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Christopher Webber Hall papers

Identifier: 731

Scope and Content

Christopher Hall's field notebooks contain information about his work as a field geologist, the areas through which he passed, and some comment on traveling and social conditions encountered in the field. His 1878 and 1879 notes on his trip to the North Shore are detailed and complement T.S. Roberts' notes on the 1879 trip.

Only a few of the notebooks record work that Hall did for the Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey in the late 1870s. The bulk represent either notes on private trips or on work done for the U.S. Geological Survey. The notebooks are treated as a separate collection because they do not all concern work done for the Minnesota Geological and Natural History Survey and because they represent a large part of Hall's work as a geologist. There are 22 volumes of notebooks.

One of Hall's notebooks is located in the John Florin Downey papers (box 2). This notebook contains observances of rocks and minerals recorded by Downey during a trip to northern England, Scotland and Ireland during the summer of 1888. It is assumed that Hall assisted Downey in identifying the rocks he observed on his trip and Hall may have transcribed Downey's observances into his notebook.


  • Creation: 1880-1906


Language of Materials


Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Requests for permission to quote from the Christopher Webber Hall papers should be arranged with the head of University Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Christopher Webber Hall (1845-1911)

Christopher Webber Hall was on born February 28, 1845 in Wardsboro, Vermont. He graduated from Middlebury College (Vermont) in 1871 and earned a masters in 1873. Hall served as the principal of Mankato high school in 1873, and then as superintendent of Owatonna schools 1873-1875. In 1875 he went to study geology at University of Leipzig (Germany) where he earned his Ph.D. in 1877.

Hall came to the University of Minnesota in April 1878 as an instructor and taught courses in the natural sciences - geology, biology, and mineralogy. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1879 and became a full Professor of geology, mineralogy, and biology in 1880. From 1892 to 1897 Hall was the Dean of the College of Engineering, Metallurgy and the Mechanical Arts. From 1900 to 1911 Hall was the chair of the Department of Geology and Mineralogy. Beginning in 1889 he was the Curator of the geological (general) museum at the University.

Hall did field work during the summer months for the Minnesota Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey as well as for his own private research. Professor Hall was active in scientific societies; he was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America; member of the National Geographic Society, Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences, Delta Upsilon fraternity; and president of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Science and Minnesota Geological Society. He died in 1911 of pernicious anemia.


2 boxes (1.0 linear ft.)


The collection consists of the papers of Christopher Webber Hall, professor of geology, mineralogy and biology at the University of Minnesota.


The notebooks are in rough chronological order.

Source of acquisition

Christopher W. Hall's papers were deposited in University Archives by the Geology Department.

Related Materials in University Archives

John Florin Downy papers

University of Minnesota. Board of Regents papers

University of Minnesota. College of Engineering papers

University of Minnesota. Institute of Technology papers

Processing Information

Digitization funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Christopher Webber Hall papers, 1880-1906
Archives Staff; updated by Karen Spilman; updated by Rebecca Toov
Updated May 2004; July 2014
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Finding aid written in English

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