Smithsonian Institution Archives

George P. Merrill Collection, circa 1800-1930 and undated


Collection ID:
Merrill, George P. (Georger Perkins), 1854-1929
circa 1800-1930 and undated
Physical Description:
11.79 cu. ft. (21 document boxes) (3 12x17 boxes)
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry

Descriptive Entry
Series 1 includes photographs, portraits, and correspondence collected by Merrill for the above publications. Series 2 through 5 include photographs of groups, particularly of the United States Geological and Geographical Surveys of the Territories (Hayden Surveys); and photographs of geological formations and of buildings in the Washington, D.C. area. Series 6 includes Merrill's professional correspondence as curator at the USNM concerning the exchange and identification of gems and meteorites, expositions and exhibits, and the administration of the USNM and its Department of Geology and Department of Lithology and Physical Geology.
The following lists index correspondence found in the authors' folders in Series 1 and received by James Hall, Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, and George P. Merrill. Other correspondence in Series 1 is indexed by both author and recipient in the Archives' computer index. Merrill's professional correspondence in Series 6 is indexed by author.
Correspondence to James Hall: see Charles Baker Adams, Jean Louis Agassiz, Spencer F. Baird, William Thomas Blanford, John Collett, Timothy Abbott Conrad, James Deane, Amos Eaton, John Wells Foster, Augustus Addison Gould, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, William Frank Eugene Gurley, Joseph Henry, Clarence Luther Herrick, John Frederick William Herschel, Clarence King, Increase Allen Lapham, Albert Ripley Leeds, John Peter Lesley, John Locke, Charles Lyell, Beriju N. Martin, Archibald R. Marvine, William Williams Mather, Charles Sedgwick Minot, Elisha Mitchell, John M. Murrish, John Strong Newberry, David Dale Owen, John B. Perry, Benjamin Peirce, William C. Redfield, Henry Darwin Rogers, James Blythe Rogers, Zadock Thompson, John Torrey, Lardner Vanuxem, Charles M. Wheatley and Jeffries Wyman.
Correspondence to Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden: see Harrison Allen, Joel Asaph Allen, Samuel Aughey, Joachim Barrande, Charles Barrois, William Phipps Blake, William H. Brewer, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin, Robert Collett, Edward Drinker Cope, Elliott Coues, James Dwight Dana, George M. Dawson, Henry Draper, Frederick M. Endlich, George T. Engelmann, Richard Etheridge, Archibald Geikie, Hanns Bruno Geinitz, George Gibbs, Daniel Coit Gilman, August Radcliffe Grote, Arnold Henry Guyot, Herman August Hagen, Samuel Stehman Haldemann, Charles F. Hartt, George W. Hawes, Oswald Heer, Julius Erasmus Hilgard, Edward Singleton Holden, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Eben Norton Horsford, Alpheus Hyatt, Roland Duer Irving, Samuel William Johnson, August A. von Kollicker, L. de Koninck, John Lawrence LeConte, Joseph Leidy, Joshua Lindahl, George Little, Archibald Liversidge, Chester Smith Lyman, John Lynch, Joseph Vander Maelen, Jules Marcou, Othniel Charles Marsh, Fielding Bradford Meek, Benjamin Franklin Mudge, John Strong Newberry, Henry Newton, Hubert Anson Newton, William Harmon Niles, Richard Owen, John Wesley Powell, Joseph Prestwich, Ferdinand von Richtofen, Charles Valentine Riley, Henry Darwin Rogers, William Barton Rogers, Philip Lutley Sclater, Harry Govier Seeley, Benjamin Franklin Shumard, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., Ainsworth Rand Spofford, Edward Suess, Joseph Szabo, William Petit Trowbridge, Franz Ritter von Havery, William Dwight Whitney, Charles Whittlesey, Alexander Newton Winchell, Amos Henry Worthen and Karl Afred von Zittel.
Correspondence to George P. Merrill: see Cleveland Abbe, Frank Dawson Adams, Wilbur Olin Atwater, A. B. Aubest, Charles Babcock, Ray S. Bassler, Tarleton Hoffman Bean, Charles Emerson Beecher, Albert Smith Bickmore, William Phipps Blake, John Caspar Branner, Garland Carr Broadhead, George Jarvis Brush, Samuel Calvin Giovanni Capellini, Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin, William Bullock Clark, Frank Wigglesworth Clarke, Edward Waller Claypole, Emil Cohen, George Hammell Cook, Edward Travers Cox, Alja Robinson Crook, William Otis Crosby, Charles Whitman Cross, Thomas Nelson Dale, William H. Dall, Edward Salisbury Dana, James Dwight Dana, John William Dawson, David T. Day, Orville A. Derby, Joseph Silas Diller, Edwin Theodore Dumble, Thomas Egleston, George Homans Eldridge, Benjamin Kendall Emerson, Samuel Franklin Emmons, Herman Leroy Fairchild, Edward Holyoke Farrington, Oliver Cummings Farrington, Charles Henry Fernald, Merritt Caldwell Fernald, Lazarus Fletcher, Persifor Frazer, Anton Fritsch, Grove Karl Gilbert, Frank Austin Gooch, George Brown Goode, Leon S. Griswold, Arnold Hague, Christopher Webster Hall, William Hallock, Alfred Harker, Abram Winegardner Harris, George W. Hawes, Robert Hay, Rubit J. Hill, William Herbert Hobbs, Joseph A. Holmes, William Henry Holmes, Joseph Paxson Iddings, John Wesley Judd, Orange Judd, Alexis Anastay Julien, James Furman Kemp, Washington Carruthers Kerr, Karl Kraepelin, Samuel P. Langley, Isaac Lea, John Peter Lesley, Henry Carvill Lewis, Joshua Lindahl, Marshall McDonald, Jules Marcou, Otis Tufton Mason, Frederick James Hamilton Merrill, Mansfield Merriman, Adolf B. Meyer, Edward Williams Morley, Charles Edward Munroe, Edward Francis Baxter Orton, Albert Charles Peale, Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose, Jr., James Constantine Pilling, Louis Valentine Pirsson, Daniel Webster Prentiss, John Robert Procter, Charles Smith Prosser, Raphael Pumpelly, Rossiter Worthington Raymond, Hans Reusch, William Jones Rhees, William North Rice, Carl Ludwig Rominger, Israel C. Russell, James Merrill Safford, Frank Lamson Scribner, Joseph William Winthrop Spencer, Frank Springer, Timothy Wilson Stanton, Leonhard Stejneger, John James Stevenson, Ralph Stockman Tarr, William B. Taylor, William Petit Trowbridge, Frederick William True, Peter Tscherwinsky, Charles D. Walcott, Henry Augustus Ward, J. E. Watkins, Walter Harvey Weed, James Clarke Welling, Thomas C. Weston, Charles Abiathar White, David White, Theodore G. White, George Huntington Williams, Henry Shaler Williams, J. Francis Williams, Bailey Willis, Thomas Wilson, Alexander Newton Winchell, Henry Woodward and William S. Yeates.

