University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Geological Survey of Texas Records, 1884-1898

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Geological Survey of Texas
Title: Geological Survey of Texas Records
Dates: 1884-1898
Abstract: The records include correspondence, memoranda, reports and records relating to activities of the third geologic survey of Texas, 1888 to 1898.
Accession No.: 83-246
Extent: 1 ft. 6.5 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Before 1909 the Texas legislature established and funded state geological surveys, beginning in 1858 with the Geological and Agricultural Survey of Texas, which continued until 1867, though it was suspended during the Civil War. In 1870 the legislature formed the second geological survey, with John W. Glenn as state geologist. Like the first, the second survey was surrounded by political turmoil. It finally began work in 1873 and survived only three years.

The third survey of the nineteenth century, the Geological and Mineralogical Survey, was established in 1888 by the Twentieth Legislature received state appropriations for six years and continued without funding for an additional five years before it officially ended in 1901. Under the direction of Edwin T. Dumble the third survey produced the scientific work that laid the foundation of Texas geological research. The annual reports of the survey contained studies of the regional geology of the state as well as special papers on mineral resources, including lignite, which was one of the most important commodities of the time.

Despite its accomplishments, the survey was a subject of conflict in the Twenty-third Legislature and was denied funding by Governor James S. Hogg in 1893. When funding was reconsidered in 1895, Governor Charles A. Culberson also vetoed the budget. During the disputes over the survey, the legislature transferred the library, records, and collections of the survey to the University of Texas. In 1901, when it established the University of Texas Mineral Survey, the Twenty-seventh Legislature began to shift responsibility for the survey to the university. The transfer of the geological survey to the university became complete in 1909, when the UT regents founded the Bureau of Economic Geology.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "Geological Surveys of Texas," (accessed October 22, 2009).

Scope and Contents

The records include correspondence, memoranda, reports and records relating to activities of the third geologic survey of Texas, 1888 to 1898, headed by E. T. Dumble.


Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
W. F. Cummins
Dumble, E. T.
Drake, N. F.
Stone, James L.
Taff, A. G.
Von Streeruwitz, W. H.
Walker, Joseph B.
Subjects (Organizations)
Geological Survey of Texas
Geological surveys--Texas--History.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Geological Survey of Texas Records, 1884-1898, 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



2H24 Letter-Press:
May-October, 1893
Index to analyses' records
2H25 Analyses
Field notebooks
2.325/A156b A. G. Taff field notebook, “Notes on Iron Ores and Geologic Formations in Portions of East Texas,” ca. 1889-1890
2H26 Field notebooks
Survey reports
3L416 Miscellaneous - Rough notes
4K363 Distribution record, A