Thomas Condon papers , 1870-1900; 1946

Overview of the Collection

Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887; Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878; Condon, Thomas, 1822-1907
Thomas Condon papers
1870-1900; 1946 (inclusive)
1870-1900 (bulk)
1 linear feet, (2 containers)  :  1 clam shell box and 1 photo box
Collection Number
A 022
Thomas Condon (1822-1907) was an Irish Congregational minister, a geologist and paleontologist, and a professor at the University of Oregon. The collection (1870-1900; 1946) contains correspondence, Condon's class teaching record, UO Board of Regents meeting minutes, a catalogue of the Condon specimen collection, geology publications, and photographs of minerals, specimens, the Condon family, and fossils.
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 5413463068
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Thomas Condon (1822-1907) was an Irish Congregational minister, a geologist and paleontologist, and a professor at the University of Oregon.

"Thomas Condon was born in Cork County, Ireland and immigrated to New York City in 1833. After attending grade school and college, he taught for some years before graduating from Auburn Theological Seminary of New York, in 1852. He traveled around Cape Horn to Portland, Oregon where he was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1853. Condon served as pastor at St. Helens in 1853; Forest Grove in 1854; Albany from 1855 to 1861, and The Dalles from 1862 to 1870."

"Beginning in 1865, while living in The Dalles, he was the first scientific investigator of the fossils of the John Day area. In 1872, Condon became Oregon's first state geologist while teaching geology at Pacific University. When the University of Oregon was founded in 1876, he was appointed its first professor of geology, and continued as professor and chair of Natural Sciences until 1907."

"Most of Thomas Condon's fossil collections can be found at the University of Oregon, and Pacific University. Among other things, Condon Hall at the University of Oregon, and the primary visitor center at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument are named for him. The town of Condon in Gilliam County is named after his nephew."

[Source: Oregon Blue Blook online:]

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains material created by Thomas Condon and material gathered by others about Condon.

Condon's own materials include his class teaching record (1887-1889), a few pieces of correspondence, excerpts from a Board of Regents meeting regarding the appointment of Condon as the Board president (1882), and photographs of minerals, fossils, and other specimens, and the Condon family.

Correspondence includes letters from Condon to Joseph Henry; Condon to Spencer F. Baird; Condon to F. V. Hayden; letters from Joseph Henry to Condon; and from Baird to Condon. Many of the letters discuss Oregon geology.

The photographs are of specimens collected by Condon and identified by him. Also available is a catalogue of the "Condon Collection" of specimens and minerals, and geology publications and pamphlets regarding Oregon geology, and Thomas Condon.

Some of these materials were sent to Special Collections and University Archives in 1946, by Herbert T. Condon.

The collection also contains photocopies of Thomas Condon correspondence held by the Smithsonian.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • College teachers--Oregon--Eugene
  • Fossils--Photographs
  • Geological specimens--Catalogs
  • Geologists--Oregon--Eugene
  • Geology--Oregon
  • Geology--Research--Oregon
  • Geology--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Eugene
  • Paleontologists--Oregon--Eugene

Personal Names

  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887
  • Condon, Thomas, 1822-1907
  • Condon, Thomas, 1822-1907
  • Hayden, F. V. (Ferdinand Vandeveer), 1829-1887
  • Henry, Joseph, 1797-1878
  • Pacific University--Faculty

Corporate Names

  • University of Oregon

Form or Genre Terms

  • Catalogs
  • Correspondence
  • Geological specimens--Photographs
  • Photographic prints
  • Tintypes