Historical Note

Historical Note
George P. Merrill (1854-1929) graduated from the University of Maine in 1879 with a B.S. degree in chemistry and then accepted a teaching position at Wesleyan University. There he became acquainted with George Brown Goode, who helped curate Wesleyan's museum collections in addition to administering the United States National Museum (USNM). Later, Merrill earned his M.S., 1883, and Ph.D., 1889, degrees from the University of Maine. In 1917 he received an honorary Sc.D. degree from The George Washington University where he was professor of Mineralogy and Geology from 1893 to 1916.
In the winter of 1880-1881 Merrill was appointed aide at the United States Bureau of Fisheries. In July 1881 he transferred to the USNM where he was employed as an aide in the Department of Mineralogy. The following year he was promoted to assistant in the Department's Section of Building Stones. Subsequently, he held positions as acting curator, Department of Lithology and Physical Geology, 1883-1885; curator, Department of Lithology and Physical Geology, 1886- 1890; curator, Department of Geology, 1890-1916; curator, Division of Physical and Chemical Geology (Systematics and Applied), 1898-1929; and head curator, Department of Geology, 1917-1929.
Merrill pioneered in the study of using stone for building purposes and in the study of the process of rock weathering. Later, he applied petrology to the study of meteorites.
In addition to his scientific work, Merrill was a historian of North American geology. In connection with his two works on the history of American geology, "Contributions to the History of American Geology" (Report of the United States National Museum for 1904, pp. 189-733) and The First One Hundred Years of American Geology (1924), Merrill assembled a collection of photographs and correspondence, with many of the photographs and portraits appearing in this collection.


Finding aid prepared by Smithsonian Institution Archives

Using the Collection

Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7177, George P. Merrill Collection

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Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Merrill, George P. (Georger Perkins), 1854-1929 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, James, 1811-1898 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hayden, F. V. (Ferdinand Vandeveer), 1829-1887 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, 1871-1877 Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States National Museum. Department of Geology Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geology Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Natural history Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geologists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific expeditions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Color photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white negatives Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Picture postcards Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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