Guide to the John J. Peebles Papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Peebles, John J.
Title: John J. Peebles Papers
Dates: 1966-1985 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 4 cubic feet
Location of Collection: Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library. Boxes 1 and 2 are shelved at range 78 and boxes 3 and 4 at range 141, in the cage area.
Collection Number: MG 212
Summary: John J. Peebles was a professor of civil engineering at the University of Idaho from 1963 to 1972. The papers include materials that he used for the recovery of the base line established near Boise in 1899 for the control of topographic surveying in southwestern Idaho, and materials relating to the Atlantic Steam Shovel.
Repository: University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Contact Information: Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2351
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 208-885-0845
Languages: This collection is in English.  
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Content Description

The papers of John J. Peebles include materials that he used for the recovery of the base line established near Boise in 1899 for the control of topographic surveying in southwestern Idaho, as explained below (Series 1), and materials relating to the Atlantic Steam Shovel (Series 2).

As an historical project in 1976 John J. Peebles tried to relocate the extremities of the base line established near Boise in 1889 for the first topographic surveying in southwestern Idaho. At the same time he wrote the Geological Survey Office offering to report on the conditions of survey marks he happened upon. This record group consists of these reports, triangulation maps, copies of the original field notes, and other material relating to surveying. There is also a small amount of correspondence interspersed among articles and charts.

The majority of the material was in 14 labeled notebooks. Although the material was removed from the notebooks and placed in folders the original heading was retained. The research material and field notes were in four unlabeled notebooks. The maps in folders 24 and 25 were originally rolled and placed in large mailing tubes. These maps are now folded.

The types of material found in the Ada County folder include state plane coordinates from geodetic positions, progress sketches, list of geographic position station names, station descriptions, and recovery notes.

The specific area folders contain reports on condition of survey marks, geodetic control diagrams, horizontal control data, and description of horizontal control stations.

Other materials in Series 1, include articles on the USGS and surveying, correspondence with the Geological Survey, field notes and maps. The books of triangulations and field notes are photocopies of material in the State Historical Library, and probably date from the time of the original surveys.

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information :  

The materials related to the topographic surveys were donated by John J. Peebles, in July 1987. In April 2014, his widow, Mrs. Harriette Peebles donated the materials related to the Atlantic Steam Shovel.

Separated Materials :  

PG 30, Lewis and Clark Trail photograph collection, 1961-1965.

Related Materials :  

John Peebles built a detailed scale model of the Atlantic Steam Shovel, which was donated by Mrs. Peebles to the University of Idaho in 2014 and is on display at the Janssen Engineering Building on campus.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1:  Survey
1/1 Ada County , 1978-1979
4 items
1/2-3 Baker , 1976-1984
100 items
1/4-5 Boise , 1982-1984
44 items
1/6 Challis , 1979-1985
47 items
1/7 Dubois , 1968
2 items
1/8 Elk City , 1977-1981
15 items
1/9 Grangeville , 1976-1984
26 items
1/10-11 Hailey , 1976-1984
104 items
1/12 Jordan Valley , 1976-1983
29 items
1/13 Twin Falls , 1981-1983
20 items
1/14 Miscellaneous , 1961-1979
35 items
1/15-16 Old reports , 1876-1965
18 items
1/17 Maps 1:125,000 , undated
154 items
1/18 Maps 1:300,000 , undated
52 items
1/19-22 Research material and field notes , 1971-1980
84 items
1/23 Reports on condition of survey marks , 1976-1982
147 items
1/24 Triangulation maps and indexes , undated
10 items
1/25 Idaho triangulation, drawing and print , undated
2 items
2/26-46 Books of triangulations and field notes , undated
21 items

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Series 2:  Atlantic Steam Shovel
3/1 Correspondence June 15, 1966 to July 15, 1967
3/2 Correspondence July 16, 1967 to April 15, 1971
3/3 Correspondence April 16, 1971 to March 31, 1974
3/4 Photographs. Early development
3/5 Photographs. Payette-Boise Project
3/6 Photographs. Model
4/7 ALCO and MLW drawings from B-E
4/8 Assembly drawings
4/9 Pattern drawings
4/10 Fabrication drawings
4/11 Miscellaneous material. Early development
4/12 Miscellaneous material. ALCO annual reports
4/13 Miscellaneous material. Upper Deer Flat Embankment
4/14 Miscellaneous material. Arrowrock Dam
4/15 Miscellaneous material. Model (copyright certificate re-issued for 47 years)
4/16 Miscellaneous material. Extra photos, small prints, and negatives
4/A Awards. Two photographs of Professor Peebles, on the occasion of being awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, for his design of the barrel arch roof of the University of Idaho Activity Center, in 1976 -- newsclipping "Engineering Professor Receives Award From History Association," Idahonian, Dec. 6, 1969
4/B American Locomotive Company catalog. Parts of the Atlantic Steam Shovel
4/C Magazines: "Western Construction," July 1973; "Railroad Modeler," May 1974; article that appeared on "Civil Engineering/ASCE," in November 1983

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This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

    • Personal Names :
    • Peebles, John J.--Archives.
    • Subject Terms :
    • Geodesy -- Idaho
    • Topographical surveying -- Idaho -- History -- Sources
    • Geographical Names :
    • Idaho -- Surveys

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