Compton earned his A.B. in 1943 and his Ph.D. in physical science in 1949 from Stanford University. He joined the Stanford
faculty in the Dept. of Geology in 1949 and was appointed full professor in 1962. His MANUAL OF FIELD GEOLOGY is recognized
as the definitive work on this subject.
The papers largely consist of his field notebooks, 1947-49 and 1955-73, some of which contained reading notes and bibliographies.
Also included are the typescripts of several chapters from a book on field geology, 1984; and one letter from R. I. Harker.
The California notes appear to be research for his Stanford doctorate: PETROLOGY OF THE SOUTHWESTERN PART OF THE BIDWELL BAR
(30') QUADRANGLE, CALIFORNIA, (1949). Other geologic areas covered include the Grouse Creek Range in Utah, the Santa Lucia
range in California, the Santa Rosa mountains in Nevada, and the British Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland).
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This collection is open for research.