George B. Barbour Papers
Scope and Content
The collection of papers from Dr. George B. Barbour holds a variety of materials dating from 1934 to 1972. There is a panoramic printed photograph of a landscape envisioning smoking volcanoes next to a hand-drawn cloth map of an unnamed land. The collection contains many undated and unlabeled black and white photographs of people, animals, and the earthly environment. There are also correspondence between Dr. Barbour and a variety of people including Lord Balerno of Currie and other scholars. Newspaper clippings from various countries from the 1930s and onward are included. The collection also holds handwritten notes, though most are not dated.
- Creation: 1934-1972
Language of Materials
The records are in English
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research.
Biography of George Brown Barbour
George Barbour was an internationally-known geologist and educator. As a geologist, he did field work primarily in China, South Africa, Europe, and North America. Throughout his academic career, he taught Geology at various universities. He was also Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Cincinnati from 1938-1958. Barbour was born in 1890 in Edinburgh, Scotland and attended the Merchiston Castle School from 1899-1906. He spent his first year of college at Marburg University in Germany and then returned to Edinburgh University where he earned an M.A. with Honors in 1910. He left Edinburgh in 1912 and studied at Cambridge from 1912-1914. From 1914-1919, George was in active military service and during WWI, served as an ambulance driver in Italy. However, during that time he was able to continue his studies and earned a B.A. in 1916 and an M.A. in 1918 from Cambridge. In 1919, George left Europe to attend Columbia University in New York. The next year, he married Dorothy Dickinson of New York, a graduate of Columbia University and an active spokeswomen for Christian Education and the YWCA. In 1920, George accepted a position as Professor of Geology at Yenching University, Peking. George and Dorothy spent the next 11 years living in China. During that time, George continued his studies and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1928. He did most of his research and field work on various aspects of Chinese geology and became associated with men performing the Geological Survey of China. Dorothy continued to promote Christian education and occasionally taught classes at the University. The couple also had three sons, all born during their stay in China. In 1931, the Barbours returned to New York as their eldest son had contracted "Peking Fever." Although they had planned to return to China as soon as the boy recovered, they were unable to obtain visas because of the political revolution in China. In 1932, George accepted a teaching position at the University of Cincinnati. During the year 1933-1934, he served as Assistant Editor for the Geological Society of America. In 1934, George obtained funding from the Rockefeller Foundation to return to China and work with the Geological Survey. However, his family was unable to join him, so in 1935, he took a position at the University of London for 2 years. In 1937, George returned to the University of Cincinnati in the capacity of professor of Geology and the next year he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He remained in the position of Dean until 1958 when he returned to teaching for 2 years before his retirement in 1960. Throughout his career as a geologist, Barbour maintained professional ties with groups doing important geological and anthropological research. He was associated with the group who discovered Peking Man and also did a great deal of field work in South Africa with the researchers who discovered the Men-Apes of Africa. He received several honors and awards relating to his work including the Gill Memorial Award of the British Royal Geological Society (1937), and Fellowships in both the Royal Society of South Africa and the Geological Society of South Africa (1949). Barbour corresponded with many of the major figures in the field of Geology and maintained a long term friendship with Teilhard de Chardin, whom he had worked with on several field projects. Barbour's papers reflect that he was an extremely dedicated teacher, a man devoted to his family, and an active scholar throughout his life.
0.4 Linear Feet
The collection of papers of Dr. George B. Barbour contains correspondence, photographs, a handmade cloth map, and handwritten notes dating 1934-1972, although some of the materials are undated.
Statement of Arrangement
The collection is arranged into folders by material type.
Archives and Rare Books Library
- Finding aid for the George B. Barbour Papers
- Edited Full Draft
- Finding aid prepared by Tyler Morrison
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English