University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Johan August Udden Papers, ca. 1886-1938

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Udden, Johan August
Title: Johan August Udden Papers
Dates: ca. 1886-1938
Abstract: Johan August Udden was a geologist and an educator whose work with the University of Texas's Bureau of Economic Geology lead to the discovery of the Big Lake Oil Field.
Accession No.: 65-116; 65-166; 93-30; 93-324; 94-117
Extent: 9 ft. 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Dr. Johan August Udden was born in Lekasa, Sweden, March 19, 1859. He immigrated to America at the age of two with his parents, who settled in Minnesota. He earned a Bachelor's degree in 1881 and a Master of Arts in 1889, both from Augustana College. In 1882 he married Johanna Krinina Davis. Udden taught natural science and civics at Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, and from 1888 to 1911 was professor of natural history and geology at Augustana. Udden was also geologist of The University of Texas Mineral Survey, 1903-1904; geologist of the Illinois Geological Survey, 1906-1911; and special agent of the United States Geological Survey, 1908-1914. He became geologist in the Bureau of Economic Geology and Technology of The University of Texas in 1911 and director in 1915. He was made a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University in 1929. His areas of research included stratigraphic and areal geology, work of the atmosphere, and till in the upper Mississippi River Valley. In 1916 Udden advised the University of Texas of the likely presence of oil and gas on UT lands in Reagan County, leading to the discovery of the Big Lake Oil field. Udden died January 5, 1932.

Scope and Contents

Udden’s papers cover his career as a geologist and an educator and include publications, correspondence, geological surveys, reports, charts maps, photographs, notes and clippings.


Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

A portion of the papers is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Phillips, W. B.
Udden, Johan August
Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin. Bureau of Economic Geology.
Geological surveys--United States
Geologists -- Texas -- Biography.
Geology -- Texas.
Oil fields--Texas

Separated Material

Three of Udden’s maps of Texas have been separated to the catalogued Map Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Johan August Udden Papers, ca. 1886-1938, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers



2K137 Newspaper and magazine clippings per oil wells
Paper per fossil ice crystals
Papers per report on lime and cement industry in Texas, 1916
Notebooks, field, oil well
Scrapbook clippings, [ca. 1912]
Geological maps
2K138 Correspondence, personal, dictation copies, 1908-1911
Correspondence of W. B. Phillips, personal:
A - H, 1909-1911
J - Z, 1909-1911
Correspondence, general:
2L403 1909-1910
2K139 Miscellaneous reports and printed material
2L404 Geological surveys of oil and gas wells in Texas counties:
Volumes I-IV, Anderson and Castro
2L405 Volumes V-VIII, Chambers and Eastland
2L406 Volumes IX-XII, Ector and Hemphill
2L407 Volumes XIII-XVI, Henderson and Limestone
2L408 Volumes XVII-XX, Lipscomb and Orange
2L409 Volumes XXI-XXIV, Palo Pinto and Sterling
2L410 Volumes XXV-XXVII [two of volume XXV], Tarrant and Wilbarger
2L411 Writings and papers on geology:
General writings
Papers relating to coal and lignite deposits
Paper relating to highways and roads
Papers relating to oil and gas
Papers relating to sulphur
Minutes of the Engineering Division of the Bureau of Economic Geology
2L412 Publications:
Lists of published writings by J. A. Udden
Published geology papers and writings
Pamphlets and booklets on geology and related references
2L413 Geological notes
Scrapbook, 1920
2L414 Geological maps
Texans and other periodical publications
2K137 Broadsides
2L415 Geological charts [oil wells]
2L416 Newspaper clippings relating to the Bureau of Economic Geology
2L420 Correspondence:
April-November, 1905
February-December, 1907
January-December, 1908
June 1910
May-December, 1912
January-December, 1913
January-December, 1914
January-September, 1915
September 1916
Analysis reports, 1912-1915
4L421 Miscellaneous reports and printed material
CDL 2/J536 (LSF 4522926) Geologic Field Notebooks, 1888-1917
3T234 Photographs:
Core samples
Lava tube formation, Austin, 1917
Burro Mountains
Geological formations in Coke County, Runnels County, Mineral Wells, and unidentified locations, 1918
Half-tone reproductions of geological specimens
NITRATE Unidentified snapshot negatives