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Inventory of the R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence
    Dates: 1897-1928
    Collection Number: 2005C23
    Collector: Penrose, R.A.F.
    Collection Size: 1 manuscript box (0.4 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Consists primarily of letters received from Herbert Hoover, relating to international mining, World War I Belgian relief, and American politics.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2004.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Alternative Forms of Material Available

    Several of the letters in this collection are reproduced in the book, Life and Letters of R.A.F. Penrose, edited by Helen R. Fairbanks and Charles P. Berkey (New York: Geological Society of America, 1952).

    Related Materials

    Sir Alfred Chester Beatty correspondence, Hoover Institution Archives
    Bewick, Moreing and Company miscellaneous records, Hoover Institution Archives
    William Joseph Loring papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Broken Hill Mines, engravings, Hoover Institution Archives
    R.A.F. Penrose correspondence and papers, American Philosophical Society
    Pre-Commerce papers, Herbert Hoover papers, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, West Branch, IA

    Biographical/Historical Note

    1863, December 17 Born, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    1885 Obtains Ph.D. from Harvard University
    1886-1888 Manager of mines, Anglo-Canadian Phosphate Company
    Circa 1880s-1890s Works as field geologist, best known for his work of surveying mines and claims at Cripple Creek, Colorado (1894-1895)
    1892-1911 Associate, and later full, Professor of Economic Geology, University of Chicago
    1895-1903 Co-founder, and later president, Commonwealth Mining and Milling Company, Territory of Arizona
    1899-1915 Director of Cripple Creek Sampling and Ore Company, Colorado; member of executive committee of the Hanover Bessemer Iron Ore Association, Fierro, New Mexico
    1903 Co-founds Utah Copper Company, which subsequently develops the Bingham Canyon mine
    1920-1921 Founder and first president, Society of Economic Geologists
    1930 Elected President, Geological Society of America
    1931, July 31 Dies, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The R.A.F. Penrose miscellaneous correspondence consists primarily of letters received from Herbert Hoover, relating to international mining and World War I Belgian relief, as well as related correspondence from others about Hoover and his activities, such as Belgian relief and Hoover's campaign for the presidency in 1928.
    Hoover's first contact with Penrose appears to have been during his days as a geology student at Stanford University. The earliest correspondence from Hoover to Penrose in this collection, however, dates from 1897, two years after Hoover's graduation, when he sought a recommendation letter from Penrose for a job he was applying for: that of a mining engineer with the British firm of Bewick, Moreing and Company. Hoover's successive appointments with Bewick, Moreing in Western Australia and in China laid the foundation for his successful career as a mining engineer, and several of his letters to Penrose detail his earliest activities, plans, and ambitions in these places. In addition, Hoover provided detailed descriptions of mining prospects, wrote to Penrose seeking recommendations on staff to hire, and on one occasion asked Penrose for information regarding gold deposits in Colorado, which Penrose had surveyed during the previous decade.
    Later correspondence to Penrose, as well as correspondence from others to Penrose, dealt largely with Hoover's activities as the chairman of the Commission for Relief in Belgium in World War I. Included is a group of letters between Penrose and his brother, U.S. Senator Boies Penrose, who was reluctant to lend his support to Hoover's activities.
    The collection was acquired in 2004 from Custodians of History, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
    Sources: Dictionary of American Biography, 1936; Website, National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum, www.mininghalloffame.org/ , accessed May 2011.


    The R.A.F. Penrose Miscellaneous correspondence collection is divided into two series: Correspondence, Herbert Hoover to R.A.F. Penrose; and Other correspondence related to Herbert Hoover. Both series are arranged chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964.
    Mines and mineral resources.
    World War, 1914-1918, Civilian relief.
    Commission for Relief in Belgium (1914-1930)
    United States--Politics and government--1923-1929