Barbour, Erwin Hinckley, 1856-1947

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Erwin H. Barbour was born in Springfield, Indiana, on April 5, 1856. He received both his A.B. in 1882 and Ph.D. in 1887 from Yale University. He worked for the United States Paleontological Survey from 1882 to 1888 before becoming professor of natural history and geology at Iowa College in Grinnell, Iowa. In July 1891, he accepted the position of professor of geology and zoology at the University of Nebraska and became director of the State Museum. He remained a vital member of the university, community, and state for more than fifty years.

In 1891, Barbour made his first expedition to western Nebraska where he collected fossil and geological specimens and studied geological formations. This was the first of yearly expeditions to build the museum collection and to increase his knowledge of the state's natural resources. The author of more than 350 publications, Barbour wrote about such topics as paleontology, geology, and economic geology of Nebraska. He organized and served as the director of the Nebraska Geological Survey beginning in 1891 until 1921 when it became the Conservation and Survey Division of the University.

Barbour was responsible for preparing University of Nebraska exhibits for the 1896 Trans-Mississippi Exposition and award-winning exhibits related to education and natural resources in Nebraska for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904. He received numerous additional honors, including a medal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the best designed homemade windmill in 1904 and the Lincoln Kiwanis Club medal for distinguished service as a teacher, scientist, and citizen in 1935.

Active in his fields of research and in his community, Barbour was a member of several scholarly and civic organizations. He belonged to the Geological Society of America, the Association of American Museums, the Paleontological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Nebraska Ornithologists Union, the Seismological Society, and the Nebraska Academy of Science. Barbour served on the school board, city park board, cemetery board, and city planning commission for Lincoln, Nebraska, and was chairman of the court of honor for the city's Boy Scouts. An artist who illustrated his own publications, Barbour designed mosaics for the Nebraska state capitol building and was a director of the Nebraska Art Association.

He was married to Margaret Roxanna Lamson in 1887 and they had one daughter, Eleanor Barbour. He died in 1947.

From the guide to the Erwin H. Barbour, Papers, Museum Photograph Series, 1889-1938

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn University of Nebraska--Lincoln. Libraries. University Archives/Special Collections. Erwin H. Barbour, papers, museum photograph series 1889-1938. University of Nebraska - Lincoln
creatorOf Erwin H. Barbour, Papers, Museum Photograph Series, 1889-1938 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
referencedIn Goodale, George L. (George Lincoln), 1839-1923. Papers of George Lincoln Goodale, 1885-1921. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Johnson, F. Walker. Papers, 1931-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Vertebrate Paleontology. General correspondence files, [ca. 1887]-1966. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Cook, Harold James, 1887-1962. Papers, 1905-1964. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Frick, Childs, 1883-1965. Notebooks, 1922-1964. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Vertebrate Paleontology. corporateBody
associatedWith Barbour family family
associatedWith Cook family (Agate, Neb.) family
associatedWith Cook, Harold James, 1887-1962. person
associatedWith Darton, Nelson Horatio, 1865-1948 person
associatedWith Frick, Childs, 1883-1965. person
associatedWith Goodale, George L. (George Lincoln), 1839-1923. person
associatedWith Johnson, F. Walker. person
associatedWith Morrill, Charles Henry, 1842-1922 person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
associatedWith University of Nebraska State Museum corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Oregon
Southern States
Nebraska
California
Kansas
Lincoln (Neb.)
Glacier National Park (Mont.)
Switzerland
Florida
Yellowstone National Park
Black Hills (S.D. and Wyo.)
England
New Orleans (La.)
Bermuda Islands
Morrill Hall (University of Nebraska Lincoln)
Colorado
University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus)
France
South Dakota
Utah
Vancouver (B.C.)
Washington (State)
Subject
Rivers
Rocks
Sandhills (Neb.)
Spring
Stone buildings
Streets
Taxidermy
Tornadoes
Trans
Universities & colleges
Vertebrates, Fossil
Waterfalls
Wells
Windmills
Zoological specimens
Floods
Alkali industry and trade
Anthropology
Arts
Badlands
Buildings
Camps
Cement
Cemeteries
Cement industries
Cities & towns
Class reunions (Yale University)
Clay industries
Cork industry
Daemonelix
Dams
Geology, Economic
Educational facilities
Erosion
Farms
Fossils
Geology
Geology
Glacial landforms
Glaciers
Houses
Invertebrates, Fossil
Lakes & ponds
Landforms
Landscapes
Leaves, Fossil
Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.)
Mills and mill-work
Minerals
Museums
Nebraska State Fair
Oil wells
Paleobotany
Paleontology
Paleontology
Paleontology
Parks
Potash industry and trade
Quarrying
Ranches
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1856

Death 1947

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