Researcher finds hidden gems in Denver Library Photo Collection

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The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) Denver Library houses an archive of historical photographs and scientific field records documenting geologic studies of the United States and its territories from 1868 to present. This summer, Claire Perrott spent a week at the Library examining several photographic and field records collections covering the sudden appearance of the volcano, Parícutin.

The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) Denver Library houses an archive of historical photographs and scientific field records documenting geologic studies of the United States and its territories from 1868 to present. This summer, Claire Perrott, a PhD Candidate at the University of Arizona in Modern Latin American History, spent one week at the US Geological Survey Denver Library examining several photographic and field records collections from USGS scientists. Her research included the Ray Wilcox and Kenneth Segerstrom Collections of field records, containing useful correspondence highlighting the collaboration between U.S. and Mexican scientists during the sudden appearance of the volcano, Parícutin. The volcano emerged suddenly in a cornfield in 1943 and proceeded to erupt for nine years, displaced five nearby communities, and attracted worldwide attention. Parícutin thrilled scientists from Mexico and the U.S. since it was the first time in modern history that they could study the birth of a volcano. The extensive photographic collections from these scientists are of critical importance to Claire’s research because they provide exclusive detail about the scientific expeditions to Parícutin.