These papers consist of correspondence with conchologists, naturalists, and shell collectors pertaining to shell collections and exchanges, and responses to Shimek's questionnaires on Pomatiopsis lapidarias and other shells; notebooks listing personal names of those to whom Shimek sent his publications on loess, geology, and botany; a notebook containing names of Czech-Americans; a notebook containing personal names listed under the counties of Iowa; field notes and diaries documenting Shimek's scientific field explorations throughout the Midwest, the Atlantic coastal states, the South, the Southwest, and Nicaragua; photographs showing mostly geological features and flora; a scrapbook on the geology of several counties of Iowa; a class book kept by Shimek while he was an instructor at the University of Nebraska; maps of different localities in Iowa and Nebraska; bibliographical cards on geological formations, shells, loess, and botany, arranged by subject and alphabetically thereunder; newspaper clippings, journal articles, and speeches, probably on soil erosion and prevention, and on foreign immigration.
Bohumil Shimek (1861-1937) studied civil engineering at the State University of Iowa (SUI), where he received a C.E. degree in 1883 and an M.S. degree in 1902. He served as railroad and county surveyor for Johnson County, Iowa, 1883-1885, and taught sciences at Iowa City High School, 1885-1888. From 1888 until 1890, Shimek was an instructor in zoology at the University of Nebraska. From 1890 to 1932, he taught botany at SUI and served as the head of the Department of Botany, 1914-1919. In 1914, Shimek was an exchange professor at Charles University in Prague. Shimek was also Curator of the Herbarium, SUI, 1895-1937; President of the Iowa State Academy of Sciences, 1904-1905; a geologist for the Iowa State Geological Survey, 1908-1929; and Director of the Lakeside Laboratory, Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Shimek's interest in the natural sciences and geology covered many areas, but he was mostly known for his study of loess, loess fossils, and fossil malacology in Iowa and the prairie states. He was the author of the term, NEBRASKAN, which is used to describe the layer underneath the Aftonian interglacial deposits.
Smithsonian Institution Archives
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