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Bejamin Franklin Shumard’s field notebooks

This week's manuscripts are the field notebooks of Benjamin Franklin Shumard.  Shumard and G.C. Swallow (the namesake for Swallow Hall) completed a geological survey of Missouri in 1855-1858.  The notebooks were donated to the MU Libraries by a relative, Miss Shumard, in 1910.

Shumard was a medical doctor who focused on geology for the first part of his career; working in various states on geological surveys beginning in 1846.  In 1858, he left Missouri for Texas, but he returned in 1860 and lived in St. Louis until his death in 1869.  He was a professor of obstetrics at the University of Missouri medical school (located in St. Louis at the time) and president of the St. Louis Academy of Science. (From the Handbook of Texas Online)

We're not sure to what extent these notebooks have been published.  Shumard left the Missouri Geological Survey before the work was completed, but his observations are noted in later publications.  There are papers relating to Shumard's work at the Missouri State Archives, the Missouri State Historical Society, and the Texas State Archives.




Kelli Hansen

Kelli Hansen is head of the Special Collections and Rare Books department.

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