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William H. Taubeneck Papers, 1881-2010

By Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Nielsen and Karl McCreary.

Collection Overview

Title: William H. Taubeneck Papers, 1881-2010

Predominant Dates: 1957-2006

ID: MSS Taubeneck

Primary Creator: Taubeneck, William H.

Extent: 10.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The William H. Taubeneck Papers consist of materials generated and collected by Taubeneck and document his research activities and teaching. Taubeneck earned his BS and MS degrees in Geology from Oregon State College, completed a Ph.D. at Columbia University, and was a faculty member in the Geology Department at Oregon State from 1955 until his retirement in 1983.

Scope and Content Notes

The William H. Taubeneck Papers consist of materials generated and collected by Taubeneck documenting his research, teaching, and writings on various topics. Handwritten notes comprise about half of the collection; the collection also includes article reports, certificates, conference abstracts, correspondence, course materials, grant proposals, maps, newspaper clippings, photographs, poems, research data, and lecture notes. The notes and data reflect Taubeneck's observations from field research as well has his thoughts and opinions on subjects ranging from the U.S. Forest Service to encounters with wildlife. Most of the research pertains to Taubeneck's work on the feeder dikes for the Columbia River basalts, especially in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Essays by Taubeneck for an unpublished book, A Field Guide for Scientific Studies in the Western U.S., include accounts of his field research and explore topics such as rattlesnakes and fording rivers.

The subject files consist of folders of newspaper clippings and articles collected by Taubeneck for reference use; most of these do not include notes. The correspondence documents interactions with other geologists, his Oregon State colleagues, and friends. The course materials are primarily for his popular Geology of Oregon class (GEO 352). The syllabi include songs and poems written by Taubeneck.

The collection includes about 550 photographs (500 prints and 50 negatives), primarily of the mountains of northeastern Oregon where Taubeneck did fieldwork. The images depict rock outcrops, camping equipment, and wildlife. The photographs also include a few portrait photographs of Taubeneck and individuals who may be his parents.

Biographical / Historical Notes

William H. (Bill) Taubeneck earned his BS and MS degrees in geology at Oregon State College, served as an instructor in the early 1950s, and joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Geology in 1955. Taubeneck specialized in igneous petrology and did extensive geological mapping in the Wallowa Mountains and northeastern Oregon. He published a number of articles and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to study at Oxford University in 1963-1964. Taubeneck was a colorful instructor and received the Loyd Carter Award for Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching in Science in 1983. Taubeneck was Graduate Advisor and Chair of the Geology Department Graduate Committee for more than 10 years, ending in the early 1980s. He retired in 1983, but maintained an active research program, including fieldwork, for more than 20 years.

William Harris Taubeneck was born August 27, 1923 in Marshall, Illinois. He attended Michigan State briefly in 1941-1942 before serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. He attended Oregon State College in 1946-1950 and earned both a BS (1949) and MS (1950) in Geology. Taubeneck enrolled in the doctoral program at Columbia University in 1950 and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia in 1955. During the period of his doctoral studies, he conducted field studies in northeastern Oregon for his dissertation and served as an Instructor in Geology at Oregon State during the 1951-1952 and 1954-1955 academic years.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 550 photographs; 11 boxes

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: These materials were transferred to the Special Collections & Archives Research Center from Taubeneck's office in 2012.

Related Materials: The Special Collections and Archives Research Center's holdings include the Geosciences Department Records (RG 208) as well as the collections of several geology faculty and alumni, including the Lehi F. Hintze Geological Reconnaissance Maps of Oregon (MAPS Hintze), Ellen J. Moore Papers (MSS MooreE), George W. Moore Papers (MSS MooreGW), Roger L. Nielsen Papers (MSS Nielsen), and the Earl L. Packard Papers (MSS Packard). The Robert E. McDole Papers (MSS McDole) include materials from the Geology of Oregon course taught by Taubeneck in spring 1952.

Preferred Citation: William H. Taubeneck Papers (MSS Taubeneck), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Processing Information: This collection is not fully processed; this guide is preliminary.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 14, 2014.


Taubeneck, William H.

People, Places, and Topics

Geology--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
Igneous rocks.
Natural Resources
Oregon State College. Department of Geology
Oregon State University. Department of Geology
Oregon State University. Department of Geosciences
Taubeneck, William H.
University History
Wallowa Mountains (Or.)

Forms of Material

Film negatives.
Photographic prints.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.