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Walter Huber Meyer papers

Call Number: MS 1476

Scope and Contents

The Walter Huber Meyer Papers are composed of correspondence, reports, lecture notes, forest inventories, and research data, which document Meyer's work as a professor of forestry and a forestry consultant. They highlight Meyer's work for the Pacific Northwest Experiment Station, the Yale University School of Forestry, the Crossett Lumber Company, the Fordyce Lumber Company, the J. Neils Lumber Company, and the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and his research on forest valuation and forest mensuration in Arkansas and the Pacific Northwest. While the earliest materials in the papers date from 1912, the bulk of the papers reflect Meyer's work during the years he served as a member of the Yale Forestry School faculty, 1939-1963. The Yale Forestry Library transferred the Meyer Papers to the Manuscripts and Archives Department in 1988.

Meyer arranged his papers in binders by topics, which reflect various aspects of his career. The papers remain in these binders. The contents of the binders are more fully described in Meyer's index to his papers, which is in a separate volume in folder 1. The index, however, lists more materials than were transferred to the Manuscripts and Archives Department. Only volumes under the headings: Forest Experiment Station; Studies at Yale; Instruction; Yale Crossett Camp; J. Neils Lumber Camp; Fordyce Lumber Company; Crossett Lumber Company; Forest Utilization Economic Study; Georgia Pacific; and St. Croix are now in the Meyer Papers. The papers do not include material described in the index as Meyer's publications or files for his extra-curricular activities such as the American Forestry Association or the Society of American Foresters. Neither do the files contain any general correspondence or personal papers.

The Walter Huber Meyer Papers are arranged in the order outlined in Meyer's index. In the container list which follows folder titles are those used in the index or on the binder. Included in the folder title, in parentheses, is the Roman numeral-Arabic numeral code employed by Meyer to indicate his section and volume numbers. At the end of the listing there are four unnumbered volumes containing Crossett forest inventory statistics. Though some volumes contain correspondence the bulk of the material in the binders is reports and research data including charts and tables relating to forest management.


  • 1912-1978


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Yale University Forestry Library, 1988 and 1991.


12 Linear Feet (29 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, reports, lecture notes, forest inventories, and research data, which document Walter Huber Meyer's study and teaching of forest valuation and mensuration and his work as a forestry consultant to the Crossett Company, the Fordyce Lumber Company, the J. Neils Lumber Company, and the Georgia-Pacific Company.

Biographical / Historical

Walter H. Meyer, 85, Harriman Professor Emeritus of Forest Management, died in New Haven on November 18, 1981, of an infection after an operation. He had been quite well and active until then; he had retired in 1963 after 24 years as a faculty member.

A native of New Haven born in 1896, Professor Meyer received B.A., M.F., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale, in 1919, 1922, and 1929, respectively. As an undergraduate mathematics major, he had been elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year and to Sigma Xi as a senior. Following the completion of his master's program, he was granted an American-Scandinanvian Foundation Fellowship and studied at the Royal Institute of Forestry in Stockholm in 1922-1923.

Professor Meyer entered the U.S. Forest Service in 1923, on his return from Sweden, and served on the staff of the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station at Amherst, MA until 1926, when he was transferred to the Pacific Northwest Forest Experiment Station, Portland, OR. During his career in the Forest Service he did a number of studies of the mensuration, growth, and yield of such species as Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, and red spruce that remain in use to this day.

Walt spent a leave in 1928-1929 at Yale doing the work that led to the first Ph.D. degree awarded under the aegis of an American forestry school. From 1936 to 1939, he was professor of forest management at the University of Washington. He returned to Yale to fill the vacancy left on the faculty by the retirement of Dean Graves.

His initial duties at Yale involved teaching forest economics and policy as well as statistics and forest mensuration. When Professor Herman Chapman retired in 1943, Meyer took over instruction in forest management and finance which he continued for the rest of his career. However, there was a hectic period during the resumption of instruction in 1945-1946 when he taught all of the courses listed here and also steered the resumption and relocation of the southern field instruction at Crossett, AR. Of all the many things that he did, there was nothing that brought more mutual pride and satisfaction to Walt and about 250 students than 17 spring-semester sessions at Crossett. Some of the students stayed in the western South and the others carried what they learned to many distant places. In this instruction and in his research, he pioneered in introducting many methods of mathematical analysis, now commonplace, into practical application in forest management.

His publications included five technical bulletins and other major publications of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and four bulletins in the Yale Forestry series. He was joint author, with H. H.Chapman, of two standard forestry textbooks published by McGraw-Hill Book Company: Forest Valuation (1947) and Forest Mensuration (1949).

While in the Pacific Northwest, he served as chairman of various committees and organizations, including the Puget Sound Section of the Society of American Foresters and the Forestry Committee of the Washington State Planning Council. He was chairman of the SAF Committee on Civil Service from 1942-1948 and a member of the SAF Accrediting Committee in 1948 to 1954. He was honored by election as a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters in 1959. He also served on the Board of Directors of the American Forestry Association from 1944 through 1952. He was for many years forestry consultant to the Crossett Company and the Fordyce Lumber Company in Arkansas, and the J. Neils Lumber Company in Washington and Montana; this relationship continued with the Georgia-Pacific Company after it acquired the Arkansas companies.

He is survived by his wife, Constance B. Meyer of Hamden, CT and a son, Walter, Jr., a Bureau of Land Management forester who lives at Eagle, ID, and by two grandchildren.

From: Yale Forest School News, vol. 70, no. 1.

Guide to the Walter Huber Meyer Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan and Kathryn S. Hutton
June 1988
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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