Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate (1841-1906) Papers, 1841-1906

Held by The Filson Historical Society 

Creator:  Shaler, Nathaniel Southgate, 1841-1906 

Title:  Papers, 1841-1906 

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department. 

Size of Collection:  2 cubic feet 

Location Number:  Mss. A S528 

Scope and Content Note 

Papers of Shaler primarily from the years ca. 1870-1885, while he was with the Kentucky Geological Survey, and while a professor at the Lawrence Scientific School of Harvard University. The collection includes his manuscript drafts for scientific and geological articles, book chapters, government reports, and lectures; several draft copies of his letters; and scientific notes. 

Biographical Note 

1841 Born near Newport, Kentucky. 

1862 Graduated from Harvard. 

1862 Married Sophia Penn Page. 

1862-1864 Served with the 5th Kentucky Volunteer Battery. 

1864 Returned to Harvard to teach. 

1868 Lectured on paleontology at Harvard. 

1873 Appointed state geologist for Kentucky. 

1884 Became professor of geology at Harvard. 

1891 Became dean of Harvard’s Lawrence Scientific School. 

1906 Shaler died on Martha’s Vineyard. 

Folder List 

Box 1 

1 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • An Act to Continue the Geological and Other [illegible] in the State.
  • Abstract of a Paper “On the Geology of the New Haven Region” by J. D. (James Dwight) Dana

2 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • The Brick and Pottery Clays of Kentucky

3 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Lake Champlain Basin (2 copies)
  • North American Climate (incomplete article or lecture)
  • Climate and the Cause of Climate Change – notes for a work on climates (book layout)
  • On the Continuance of Selective Force in Society

4 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Directions for the Collection of water from Licking [River], by N. S. Shaler, Newport, KY 19 March 1874
  • On Differentiation by Migration and Intermigration

5 Geological and scientific manuscripts and notes

  • On the Existence of Mountain Ridges on the Floors of the Deeper Seas
  • On the Formation of the Continents
  • Formation of Caverns
  • Causes of Climate Change
  • Notes for the Meeting of [illegible] of Kentucky
  • Orthis [illegible]
  • General Remarks on Brachiopoda
  • Rodents
  • Coral Islands
  • Atlantic and Pacific
  • Explanations
  • On the Amount of Coast Erosion since the Glacial Period
  • Scattered / incomplete notes
  • Plan for Salaries including expenses

6 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • General Considerations for a Geological Atlas (typed)
  • General Report of the Geological Survey for the Year 1873, Introductory Letter
  • General Report on the Resources of the Kentucky River
  • Geological Problems of the Environs of Boston

 Box 2 

7 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Geology of the Coral Between Boston and New York City
  • Notes on Six Lectures on the Geology of the Environs of Boston

8 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Geology of the Greenup County (KY) District
  • The Geology of North America (incomplete pencil manuscript)
  • On the Growth of Classifications

9 Geological and scientific manuscripts.


Box 3 

10 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Harbors (typescript)
  • History of the Earthquake of 1811 Commonly Known as that of New Madrid

11 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Illustrations of the Earth’s Surface. Mountains (typescript with handwritten notes)

12 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Intellectual Education of Animals
  • Islands and Island Life (typescript)

13 Letters of N. S. Shaler.

  • Letter to the Academic Council of Harvard University, 20 December , copy
  • Letter to President Eliot (of Harvard University), 1 February 1875, copy
  • Letter to “Dear Sir” [no recipient given], 1 January 1876, draft
  • Letter to “Dear Sir” [no recipient given], 24 March 1878 [unfinished]

14 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  •  Mountains (manuscript written for Scribner’s, typescript)
  • On the Movement of Water in the Center of the Earth
  • Museums of Natural History

Box 4 

15 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Notes on the Chestertown (Illegible) Warren Co. NY
  • Notes on the Glacial Phenomena of Colorado
  • Notes on Mound Builders

16 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Observations of Gastropods
  • Origins of the (illegible) Sediments of the Kentucky Rocks

17 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Twenty lectures on Paleontology
  • On the Phenomena of Earthquakes

18 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Physical Geography and Geology test questions
  • Plans for the work on Antiquities of Kentucky
  • Place of the Origins of Man
  • Preliminary Report of the Division of (illegible) Rocks According to their Specific Gravity
  • Problems of the Geologist in the Work of the Sea
  • Proposition Concerning the Motion of Continental Glaciers
  • Provisional Description, Family Strophamenidea King

19 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Questions of Post-Glacial History
  • List of Questions of Students in Eastern Massachusetts

20 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  •  Handwritten Copy of Patent Divitial Invention by Rafinesque

Box 5 

21 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Appendix Report on the Geological Structure of the Peninsula of the Eastern Virginia, and on the Formation of the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
  • Report of N. S. Shaler on the System of Geological Observations to be Made by the United States Coast Survey in Connection with its Regular Topographical Work, 8 October 1870 (2 copies)
  • Roman Admixture in North Europe Populations

22 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Two Lectures by C. Schenk (handwritten in German)
  • A Sketch of the Geology of the Narragansatt Coal Fields

23 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Copy of John Cleves Symmes, Jr. Announcement of Hollow Earth
  • Synopsis of Paper on Reelfoot Lake
  • The Study of Fossils – Methods of Investigation
  • Topography of Kentucky

24 Postcard to Mrs. N. S. Shaler from Shaler; receipt of goods purchased by Mrs. Shaler in 1869. 

25 Geological and scientific manuscripts

  • Miscellaneous notes of Shaler on projects

26 Geological and scientific manuscripts.

  • Manuscript on Peat
  • Forests and Prairies
  • On the Origin of the Prairies in the District East of the Mississippi River
  • Untitled Manuscript starting on page 444

 Box 6 

Geological and scientific manuscripts; and miscellaneous materials.