The suggestion for a written history of the Department came from Robert Corbett. Corbett, who arrived on campus in 1989 as Department chairperson, found little written material about the Department. Yet, he recognized that it had a rich history and many traditions which should be a source of pride to the Department. Desiring to have attention paid to the matter before more material was lost to time, he appointed the author to the task. The author, although not a historical geographer, had, however, been a faculty member of the Department since 1962 and had personally known many of its graduates as well as approximately 70 percent of the faculty who served in the Department. Regardless of the author's long association with the Department, it is inevitable that some items and names worthy of note have been missed. The hope is that readers who are aware of such omissions will call them to the Department's attention, so that they may be added in the future. The reader should be aware that many colleges and universities, including Illinois State University, have experienced name changes. In this document, only the most recent name, when known, is used, because it would consume time and gain little to ascertain when many changes occurred. An expression of gratitude is due Robert Corbett, Jo Kimler, James Kirchner, E. Joan Miller, and Michael Sublett for their suggestions and aid to Jill Thomas for preparing the illustrations for publication.
Mattingly, Paul F., "The First Thirteen Decades: Geography and Geology at Illinois State University" (1992). Department Publications – Geography, Geology, and the Environment. 4.