Geological Survey of Illinois

Worthen Geological Survey

The reports of the first Illinois Geological Survey, directed first by Dr. Joseph G. Norwood from 1851-1855 and by Amos H. Worthen from 1858-1875, are a rich resource of information about Illinois geology, landscape and mineral resources. Worthen, a fossil and mineral collector who was self-taught, became one of the leading geologists of his time. As State Geologist, Worthen gathered a number of talented geologists and paleontologists to work on the Survey. The result of the investigations of these scientists was an 8 volume set published between 1866 and 1890, containing more than 4,700 pages of text, figures and plates. The volumes include descriptions of landforms, geology of coal fields, analyses of Illinois rocks and waters, and summaries of geology county by county. Worthen's descriptions and volume of plate illustrations of 1,626 species of fossils are special features of this work. Other illustrations are detailed drawings of landscapes and geological formations, various charts, and maps.

The University of Chicago Library has scanned and digitized all 8 volumes of this work and is pleased to make it available here.

View Online Collection