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About the Powell Expedition
JOHN WESLEY POWELL & THE EXPLORATION OF THE COLORADO: 150TH ANNIVERSARY
In 1869, John Wesley Powell led the first scientific exploration of the Colorado River. The geologic expedition and Powell's influence would help create the United States Geological Survey and the Bureau of American Ethnology. Check out the display in the Government Information Department on the Library's Lower Level featuring government documents commemorating the 1869 exploration.
Utah is celebrating the Powell expedition all year. Interactive activities are available in person and online. Check out the links below.
Digital Versions of Materials Displayed in the Government Information Department
Powell 150 Exhibit Panels
Digital versions of the exhibit panels on display at the Merrill-Cazier Library are available for download at DigitalCommons@USU.
Exploration of the Colorado River of the West and its tributaries
A digitized version of Powell's original publication of his journeys on the Colorado.
John Wesley Powell's exploration of the Colorado River
This 1974 pamphlet details the 1869 exploration. It includes illustrations, contemporary photos of the Colorado River, and a map of the expedition. Digitized and available through the USGS website.
John Wesley Powell: soldier, explorer, scientist
This 1969 pamphlet was published to commemorate the 100th anniversary (centennial) of Powell's first exploration of the Colorado River. The pamphlet includes a biography and images of memorials to Powell across the United States. Digitized and available through the USGS website.
The Colorado River region and John Wesley Powell
This 1969 volume includes four articles focusing on different aspects of the exploration and its findings. The portion on display at USU, Mary C. Rabbitt's "John Wesley Powell: Pioneer Statesman of Federal Science," recounts the expedition. Digitized and available through the USGS website.
John Wesley Powell and the anthropology of the Canyon Country
This professional paper from USGS highlights the anthropological work that Powell undertook in the years following his 1869 survey of the Colorado River. It describes his interactions with indigenous peoples located in the areas that include modern-day Utah, western Colorado, northern Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico. Digitized and available through the USGS website.
First annual report of the United States Geological Survey to the Secretary of the Interior
Clarence King, Director of the Geological Survey, produced the survey's first annual report. The pages on display at USU describe the variety of surveys conducted in the Western portion of the United States beginning in 1867. Numerous surveys of the West predated and followed Powell's Colorado River exploration. John Wesley Powell would succeed King as Director in 1881. Digitized and available through the USGS website.
Online Resources for the Powell Sesquicentennial Celebration
USGS Sesquicentennial Celebration
The USGS is celebrating the 150th anniversary with online content, a story map, educational resources, and fun & games.
Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition (SCREE)
Beginning May 24th, SCREE will commemorate the Powell exploration with an expedition of their own. The group will also host events through November 2019. Check out their awesome event guide and follow along on their expedition!
Explore the outdoors with Paper Powell! Print, color, and take a mini-Powell with you on your summer adventures! Print copies (and crayons!) available in the Government Information Department.
John Wesley Powell River History Museum
Located in Green River, UT, the museum is open year round and features a variety of exhibits on Powell, River Running, and includes a boat room!
Center for Colorado River Studies
The Center for Colorado River Studies, a research center at USU, is sponsoring a series of River Science talks around the Powell Sesquicentennial.
The USU Library catalog includes records for government publications 1976-present with incomplete but expanding coverage of pre-1976 publications. Start here and be sure to check the format type. You can limit your search to government materials by using the Advanced Search and limiting your "Material Type" to "Government Document"
Search Special Collections
Many materials from the Powell exploration are rare or unique. Search the USU Libraries Special Collections & Archives to find rare books, manuscripts, maps, and photographs from the 1860s and 1870s.
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Designation
“This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)”