Guide to the George S. Morison Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0978
Creators:
Morison, George S., 1842-1903
Dates:
1846-1903
Languages:
English
Some materials in French and Spanish.
Physical Description:
30 Cubic feet
61 boxes and 152 map-folders
Repository:
The collection documents the career of George S. Morison, a prominent civil engineer, specializing in railroad bridge design. The materials consist primarily of drawings and maps (linen tracings, blueprints, sketches); final bridge reports; photographs; glass plate negatives; daily diaries; correspondence; and published material documenting George S. Morison's participation on the Isthmian Canal Commission, 1898-1903.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Diaries, 1863-1903
Subseries 1.1: Biographical Materials, 1863-1903
Subseries 1.2: Diaries, 1863-1903
Subseries 1.3: Newspaper Clippings, 1880-1898
Series 2: Correspondence, 1870-1903
Series 3: Reports/Printed Materials, 1846-1903
Series 4: Photographs, 1888, 1892-1893
Series 5: Glass Plate Negatives, 1886-1889
Subseries 5.1: Bellefontaine Bridge, undated
Subseries 5.2: Blair Crossing, 1893
Subseries 5.3: Cairo Bridge, 1888-1889
Subseries 5.4: Kansas City Bridge, 1886
Subseries 5.5: Memphis Bridge, circa 1893
Subseries 5.6: Memphis Bridge, 1891-1893
Subseries 5.7: Nebraska City Bridge, 1887-1888
Subseries 5.8: Omaha Bridge, undated
Subseries 5.9: Panama Canal, undated
Subseries 5.10: Rulo Bridge, 1886-1889
Subseries 5.11: Sioux City, circa 1881
Series 6: Lantern Slides, 1878-1894
Subseries 6.1: Isthmian Canal, undated
Subseries 6.2: General, 1878-1894
Series 7: Drawings, circa 1881-1900

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Morison (1842-1903) of Peterborough, New Hampshire, was a prominent civil engineer specializing in railroad bridge design. He built ten bridges over the Missouri River, five over the Mississippi River and one over the Ohio River. Morison designed bridges in New York, and worked on the New York waterfront. He also helped to locate a deep water harbor in southern California and designed and built several viaducts.
Morison served on numerous engineering boards and acted as a consulting expert for Baring Brothers Company. Morison was a member of several important engineering committees, the most important of which was the Isthmus Canal (Panama Canal) Commission, 1899-1903. He was instrumental in changing its recommended location from Nicaragua to Panama.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2014.
Separated Materials
Artifacts related to this collection are in the Division of Work & Industry (See accessions #1984.1093 and #1993.0113) and includes camera equipment, drafting curves, and an omnimeter transit with tripod.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Robert S. Morison, Elting Morison, and John H. Morison on June 17, 1985.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives
Preferred Citation
George Morison Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
George W. Sims Papers, 1896-1981. (AC0127)
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921 (AC0143)
Silas H. Woodard Papers, ca. 1899-1932 (AC1038)
Materials in Other Organizations
Minnesota Historical Society
Engineering Dept. records. Northern Pacific Railway Company records, 1867-1970.
Subject files (1867-1970); accounting records (1879-1921); standard plans for buildings, bridges, and other structures ([188-]-[196-]); track profile maps (1890-1927); and bridge records (1892-1960) created or compiled by the Northern Pacific administrative unit responsible for locating, surveying, constructing, and maintaining roadways and structures. Contains letter press books for George S. Morison.
Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey
Includes photographs and drawings for some of Morison's bridges.

Accruals
Accruals
Additional materials documenting George S. Morison were donated by Christina M. Leonard, Elting E. Morison, and John H. Morison on June 22, 1993.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry in 2006.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bridges -- Design and construction Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad bridges Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peterborough (NH) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Panama Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tracings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baring Brothers Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Isthmian Canal Commission. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives