Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Raphael Pumpelly Papers: Finding Aid
mssPumpelly papers  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (69.84 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Raphael Pumpelly Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1839-1916
    Collection Number: mssPumpelly papers
    Creator: Pumpelly, Raphael, 1837-1923.
    Extent: Approximately 3,500 pieces in 15 boxes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection chiefly consists of correspondence and some papers related to the lives and family affairs of American geologist and explorer Raphael Pumpelly (1837-1923) and his wife, Eliza Shepard Pumpelly (died 1915).
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Raphael Pumpelly Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Raphael Pumpelly (grandson of the geologist), January 28, 1960.

    Biographical Note

    Raphael Pumpelly (1837-1923), American geologist and explorer, studied at the Royal School of Mines in Freiberg. He accepted a post in 1861 as a geologist for the Japanese government, and served two years in that position before traveling on through China, Mongolia, and Russia. He returned to the U.S. to study iron and copper deposits in Michigan and the Lake Superior district and from 1884-89 served as head of the New England division of the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1903 and 1904 he led expeditions to Turkestan under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Pumpelly's wife, Eliza Frances Shephard Pumpelly, whom he had married in 1869, died in 1915, eight years before he died in Newport, Rhode Island in 1923.

    Scope and Content

    This collection consists chiefly of letters, with some documents and manuscripts (including 29 volumes of notebooks and diaries) related to the lives and family affairs of Raphael and Eliza Pumpelly. The collection includes a few professional papers of Raphael Pumpelly, along with geological notes and descriptions of people and expeditions in Japan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Turkestan, and various places in the United States. Among the papers related to Eliza Shepard Pumpelly, there are descriptions of travel in Europe and Asia and also of the expeditions to Turkestan in 1903 and 1904. The collection also contains a few business and personal letters of Raphael Pumpelly's parents, William Pumpelly and Mary Wells Pumpelly, and their family.


    Arranged in the following order:
    Part I
    • Raphael Pumpelly Passports and Notebooks (Box 1, Pt. I)
    • Eliza Shepard Pumpelly Diaries (Box 2, Pt. I)
    Part I
    • William and Mary Welles Pumpelly Papers (Box 1, pt. II)
    • Raphael and Eliza Shepard Pumpelly Papers (Box 2, pt. II)
    • Eliza Shepard Pumpelly Papers (including family correspondence) (Boxes 3-13)
    • Miscellany (Box 13)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Pumpelly, Eliza Shephard, -1915.
    Pumpelly, Raphael, 1837-1923.
    Geologists -- United States -- Archives.
    Geology -- Asia, Central.
    Geology -- China.
    Geology -- Japan.
    Geology -- Mongolia.
    Geology -- Russia.
    Geology -- United States.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Michigan.
    Scientific expeditions -- Asia, Central.
    Scientific expeditions -- China.
    Scientific expeditions -- Japan.
    Scientific expeditions -- Mongolia.
    Scientific expeditions -- Russia.
    Asia -- Description and travel.
    Europe -- Description and travel.


    Family papers United States.
    Letters (correspondence) United States.
    Notebooks United States.
    Professional papers United States.

    Alternate Authors

    Pumpelly, Eliza Shephard, -1915.