book that contains his geological observations in Iowa. The field books document his geological observations and include occasional drawings and lists of expenses incurring during his travel.

For additional materials related to McGee, the National Anthropological Archives and the University of Arizona have collections of photographs taken while McGee was at the BAE, while the Library of Congress holds the W J McGee Papers, 1880-1912.

Top of Page

Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 20-089, William John McGee Papers

Top of Page

Container List

Box 1

Folder 1 Field book: Farley, Iowa - Tenth Census trip, circa 1883

Box 1 of 1

Folder 2 Field book: June 2-11, 1890 - Washington, D.C. to Berwick, Pennsylvania; Field book: June 25-July 27, 1890 - Atlanta, Georgia to Stafford's Well, Mississippi

Box 1 of 1

Folder 3 Field book: July 28-August 15, 1890 - Stafford's Well, Mississippi to Hot Springs, Arkansas; Field book: August 16-October 24, 1890 - Little Rock, Arkansas to Newport, Arkansas

Box 1 of 1