Skip to main content

Josua Lindahl papers

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 16
The Josua Lindahl papers, 1844-1958 and undated, contains the personal and professional papers of Josua Lindahl, including correspondence, photographs, scientific pamphlets, and lists of museum specimens and acquisitions. The Personal series (1876-1902 and undated) contains biographical information and photographs of Josua Lindahl. The Correspondence series (1877-1897) includes 65 letters written to Dr. Edward Oscar Ulrich, a stratigrapher and paleontologist. Also included are letters written by Lindahl to C.W. Foss, an Augustana professor, about the difficulties of Lindahl's reappointment as Illinois State Museum curator. The Specimens series (1876-1878 and undated) includes lists of exhibit materials sent from Sweden to the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. Joshua Lindahl was sent to Philadelphia by the Swedish government as an assistant to the Commissioner General of the Centennial Exposition. Also included are an 1878 list of specimens gifted to Augustana from Stockholm and bound museum specimen accession lists. The Pamphlets series (1844-1958 scattered and undated) is divided into three sub-series: English pamphlets, Swedish pamphlets, and pamphlets in other languages which include German, French and other Scandinavian languages. This series is very large and consists of scientific pamphlets once owned by Lindahl that bear his signature and number in his personal library. Also included are pamphlets and literature from 1876 and 1893 exhibitions. The 2013 Accession series (1853-1887) contains 37 additional pamphlets from the personal library of Josua Lindahl. The bulk of the pamphlets are written in Swedish, with one in English and one in French.

Dates

  • 1844-1958 and undated

Creator

Language of Materials

English, Swedish, French and German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Extent

9.2 Cubic Feet (/ 22 boxes and 1 oversize box)

Overview

Josua Lindahl was a professor of natural science and mathematics at Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois, from 1878 to 1888. Lindahl is remembered as the first full time science teacher at Augustana College and laid the foundation for his successor, John Udden, a later professor of geology. In 1888, Lindahl left Augustana for a position as state geologist and curator at the Illinois Natural History Museum, Springfield. He was an important member of the Swedish-American community, and one of the foremost celebrities in cultural circles and in the scientific world. The Josua Lindahl papers, 1844-1958 and undated, contains the personal and professional papers of Josua Lindahl, including correspondence, photographs, scientific pamphlets, and lists of museum specimens and acquisitions.

Historical Note

Josua Lindahl was born in Kungsbacka, Halland (Sweden) on 1 January 1844. He was only ten years old when his father died and he was sent to relatives in Karlshamn. There he attended public schools and subsequently took the student's examination at the University of Lund on 26 May 1863. He received the degree of doctor of philosophy in 1874 and the following year was appointed docent in zoology at Lund University. During a period of five years, before coming to the United States, Lindahl participated in many important scientific expeditions and thus established a name for himself as a great scientist.

Lindahl married Sophie Pahlman in 1877. They had two sons and two daughters. The older son died at a young age in 1881, in Rock Island, Illinois. In December 1878, Lindahl became a professor of natural science and mathematics at Augustana College and Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois. Lindahl is remembered as the first full time science teacher at Augustana College and laid the foundation for his successor, John Udden, a later professor of geology.

In 1888, Lindahl left Augustana for a position as state geologist and curator at the Illinois Natural History Museum, Springfield. The condition of the Museum was chaotic, and Lindahl worked hard to put it into working order. He resigned after five years following the change of governors, since his position was a political appointment.

Lindahl passed away in Chicago on 19 April 1912. His death was unexpected and was considered a great loss to the Swedish-American community. He was one of the foremost celebrities in cultural circles and in the scientific world.

Custodial History

Dr. Fritof Fryxell donated many of the items in this collection to the Augustana College Library in 1955. The items in the 2013 Accesion series were found during an extensive reorganization project during the 2012-2013 school year. The letters between Lindahl and E.O. Ulrich were donated in fall 2013 by the U.S. Geological Survey Field Records Collection in Denver, Colorado; they had previously been represented in the collection as negative photostats made in 1955.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Fritof Fryxell, 1955, and U.S. Geological Survey Field Records Collection, 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by Allison James, 2008. Updated by Elizabeth Mayer, 2013. Revised by Atticus Garrison, October 2016.
Title
Josua Lindahl papers, 1844-1958 and undated.
Status
completed
Author
Atticus Garrison
Date
October 2016
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

Contact:
639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States