James Howley Geological Survey of Newfoundland Field Books

Geological Survey of Newfoundland: Field books
James Patrick Howley, 1847-1918. He was educated at St. Bonaventure's College. In 1867 he began work with the Newfoundland Government, as a clerk in the office of the Colonial Secretary. He soon made the acquaintance of Alexander Murray (1810-1884) who had been appointed Director of the Geological Survey of Newfoundland in 1864. The need for a survey of Newfoundland had been brought to light several years before when the office of the Geological Survey of Canada sent James Richardson to survey the coast of Labrador and the Northern Peninsula. Sir William Logan, Director of the Geological Survey of Canada, made arrangements with the Newfoundland Government to have his assistant, Alexander Murray, do a survey of the island.

In 1868 Howley applied for a position with the Geological Survey and began working with Murray that year. From the beginning, Howley kept journals describing in detail their work in the field. In addition to the practical, hands on work of mapping and surveying, Howley also read voraciously from Murray's extensive library of geological works. By 1876 poor health forced Murray to give up much of the geologic field work. In 1883 he resigned his position. Howley was put in charge of the Survey office after Murray's resignation but was not formally appointed to the position of Director of the Geological Survey until July 1898. Howley's work with the Geological Survey brought him recognition on a wider scale. He was elected a member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain in 1879, a member of the Geological Society of Quebec in 1880, and Fellow of the Geological Society of London, in 1883. He spent eight months in London, in 1911, in charge of the Newfoundland exhibit at the Festival of Empire and in1913 he attended the International Geological Congress in Toronto. In addition to his work, Howley had other scholarly interests which resulted in a series of publications. In 1876 he published Geography of Newfoundland, which was used for many years as the standard geography textbook in Newfoundland schools.