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Special Collections & Archives

Manuscript Group 138

Harold Thornton Stearns

Papers, 1905-1975

1 c.f.

The papers of Harold Stearns were received by the Special Collections Department of the University of Idaho Library sometime prior to 1984. They were processed by Judith Nielsen in October 1985.


Harold Thornton Stearns was born in Wallingford, Connecticut on August 25, 1900. He received his B.S. degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut in 1921, and his Ph.D. in geology from George Washington University in 1926.

He began his career with the United States Geological Survey in 1923 and was the author of numerous reports to the General Land Office on Carey Act and Irrigation Projects in Idaho. He also explored the Craters of the Moon region and was the author of the report to the National Park Service recommending the area be set aside as a national monument, which it was in 1924.

From 1924 to 1925 he traveled around the world visiting the volcanoes of Hawaii, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Java, Sumatra, Africa, and Italy. He was the geologist in charge of Hawaiian ground water investigations from 1943 to 1946.

He was a member of the Geological Society of Washington, the International Geophysical Union - Section Volcanology, and the Seismological Society of America.

Following his retirement from the U.S.G.S. he made his home in Hope, Idaho.


The papers of Harold T. Stearns span the years 1905 to 1975 with the bulk of the material covering the years 1930 to 1945.

The papers include printed articles by Stearns and others on Pacific island volcanoes and ground water studies, typescripts of two articles and typed abstracts of others. There are also original illustrations for many of Stearn's articles as well as some unidentified drawings. Also included are articles on geologic features in the western United States.


The material in this record group was in no apparent order when processing began. Since the majority of the material concerns Hawaii and other Pacific islands it was decided to sort the material geographically. Some material was in labeled folders or envelopes. This material was kept together and the original label retained.

The first series concerns volcanoes and ground water studies of the Pacific islands and includes four printed articles by Stearns, typescripts or abstracts of other Stearns articles, numerous original drawings, including those used to illustrated four articles published in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 56, 1945. There are also short articles by other authors and typed copies of letters dealing with a visit to the 1859 eruption of Mauna Loa.

The second series includes an article by Stearns on Yellowstone Park and the illustrations for an article on the Eagle Rock volcanic area in Idaho. Also included are articles on the Coeur d'Alene mining area, the Swan Valley reservoir, and a report on ground water in the Targhee National Forest.

Two areas outside the U.S. which are included in this series are Iceland, represented by a typed translation of a chapter on volcanoes in Iceland from a book by Th. Thoroddsen, and Mexico, represented by a Life magazine article on Paricutin.



I. Pacific Islands, 1925-1945 1 & o.s.

II. United States and Elsewhere, 1905-1975 1



Box Folder Description Items

I. Pacific Islands, 1925-1945

1	1-4	Reprints of articles by H.T. Stearns, 1925-1944	14
	5-8	Typescripts and abstracts of articles by H.T. Stearns, 1924-1945	20
	9-12	Illustrations for articles appearing in the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 56, 1945	21
	13-16	Illustrations for unspecified publications, n.d.	45
	17	Photograph and correspondence with Life re: a Pacific atoll, 1945	4
O.S.	18	Drawings of mountains and shorelines, n.d.	5
1	19-23	Articles by others, 1930-1937	23

II. United States and Elsewhere, 1905-1975

	24-31	United States, 1927-1975	31
	32	Volcanoes in Iceland, 1905	2
	33	Paricutin (Mexico), 1944	1

July 1997 / mg138.htm

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