Information for Researchers
Scope and Content
Collection Title: George Davis Louderback Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1900-1956
Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 928
Louderback, George D. (George Davis), 1874-1957
Number of containers: 32 boxes, 10 cartons, 1 portfolio, and 1 package
Linear feet: 25.5
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, and papers, pertaining to his activities as geologist, as professor, and as Dean of the College of
Letters and Science, University of California, Berkeley, and as member of the advisory board of the University of California
at Santa Barbara.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft
Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which
must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], George Davis Louderback Papers, BANC MSS C-B 928, The Bancroft Library, University of California,
George Davis Louderback papers, [ca. 1914-16]. BANC MSS 83/65 cz
Materials Cataloged Separately
Photographs have transferred to Pictorial Collections. See Portrait File, 6543-6562.
Maps have been transferred to the Map Collections of The Bancroft Library.
George Davis Louderback, geologist, was born in San Francisco on April 6, 1874. He attended public schools in San Francisco,
and then went to the University of California, where he was an assistant in mineralogy from 1897 to 1900. After obtaining
his doctorate in Berkeley, he went to the University of Nevada for six years, and here developed the department of geology
and mineralogy and aided in the organization of the Mackay School of Mines. At this time he was also a research assistant
for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, specializing in studies of Nevada geology. In 1906 he returned to the University
of California as an assistant professor, becoming a full professor in 1917. From 1914 to 1916 Louderback was in charge of
geological expeditions into the interior of China, first for the Standard Oil Company of New York, and later for the Chinese
government. He was chairman of the Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources for the State Council Defense during the first
World War, and at this time was also in charge of war mineral investigations in California for the U. S. Geological Survey.
He accepted the deanship of the College of Letters and Science from 1920 to 1922, and later from 1930 to 1939, for the purpose
of reorganizing rules and curriculum. In addition to his duties in the Department of Geological Sciences, he was chairman
of the department, and active in many university committees. In 1928, he was appointed member of the state commission investigating
the St. Francis Dam failure, and subsequently was geological consultant for the construction and safety of dams in California.
In 1929 he was delegate to the Pacific Science Congress in Java.
Louderback belonged to the Geological Society of America and to many scientific societies. He was one of the founders of Theta
Tau, and participated in other fraternal organizations. Other activities included the direction and editorship of the Seismological
Society of America and its Bulletin, and chairmanship of the board of editors for the Bulletin of Geological Sciences and
the Bulletin of the Seismographic Station of the University of California. He was also appointed faculty research lecturer
in 1940, and received an honorary LL.D. degree from the University in 1946.
Professor Louderback wrote numerous articles on basin range structure, coast range geology, fault lines, sedimentation in
the San Francisco Bay region, and earthquakes. His interest in mineralogy, reflected in his discovery of Benitoite and other
minerals, was also a subject for papers.
Although Louderback retired in 1944, he continued work on various committees, particularly the advisory board for the University
of California at Santa Barbara. He also maintained research and published many articles in various scientific publications.
He died in Berkeley on Jan. 27, 1957.
Scope and Content
The Louderback Papers, transferred to Bancroft Library from Archives in July 1964, contain correspondence relating to Louderback's
teaching duties, to his editorship of the U. C. Geological series, and to his geological interests; diaries of a rather sketchy
nature; subject files pertaining mainly to his participation in various University committees, and to the founding of the
Santa Barbara campus.
A key to arrangement and a partial list of correspondents follows.