Jay Arnold Carpenter Papers

Identifier: NC800

Scope and Contents

A majority of the Jay Arnold Carpenter Papers, contained in Series 1, concerns Carpenter’s activities with different mines, mining, and milling companies. He kept records of many of the mines with which he had dealings. Of particular interest are three folders on the “Comstock District”. Included are a variety of prominent Comstock mines: Savage Mining Company, Union Shaft Company, the United Comstock Pumping Association, the Mexican Gold and Silver Mining Company, the Union Consolidated Mining Company, Gray Rock Mining Company, the Belcher Silver Mining Company, and the Crown Point Gold and Silver Mining Company. Also included in these folders is background information and historical information on the Comstock District.

Series 2 contains notebooks used by Carpenter. They cover a variety of topics from notes on his work in the field to chemical formulas used in mining. Many of his notebooks are numbered and have been arranged by those numbers. The notebooks are all handwritten in either pen or pencil.

Carpenter dedicated much of his life to the University of Nevada, Reno and this is reflected in this collection. He kept many newspaper clippings on the University of Nevada, Reno athletics, regents, past engineers, and on the Mackay School of Mines. Series 7 contains these newspaper clippings on the University as well as on other subjects that Carpenter found important including mining, railroads, and Nevada and Reno history.


  • 1875-1964


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Biographical Note

Jay Arnold Carpenter was born May 12, 1883 in Beloit, Iowa. After beginning his university education in both Wisconsin and California, he eventually received his Bachelors of Science from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1907 and received one of the first Masters of Engineering in 1911 for mining. After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he received a professorship at the South Dakota School of Mines from 1921-1922. He returned to the University of Nevada, Reno in 1926 and served as professor and chairman of the Mackay School of Mines, a position he filled until his retirement in 1951. He and colleague Sam Arentz worked together to establish the Mackay School of Mines as a separate entity from the College of Engineering near the end of his career as Director of the department. Beginning in 1951, Carpenter was awarded a professor emeritus position at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Carpenter took part in many societies and groups outside and inside of the university system. He was a member and chairman on the Nevada Section of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, member of the Society for Promotion of Engineering Education, served on the Committee on Scholarships and Prizes, was president of Phi Kappa Phi as well as a member of the American Association of University Professors, the Faculty Science Club, the Reno Lodge of Elks, and a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity.

During his time at the University of Nevada, Reno, Carpenter also served as director of the Nevada State Bureau of Mines from 1939-1951, a consultant for the Metal Research Company from 1942-1944, and was a member of the State Planning Board from 1940-1951. As part of his duties as director of the Bureau of Mines and as a consultant, Carpenter accumulated a great deal of information and wrote many reports for mines, mining companies, and milling companies throughout the western United States. In 1937, he also aided in the representation of Nevada on Boulder Dam legislation.

Carpenter died June 6, 1965 in Reno.


10.2 Linear Feet (10 boxes)

Language of Materials



Jay Arnold Carpenter (1883-1965) was a Nevada professor of mining engineering; chair of the Department of Mackay School of Mines, 1926-1951; director of the Nevada State Bureau of Mines, 1939-1951; consultant, Metal Research Company, 1942-1944; and member of the Nevada State Planning Board, 1940-1951. The collection contains research material on Nevada mines (metals of all types) and mining companies, including the Comstock Lode; engineering field notebooks, correspondence, maps, class notes and papers, newspaper clippings, and photographs.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Mines and Mining Companies; 2) Notebooks; 3) Correspondence; 4) Carpenter's Writings; 5) Writings by Others; 6) Personal; 7) Newspaper Clippings; 8) Photographs and Reel-to-Reel Tapes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Clayton Carpenter and Elizabeth Riker in 1975.

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections photo archives as collection number UNRS-P1988-55.

Guide to the Jay Arnold Carpenter
Kenneth Carpenter
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)