SCUA

Barghoorn, Elso S. (Elso Sterrenberg), 1915-1984

Elso S. Barghoorn Journals, 1944-1984.

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 820
Hoba West meterorite, Nov. 1971, 12 miles west of Grootfontein, South West Africa
Hoba West meterorite, Nov. 1971, 12 miles west of Grootfontein, South West Africa

The paleobotanist Elso Barghoorn exerted an enormous influence on the scientific understanding of the early evolution of life on earth. After receiving his doctorate at Harvard in 1941, Barghoorn taught briefly at Amherst College before returning to Havard five years later, eventually becoming the Richard A. Fisher Professor of Natural History. A pioneer in paleopalynology, he he and two colleagues announced the startling discovery of a well-preserved Archaean fossil flora in 1954, including the first solid record of fossil bacteria and cyanobacteria from the Gunflint chert of Ontario. Culminating in a landmark 1965 publication (with Stanley Tyler), his work demonstrated conclusively the existence of unicellular fossils and helped to revolutionize study of deep evolutionary time.

The Barghoorn collection consists of seven bound journals containing notes from trips to Panama (1944), Europe (1957-58); Ghana, South Africa, and Tonga (1971-1972); Europe (1972); Hawaii, the South Pacific, and Africa (1975); Greenland (1977); South Africa and Australia (1978); and Australia and the South Pacific (1981). Comprehensive typescripts are available for each journal.

Background on Elso S. Barghoorn

The paleobotanist Elso Barghoorn exerted an enormous influence on the scientific understanding of the early evolution of life on earth. After receiving his doctorate at Harvard in 1941, Barghoorn taught briefly at Amherst College before returning to Havard five years later, eventually becoming the Richard A. Fisher Professor of Natural History. A pioneer in paleopalynology, he he and two colleagues announced the startling discovery of a well-preserved Archaean fossil flora in 1954, including the first solid record of fossil bacteria and cyanobacteria from the Gunflint chert of Ontario. Culminating in a landmark 1965 publication (with Stanley Tyler), his work demonstrated conclusively the existence of unicellular fossils and helped to revolutionize study of deep evolutionary time.

Contents of Collection

The Barghoorn collection consists of seven bound journals containing notes from trips to Panama (1944), Europe (1957-58); Ghana, South Africa, and Tonga (1971-1972); Europe (1972); Hawaii, the South Pacific, and Africa (1975); Greenland (1977); South Africa and Australia (1978); and Australia and the South Pacific (1981). Comprehensive typescripts are available for each journal.

Collection inventory
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journals (typescript)
1944-1984
9 folders
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Panama (typescript)
1944 July 24-1945 Feb. 7
125, 20p.
Box 1: 1

Trip to biological field station on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, to study fungal degradation of military canvas tents, clothing, food, and other supplies.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Europe (typescript)
1957 Sept. 3-1958 Jan. 12
109p.
Box 1: 2

Trip to France, Spain, Netherland, Germany, England, Austria.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (typescript)
1971 Oct. 21-1972 Jan. 21
67p.
Box 1: 3

Trip to Ghana, South Africa, South Pacific.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (typescript)
1972 Aug. 22-Sept. 5
25p.
Box 1: 4

Trip to Denmark and England.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to South Pacific and Africa (typescript)
1975 July 7-Sept. 3
73p.
Box 1: 5

Trip to Hawaii, South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, East Africa, Guinea.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Greenland (typescript)
1977 July 13-20
14p.
Box 1: 6

Trip to Thule.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to South Africa and Australia (typescript)
1978 Oct. 17-Dec. 14
43, 15p.
Box 1: 7

Trip to South Africa and Australia.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (typescript)
1981 May 3-June 11
38, 10p.
Box 1: 8

Trip to Ghana, South Africa, South Pacific.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal: Miscellaneous
1984
67p.
Box 1: 9

Correspondence between Geraldine Kline and Lynn Margulis regarding transcribing the Barghoorn journals; inventory.

Barghoorn, Elso S., Journals (typescript)
1944-1984
9 folders
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Panama (original)
1944 July 24-1945 Feb.
208p., inserts
Box 1: 10
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Europe (original)
1957 Sept. 3-1958 Jan. 12
Box 2: 1
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (original)
1971 Oct. 21-1972 Jan. 21
Box 2: 2
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (original)
1972 Aug. 22-Sept. 5
25p.
Box 2: 3
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to South Pacific and Africa (original)
1975 July 7-Sept. 3
Box 2: 4
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to Greenland (original)
1977 July 13-20
Box 2: 5
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of trip to South Africa and Australia (original)
1978 Oct. 17-Dec. 14
Box 2: 4
Barghoorn, Elso S., Journal of World Trip (original)
1981 May 3-June 11
Box 2: 6
Administrative information
Provenance

Gift of Michael Dolan, 2014.

Using funds from the Commonwealth Book Fund, the Barghoorn journals were obtained by Lynn Margulis after Barghoorn’s death to prepare typescripts.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Apr. 2014.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Elso S. Barghoorn Journals (MS 820). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • Harvard University--Faculty
  • Paleobotany
  • Palynology
  • Panama--Description and travel

Contributors

  • Margulis, Lynn, 1938-2011

Types of material

  • Diaries
  • Photographs
Special Collections and University Archives logo