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Wisconsin GS Lake Superior legacy collection of hand samples and thin sections

Holdings of the former USGS Lake Superior Division


Award Date


This is a multifaceted collection of physical materials -- rock hand samples and rock thin sections-- and related paper documentation -- field notebooks, maps, and ledgerbooks -- created and collected by some of the premier geologists of the USGS from 1882 through the early 1920s. A database relating all of these materials can be viewed at

Child Items (18453)


Attached Files

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Material Request Instructions

Archivist, 3817 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI, 53705, (608) 262 1705


This collection contains the physical samples and paper records that remain of the US Geological Survey's Lake Superior Division that operated in Madison, Wisconsin from 1882 until 1905.


The USGS transferred curatorial responsibility and related rights to this collection stating that WGNHS would do “a great service if you can reassemble the notes, thin sections, and rock samples into a single collection” (W.F. Cannon, Chief, Branch of Eastern Mineral Resources, USGS, personal communication, 1981). In this same communication the USGS retains ownership of the collection.


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • National Digital Catalog

Associated Items



The materials in this collection were produced by the geologists of the Lake Superior Division of the USGS between 1882 and 1922. They were collected principally in the areas of the US and Canada that bordered Lake Superior but there are samples from other parts of North and South America in the collection.

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