University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Wellington D. Jones Papers 1909-1948

© 2021 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Jones, Wellington D. Papers




18 linear feet (16 boxes, 1 folder)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Wellington Downing Jones (1886-1957) Professor of Geography, 1913-1945. The bulk of the collection is photographs taken by Jones on research trips to China, India, Japan, and South America and at the University of Chicago. Also includes research materials, correspondence, notes, reports, student work, and marked maps of the Chicagoland area. Materials date from 1909 to 1948, with the bulk dating between 1909 and 1929.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Jones, Wellington D. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Wellington Downing Jones was born on April 4, 1886 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jones studied at the University of Chicago, where he received his S.B. in 1908 and Ph.D. in Geography in 1914. He first began teaching in the geography department in 1913, and eventually received full professorship. In addition to his teaching duties, Jones was Dean of the Colleges of Science from 1918 to 1923 and Associate Dean of the College from 1924 to 1925. He became professor emeritus 1945.

Jones’ research interests included the regional geography of India, China, and Japan, the worldwide classification of agricultural regions, as well as economic geography. He authored several books, including An Introduction to Economic Geography (1925), Glacial Land Forms in the Sierra Nevada South of Lake Tahoe (1929), and Present Status and Future Possibilities of Agricultural Land Utilization in Patagonia (1932). His work was defined by a dedication to simple, objective data as well as careful, calculated reasoning. Jones was known within geography field as a great personality-- kind, assertive, even whimsical.

Wellington Downing Jones died on July 24, 1957, at the age of 71.

Scope Note

The collection has been divided into five series: Series I: Papers, Series II: Index to Photographs, Series III: Photographs, Series IV: Glass Plates, Series V: Film Negatives, and Series VI: Oversized Maps. Series I has been arranged chronologically by document type. In Series II-V, photograph related materials have been organized with a numbering system. When no identifying number has been given, materials have been organized by general content (rural scenes, Chicago - trains, people and portraits, etc.)

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Department of Geography. Records

Department of Geography. 75th Anniversary Exhibit. Records

Platt, Robert S. Papers

Salisbury, Rollin D. Papers

University of Chicago Press. Records

Subject Headings


Series I: Papers, 1927-1948

This series contains correspondence, notes, and reports by Wellington D. Jones and his student, Beatrice Terry (1908-1989). These reports cover industrial, manufactural, and farming development in the Chicago area. The series also includes postcards that feature Jones’ photographs of Japan. Materials date from 1927 to 1948.

Box 1    Folder 1

Correspondence, 1927-1948

Box 1    Folder 2

Reports, Papers, Notes, 1937

Box 1    Folder 3

Beatrice Terry - Notebook, 1937

Box 1    Folder 4

Postcards - Japan. I, undated

Box 1    Folder 5

Postcards - Japan. II, undated

Series II: Index to the Photographs, 1909-1929

This series contains indexes to the photographs found elsewhere in the collection. These include exposure records, as well as records of place, date, and subject matter for the photographs with the corresponding identification number. Materials date from 1909-1929.

Box 1    Folder 6

Index to Photographs #154-230, 1909-1910

Box 1    Folder 7

Index to Photographs - unnumbered, 1913

Box 1    Folder 8

Index to Photographs #301-996, 1915

Box 1    Folder 9

Index to Photographs #1001-1231, 1914

Box 1    Folder 10

Index to Photographs #1401-1570, 1915-1916

Box 1    Folder 11

Index to Photographs #2526-3009, 1917-1919

Box 1    Folder 12

Index to Photographs #3100-3308, 1919-1920

Box 1    Folder 13

Index to Photographs #4001-4098, 1920

Box 1    Folder 14

Index to Photographs #4099-4728, 1921

Box 1    Folder 15

Index to Photographs #4729-5042, 1921

Box 1    Folder 16

Index to Photographs #5076-5212, 1922

Box 1    Folder 17

Index to Photographs #5232-5630, 1924

Box 1    Folder 18

Index to Photographs #5631-5957, 1927-1929

Series III: Photographs, 1909-1929

Photographs in this series have been arranged in envelopes in groups of approximately 5 photos per envelope, with the exception of the photo albums from Jones’ trip to India. Subseries 1 contains photographs with numeral designation that correspond to the numbering system throughout the collection. Subseries 2 contains photographs not accounted for in this numbering system and is grouped by general subject matter. Locations include China, India, Japan, South America, Chicago, Hyde Park, and Gary, Indiana. Subject matter includes the University of Chicago, landscapes, rural and urban scenes, buildings, manual laborers, industrial sights, as well as family, friends, and co-workers of Jones. Materials date from 1909 to 1929.

Subseries 1: Numbered Photographs

Box 2

Photographs #13-2172

Box 3

Photographs #2174-4616

Box 4

Photographs #4617-4620

Subseries 2: Unnumbered Photographs

Box 4

General Photographs from Expeditions and Trips, Trip to China

Box 5

Photographs from trip to Japan and South America, University of Chicago Campus, Hyde Park, Chicago, General Landscapes, Farm, Neighborhood, Rural, Industrial, and Forrest Scenes, People, Miscellaneous.

Box 6

India Photo Album. I, 1920-1921

Box 7

India Photo Album. II, 1920-1921

Series IV: Glass Plates, 1909-1929

This series contains glass plate negatives corresponding to photographs elsewhere in the collection. Original envelopes have been kept with the plates that contain handwritten descriptions of photographed content. Materials range from 1909 to 1929.

Box 8

Square Glass Plates #1-77

Box 8

Rectangular Plates #90-141

Box 9

Rectangular Plates #144-199

Box 10

Rectangular Plates #200-276

Box 10

Unnumbered Plates from Gary, Indiana

Box 11

Unnumbered Plates from Gary, Indiana

Series V: Film Negatives, 1909-1929

This series contains film negatives corresponding to the photographs elsewhere in the collection. The negatives have been organized numerically and housed in between pages in notebooks. Materials date from 1909 to 1929.

Box 12

Negatives for Photographs #901-1913

Box 13

Negatives for Photographs #1914-3100

Box 14

Negatives for Photographs #3101-5028

Box 15

Negatives for Photographs #5029-5986

Series VI: Oversized, 1925-1936

This series contains oversized maps with markings by Jones. These maps range from topological to road maps and refer to Chicagoland, primarily.

Box 16

Topographical Maps of Parts of Chicago with markings, 1925-1928

Box 16

World Continents Map with markings, 1927

Box 16

Highway and General Reference Road Map, “The Lakes Region,” 1936

Box 16

Geographical Survey Maps “Chicago Loop Quadrangle” and “Englewood Quadrangle,” 1929

Box 16


Box 16

Map of Downtown Chicago with markings signed by Beatrice Terry, undated.