Collection on Rudolph W. Edmund

MSS 157
7.5 linear inches


See acquisition information




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection. Audiovisual materials may be inaccessible pending reformatting. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Access points:

Augustana College and Theological Seminary (Rock Island, Ill.)--Students. 
Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill.)--Faculty.

Finding aid prepared by:

Emily Hughes Dominick, 2007; Caroline McPherson, February 2015.


Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Acquisition Information
Historical Note
Scope and Content
System of Arrangement
Box List
Related Collections


This collection was artificially assembled by combining donations from different sources. Rudolph W. Edmund donated information about the Runic Honor Society in 1979. Two accessions were received from geologist Richard C. Anderson, the first in 1987 and the next in 2002. In 2001, Diane Edmund Griffin, one of Edmund's daughters, donated class notes Edmund had collected from his classes with F. M. Fryxell.



Rudolph W. Edmund was born May 9, 1910, in Lockridge, Iowa, to Amos and Minnie Edmund. He was the eldest of six children. He grew up on the family farm and received his early education in a one-room school. Upon graduation from Ottumwa High School in 1928, Edmund worked for a year to save enough money to begin his college education at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. When Edmund started college in the fall of 1930, he planned to become a medical missionary but his career path changed when he took his first geology course from F. M. Fryxell. From this point on, Fryxell acted as Edmund's mentor. Edmund graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor's Degree in Geology in 1934. After working for a year, Edmund continued his education at the University of Iowa where he pursued and then attained a Master's Degree (1938) and then a Ph. D. (1940). In June of 1939 Edmund married Doris Swanson, a fellow Augustana College graduate.

In July of 1940, Edmund took a position as a Subsurface Petroleum Geologist at Shell Oil Company. He worked for Shell until 1945 when he opened a consulting office in Oklahoma City with a business partner. In 1948, Edmund returned to Augustana as a professor. He remained at Augustana until January of 1969 with a sizable break between 1951 and 1960 when he returned to his job as a petroleum geologist. While at Augustana, Edmund was instrumental in helping design new facilities for the Department of Geology and the Geology Museum as it transitioned to a new location in what is now known as Swenson Hall. He also served as the chair of the Department of Geology for several years. In 1969, Edmund accepted the position of Vice-President for Academic Affairs at California Lutheran College. He worked in the administration of this new institution until 1974 when he began teaching in the Department of Geology in 1974. He retired in 1980 though continued teaching part-time for several years.

In the midst of his successful and varied professional life, Rudolph and his wife Doris raised a family of three daughters. They were active in the Lutheran Church: they helped to found Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City and were active volunteers and supporters of Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington state. Rudolph served on the board of directors of Holden Village and also established a museum about the Howe Sound Mine. Doris and Rudolph continued to live in California until Doris's health began to fail in 1994. At this point, they decided to move back to the Midwest. Rudolph volunteered at the Fryxell Geology Museum upon his return to Rock Island.

Doris passed away in the spring of 1995 and Rudolph followed in November of 1997.



The collection has been arranged into four series based on the separate donations received: Runic Honor Society; F. M. Fryxell classes; Manuscript; and Subsurface mapping notebook.

The Runic Honor Society (1933-1949) series consists of the constitution, membership lists, a historical sketch, and Edmund's Runic Honor Society key. Edmund was one of the early members of this honor society that was a precursor to the Phi Beta Kappa chapter that was eventually formed on the Augustana College campus.

The F. M. Fryxell classes (circa 1934) series contains notes that Edmund saved from classes that he took from geologist F. M. Fryxell while at Augustana College. The names of each folder were taken from the original folders and these were kept in the order that they were received.

The Manuscript (1951) series contains a draft of Edmund's Structural geology and physiography of the northern end of the Teton Mountains, Wyoming, 1951. This work was based on the field work done for his doctoral dissertation at the University of Iowa and was published into book form by the Augustana College Library in 1951. Following the text of the book are the accompanying figures (in the form of photographs, maps, and diagrams) used.

The Subsurface mapping notebook (circa 1988) was put together by Edmund for a 1 credit seminar on the subject at California Lutheran University. According to Richard C. Anderson, Edmund accumulated these materials over many years with the intention of compiling the information into a book but his busy schedule never allowed him to finish the project. The materials were stored in a series of plastic sleeves within a three-ring binder but have been removed for preservation reasons.

The Audiovisual Material (1988) series consists of one audiocassette with the sound recording from Rudolph Edmund's interment, May 30th, 1998, which took place at the New Sweden Church and Cemetery.


See scope and content for specific arrangement.



Box 1
      Runic Honor Society

      F. M. Fryxell classes
            Coelenterata -- Paleontology, class notes and drawings, 1934
            Invertebrate Paleontology
            Porifera -- Paleontology, class notes and drawings
            Protozoa -- Paleontology, class notes and drawings
            Graptolites -- Paleontology, class notes etc.
            Echinodermata -- Paleontology, class notes etc.
            Anthopoda -- Paleontology, class notes etc.
            Vermes -- Paleontology, class notes and drawings
            Mollusca -- Paleontology, class notes etc.
            Brachipoda -- Paleontology, class notes and drawings
            Bryozoa -- Paleontology, class notes etc.
            Vertebrate Paleontology, class notes (by Fryxell)

            Structural geology and physiography of the northern end of the Teton Mountains, Wyoming, 1951
            Figures for manuscript

Box 2
      Subsurface mapping notebook
            Circa 1988 [4 folders]

AV items (filed in Small AV Collections box 1)
      Audiovisual Material
            C-0157/1: Rudy Edmund Interment, New Sweden Chapel/Cemetery, May 30, 1998



Vertical file: Edmund, Rudolph W.


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