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John Charles Geyer papers

Identifier: MS-0343

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection consists largely of writings, subject files relating to environment consulting and teaching at Johns Hopkins University, and some personal items spanning 1952-1980. The bulk of the collection, spanning 1960 to 1970 and filed in Series 1 and 2, deals with material related to Dr. Geyer's published texts on sanitary engineering and his appointment to a panel studying the Colorado River. Included in Series 1: Writings, are correspondence with co-authors Gordon Fair and Daniel Okun and business correspondence with the publishing firm of John Wiley. Geyer's service to the President's Science Advisory Committee is demonstrated in Series 2 through a collection of published reports on the Colorado River and some holographic notes and agendas for meetings. Series 3: Personal and Series 4: The Johns Hopkins University are smaller series. The Personal Series does include some biographical information but other items including appointment books and awards are more closely related to Dr. Geyer's work in the field of environmental engineering. In Series 4 are a few course notes, departmental reports, and a selection of small instruments useful for laboratory work.


  • Creation: 1952-1980
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-1970

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

John Charles Geyer was born in Neosho, Missouri, August 11, 1906. After two years of liberal arts studies at Drury College, he left to study civil engineering at the University of Michigan. Geyer went to Harvard in 1931 as an assistant to Dr. Gordon Fair in the Department of Sanitary Engineering, and he received the master's degree in engineering in 1933. At Harvard he began both a lasting friendship and a professional association with Professor Fair that resulted in a collaboration on four texts specific to sanitary engineering. Dr. Geyer left Harvard in 1934 and taught for three years in the Department of Sanitary Engineering, the University of North Carolina. His career at The Johns Hopkins University began in 1937 when he entered a graduate research program with the noted civil engineer, Dr. Abel Wolman. The single interruption to his work at Hopkins was service in the U.S. Army during World War II. He received the Ph.D. degree in 1943 and remained at the University to enjoy a distinguished teaching and writing career until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1973. From 1957 to 1970, Dr. Geyer was departmental chairman in Environmental Engineering, and his scholarship and vision were recognized by other faculty members when they elected him to the Hopkins chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1971.

Along with his teaching and writing, Dr Geyer was often called upon for consulting work with federal and state agencies, for foundations and private companies. In 1964, he was appointed to the President's Science Advisory Committee and chaired a sub-panel on salinity studies in the Colorado River. The catalog of Dr. Geyer's published works includes sixty-five articles and eight books as well as many engineering reports and technical papers.

His most significant contributions both to the engineering profession and to the teaching profession were the four sanitary texts he co-authored with Gordon Fair and Daniel Okun: Water Supply and Waste Water Disposal (1954); Water and Wastewater Engineering, Vol. 2 Water Purification and Wastewater Treatment and Disposal (1968); Elements of Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal (1971).


2.08 Cubic Feet (1 record center carton, 1 legal size document box, 1 flat box (14 x 10.5 x 4.25 inches))

Language of Materials



John Charles Geyer was as a teacher, writer, and consultant on environmental matters born in 1906. This collection consists largely of writings, subject files relating to environment consulting and teaching at Johns Hopkins University, and some personal items, spanning 1952-1980.


The papers have been artificially arranged into four series: Series 1: Writings; Series 2: President's Science Advisory Committee; Series 3: Personal; Series 4: The Johns Hopkins University.


The papers were given to the University by John Charles Geyer in 1990 and 1992.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in November 1992.

John Charles Geyer papers
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA