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Guide to the George Davis Louderback Papers, 1900-1956
BANC MSS C-B 928  
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: George Davis Louderback Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1900-1956
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 928
    Creator: Louderback, George D. (George Davis), 1874-1957
    Extent: Number of containers: 32 boxes, 10 cartons, 1 portfolio, and 1 package Linear feet: 25.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    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.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George Davis Louderback Papers, BANC MSS C-B 928, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Related Collections

    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.