Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorCameron, Chantal
dc.descriptionJoseph William Winthrop Spencer (commonly known as J.W. Spencer) was a geologist and geomorphologist best known for his work on the geology of southern Ontario and the Great Lakes. He was born in Dundas, Upper Canada in 1851, but moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 1867. In 1871, he began studies in geology at McGill College in Montreal. In 1875 he worked in the Michigan copper mines and shortly afterwards prepared a thesis on the copper deposits. He submitted this thesis to the University of Gottingen in Germany in 1877 and was awarded a doctorate in geology, the second Canadian to earn a doctorate in this field. In 1880, he became a professor of geology and chemistry at King’s College in Windsor, N.S. Subsequently, he taught at the University of Missouri, and then the University of Georgia, but moved to Washington, D.C. in 1894, where he worked as a consultant geologist. Spencer spent much of his life studying preglacial river valleys in Ontario and the origins of the Great Lakes, as well as the Niagara River and Falls. In 1907, he published a book titled The Falls of Niagara: their evolution and varying relations to the Great Lakes. His opinions in these areas differed from some of his contemporaries, namely the American geologist Grove Karl Gilbert. Gilbert published a review of the The Falls of Niagara that exposed some flaws and inaccuracies in Spencer’s estimate of the age of the falls. Spencer’s studies also took him to the Caribbean and Central America. In 1920 he moved back to Canada, but died the following year.en_US
dc.description.abstractFonds consists mostly of correspondence and offprints of technical publications written by Spencer from various journals. The correspondence includes letters from Charles Walcott, R. R. Gurley, Edward Hull, G. K. Gilbert, J. W. Gregory, J. H. McFarland, E. A. Lancaster, Robert Bell, James Wilson, and G. Frederick Wright.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries;RG 360
dc.subjectSpencer, J. W.--(Joseph William)--1851-1921en_US
dc.subjectGeology--Niagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)en_US
dc.subjectGeology--Great Lakes (North America)en_US
dc.subjectNiagara Falls (N.Y. and Ont.)en_US
dc.subjectGreat Lakes (North America)en_US
dc.titleJ.W. Spencer fonds, 1866, 1881-1921en_US

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • 1. Archival Finding Aids
    These finding aids are meant to help researchers find information in the fond available at The Brock University Special Collections and Archives.

Show simple item record