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T.C. Chamberlin's Geology of Wisconsin, published 1877-1882, now on-line

Wisconsin has had a form of geological survey on and off since 1853. The Wisconsin Legislature mandated the fifth incarnation of geological survey in 1873 to conduct a “complete geological, mineralogical and agricultural survey of the state.” Between 1873 and 1882, the fruits of this survey's labor were published under the leadership of T.C. Chamberlin in the four volumes entitled Geology of Wisconsin.

The volumes comprise more than 3,000 pages of text, color lithographs, maps, and detailed engravings that comprehensively illustrate the overall knowledge of the geology and natural history of Wisconsin in the late 1900s. Unfortunately, these books have long been out of print. Because of their historic value, the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections has scanned them and made them available on-line at http://digital.ibrary.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes/subcollections/GeologyWIAbout.html. No special software is needed to view the documents; the text is searchable and printable. The four volumes are now part of the Ecology and Natural Resources Collection; more information about this collection can be found at http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/EcoNatRes.

Atlases of the oversize maps that accompanied the volumes have also been scanned and placed in the UW Digitial Collection.

For more information about Wisconsin's various geological surveys, please view M.E. Ostrom's chapter in The State Geological Surveys: A History.

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