It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Exploring and Surveying the American West: Powell Exhibit
This guide contains information about federal government surveys of the American West, conducted in the mid to late 1800s.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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"