This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
These papers consist of memoranda and correspondence concerning USGS publications, identification of specimens, and collection and field reports submitted to the USGS; miscellaneous writings; field and locality notes; a specimen list; and a small group of autograph letters of 18th and 19th century European scientists collected by Kirk.
Edwin Kirk (1884-1955) was educated at Columbia University where he received his Ph.D. degree in 1911. While at Columbia, Kirk was an Assistant to Amadeus W. Grabau, one of America's foremost teachers of geology and paleontology. In 1907, Kirk left Columbia to become an Assistant Paleontologist with the United States Geological Survey (USGS). In 1909, he was promoted to Junior Geologist, and subsequently held positions as Assistant Geologist, 1911-1913; Associate Geologist, 1913-1914; Paleontologist, 1914-1920; Associate Geologist, 1921-1952; and Geologist, 1952-1954. In 1920, Kirk interrupted his service with the USGS to become a paleontologist with the Bolivia-Argentina Exploration Corporation.
When Kirk joined the USGS he was an Assistant to Edward Oscar Ulrich, studying Ordovician and Silurian sediments of the Appalachians. Later, Kirk made field trips to the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and southeastern Alaska. Kirk also had an avocational interest in the history of science.
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