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Douglas W. Johnson Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Johnson, Douglas Wilson, 1878-1944.
Title: Douglas W. Johnson Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1897-1943
Quantity: 3.0 linear ft.
Abstract: American professor of geography and geology at Columbia University. Collection contains correspondence (1907-1938); clippings (1919-1940); photographs; scrapbook material (1897-1943); manuscript articles, and book reviews.
Language: Majority in English, one item in French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Douglas William Johnson (1878-1944) was an American professor of geography and geology at Columbia University.

Born in Parkersburg, West Virginia on November 30, 1878, Johnson received his B.S. from the University of New Mexico in 1901 and a PhD from Columbia University in 1903. In 1912 Johnson began his teaching career at Columbia, where he remained for more than thirty years as a professor of physiography. He served as an exchange professor of applied science to French universities in 1923-1924.

As well as being an outstanding educator, Johnson was internationally recognized as an authority in his field. He was chief of the Division of Boundary Geography on the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in 1918 and 1919, served as advisor to President Woodrow Wilson on the question of Italian boundary problems, and was consulting physiographer to the Canadian Government in the Labrador Boundary Dispute in 1926.

Johnson was the author of many books and articles, and received numerous awards, commendations and honorary degrees during his lifetime. He died at the age of 65 in Sebring, Florida on February 24, 1944.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Douglas W. Johnson Papers consist of subject files, scrapbook material, photographs and writings. The donor's own index to correspondence is included at the beginning of the collection and the original folder title list, which does not exactly match the final arrangement but contains interesting information nonetheless.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Subject files are arranged alphabetically, scrapbook material chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Johnson, Douglas Wilson, 1878-1944.


Earth scientists, United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Douglas W. Johnson Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DB
Date: 12 Apr 1978
Revision history: 20 Apr 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Subject files
Box 1 Adriatic and Tyrol questions 1919-1924
Box 1 America-Yugoslav Society 1924-1925
Box 1 American Rights League 1915-1919 (2 folders)
Box 1 Biographical data
Box 1 Calling cards undated
Box 1 Clippings and articles 1919-1939
Box 1 Clippings, Sinking Coast 1925-1940
Box 1 General 1907-1938 (3 folders)
Box 1 Jefferson: The Forgotten Man 1938
Box 1 Paysages et problemes geographique de la terre Americaine 1927-1928
Box 1 False neutrality 1938-1939
Box 1 Finland 1940
Box 1 Folly of Federal Spending / Roosevelt, Franklin D. 1938-1939
Box 1 France 1924 (2 folders)
Box 1 Ickes v. Gannett 1939
Box 1 International Geographical Congress 1928
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 Miscellaneous printed material
Box 1 "Muddy Thinking" address 1933-1935
Box 1 Post-conference lectures, etc. 1919-1920
Box 1 Origin of Carolina Bays 1942-1943
Box 1 Postcards, menus, invitations, etc.
Box 2 World trip 1929-1930
Scrapbook material
Oversize 2 Volume 1
Box 2 General 1897-1943 - arranged roughly chronologically (22 folders)
Oversize 2 Loose material
Box 2 Geology and strategy in the present war 1940
Box 2 A Thanksgiving prayer of the American government undated - typescript
Box 2 War imperils America 1940
Box 2 Battlefields of the World War 1921-1922 - reviews
Box 2 The New England-Acadian Shoreline 1925-1927 - reviews
Oversize 1 Topography and Strategy in the War - reviews
Box 2 Assorted published items
Box 2 Assault on the Supreme Court 1937-1938
Box 2 The Next Armistice and After 1941
Box 2 Commencement Oration 1927-1933
Box 2 Untitled undated - typescripts
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous

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