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Personal Papers of Carl O. Dunbar

Call Number: PP 232


This collection contains a scrapbook and notes from field trips conducted by Dunbar, as well as information from the International Congress of Geologists and other materials related to Carl Dunbar's professional interests and personal life.


  • Creation: 1933 - 1965


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Carl Owen Dunbar

Carl O. Dunbar was born in 1891 in Hallowell, Cherokee County, Kansas, the son of David and Emma (Thomas) Dunbar. He had one younger sister, Maud Lucy. The Dunbar family owned a wheat farm.

Dunbar received his bachelors from the University of Kansas in 1913 and his doctorate from Yale University in 1917, focusing his studies on geology. After working briefly as a geology instructor at the University of Minnesota, Dunbar returned to Yale in 1920 and remained there for the rest of his career. He served as curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Yale Peabody Museum, and from 1942 until his retirement he was also director of the museum.

Dunbar's research interests and publications focused on invertebrate paleontology, especially on brachiopods and fusulinids, as well as stratigraphy. His field trips took him to Newfoundland, Kansas, Nebraska, and elsewhere. Dunbar also remained dedicated to teaching and educating, teaching continuously for 39 years and publishing books on historical geology for undergraduate courses. He was also interested in serving his profession, including as a member of the editorial board, vice-president, and fellow of the Geological Society of America; fellow, treasurer, associate editor, and president of the Paleontological Society; chairman of the Committee on Stratigraphy for the National Research Council from 1934-1953; and holding memberships in the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, American Assoication for the Advancement of Science, and the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Carl Dunbar married Lora Beamer in 1914. They had two children, Carl Owen Dunbar, Jr. and Lora Louise. Lora Beamer Dunbar died in 1978 and Carl Owen Dunbar died in 1979.


2.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 1 oversize volume, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 232

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Lucy Beamer.

Related Materials

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.

Guide to the Carl O. Dunbar Collection
Personal Papers of Carl O. Dunbar
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005; revised by skt, 2010; revised by mwh, 2017. This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2017-01-26 15:37:42 -0600.
Description rules
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Preferred citation
Personal papers of Carl O. Dunbar, University Archives, PP 232, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States