Institute for Water Resources

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Inside Maass-White

Opening of the Reference Room

On April 6, 2001, IWR hosted a dedication symposium for the Arthur Maass-Gilbert F. White Water Resources Reference Room. The reference room is a unique collection of the personal libraries of Drs. Arthur Maass and Gilbert F. White, which they endowed to the Corps. The material is housed at IWR and is available to practicing water resources planners within the Corps, elsewhere in the U.S., and around the world.  (Please visit here for details: Maass-White Reference Room.)

In addition to the IWR collection, the Corps Office of History has in its research collections the unpublished correspondence and papers of Arthur Maass and Gilbert White. The material includes letters and documents from scientists, politicians, water planners, and others involved in the development of water resources and amounts to over 300 linear feet of material. The Office of History also has a collection of books they donated that have special historical significance. All material is available to scholars.

No other scholars in the twentieth century had more influence on the Corps of Engineers water resources program. Arthur Maass criticized the cozy relationship the Corps had with Congress in his 1951 book Muddy Waters and he led the Harvard team that wrote Design of Water Resource Systems, the book that created the foundation for the P&S and P&G (Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies). These books are available in the Reference Room. Gilbert White is considered the father of floodplain management; he had advocated the equal consideration of non-structural measures since the late 1930’s. His prior work with IWR included the National Drought Study and the Galloway Commission.

At the opening, Major General Milton Hunter led a small symposium of speakers honoring Drs. Maass and White and discussing the role of scholarship in the development of the Corps principles for managing water. Videos from the Opening Ceremonies are available. The following links provide the videos from a variety of speakers at the ceremony.

Photos from the Opening Ceremonies are also available. You can view a slide show of images from the ceremony:
Maass-White Reading Room Opening Ceremony Slide Show
(ppt, 4.5 MB)