Walter C. Carey Papers

Manuscripts Collection
Louisiana Division
New Orleans Public Library

Date Range: 1907-1979 (bulk 1920-1963)
Size of Collection: 27 boxes and 13 oversize items ( linear feet)
Donated by: Walter C. Carey, 1979
Terms of Access: Available to registered researchers by appointment

Biographical Note

Engineer. Born in 1893 at New York City, Carey worked in his early years on various railroad projects in the U.S. and Canada and on subway construction in New York. His long career with the Corps of Engineers began in 1920 and was centered in the New Or leans District. Within the District he held successive positions as Assistant Chief of Operations, Chief of Operations, Chief of Construction, Chief of Design Branch, and Assistant Chief of Engineering. Carey specialized in the design, construction, and operations of flood control projects, and in river stabilization, navigation improvement, and water resources projects. During World War II he served as Engineer and Construction Officer, Eastern Base Section, England, with the rank of Lieutenant Colone l. In that position he was responsible for the design and construction of military installations, including airstrips.

From 1930-1933 he served as river stabilization expert in the Office of President, Mississippi River Commission. Following his retirement in 1963, he continued active in his fields of expertise as a consulting engineer. Throughout his career Carey prepa red numerous technical papers, many of which were published in professional journals.

Series Arrangement

The papers are arranged in the following series:

Personal Papers
Technical Papers--Articles
Technical Papers--Flood Project Files
Technical Papers--Marine Growth
Plans, Maps, Charts, etc.
Books, Pamphlets, Journals, etc.
Oversize Materials

Scope Note

Correspondence, speeches, manuscripts of technical papers, maps, plans, charts, photographs, books, pamphlets, and journals relating to marine growth, flood control (particularly to the developme nt and installation of revetments on the Misissippi River), and other civil engineering topics and projects.$bAmong the photographs are visual records of flood projects in progress and shots taken on a trip to the Netherlands in 1937. Many of the printed items (mostly produced by the Mississippi River Commission and the Corps of Engineers) were marked by Carey as "rare and valuable." Correspondents include General John R. Hardin, General Harley B. Ferguson, Congressman Paul H. Maloney, Dr. P.W. Zimmerman, Herbert D. Vogel, and Bernard E. Gray.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Correspondence, Personal
Included are clippings, bills, and other materials relating to Carey's planned relocation to England in 1979

Box 1 Folder 1 1920-1930
Box 1 Folder 2 1935-1943
Box 1 Folder 3 1944-1947
Box 1 Folder 4 1948-1950
Box 1 Folder 5 1953-1956
Box 1 Folder 6 1958-1963
Box 1 Folder 7 1959-1960

Correspondence, Personal and Technical

Box 1 Folder 8 1947-1950

Correspondence, Veterans Administration
Included are letters, etc. dealing with Carey's World War I disability and insurance matters

Box 1 Folder 9 1920-1953
Box 1 Folder 10 1930-1958

Letters to the Press

Box 1 Folder 11 1952-1959


Box 1 Folder 12 1944-1948


Box 1 Folder 13 "The matter of Turdus Migratorius Achrasteris in Audubon Park, New Orleans," 1959-1963

Drafts and/or final copies of articles written by Carey along with his research notes, original photographs, and correspondence with prospective publishers

Box 1 Folder 14 "Bank protection on the Lower Mississippi River, history and development of types and practices" (1931)--an unpublished, in-house study in three parts
Box 2 Folder 1 "The design and construction of the reinforced asphalt mattress." Published in Military Engineer (Nov.-Dec., 1935)
Box 2 Folder 2 "Some recent uses of asphalt in river and harbor construction." Paper delivered before the Royal Society of Civil Engineers, The Hague, October 29, 1937. Published in part by the Asph alt Institute (August, 1947) in their Information Series #65
Box 2 Folder 3 "Soil engineering for the military engineer." Lecture delivered to Airfield Construction Groups, 21st Army Group, England. Published in Military Engineer (April, 1944)
Box 2 Folder 4 "Some notes on river stabilization." Paper read before the Baton Rouge Chapter, American Society of Civil Engineers, May 5, 1950
Box 2 Folder 5 "Military construction uses of sand and gravels." Unpublished paper, 1950
Box 2 Folder 6 "Comprehensive water resources and conservation planning in the U.S." Published in Military Engineer (Nov.-Dec., 1954)
Box 3 Folder 1-4 "The state concept of multi-purpose river improvement and valley development." Unpublished paper, 1955 (includes earlier version under the title "The stage conception of comprehensiv e river improvement, ca. 1952)
Box 3 Folder 5 "Asphalt mixtures for resisting the attacks of water in motion." Paper delivered before the Association of Asphalt Pouring Technologists, New Orleans, February 7, 1955 and published in the Proceedings of the association
Box 3 Folder 6 "Asphalt in river and harbor work." Paper delivered before the First Western Conference on Asphalt in Hydraulics, Salt Lake City, September 26, 1955 and published in the Proceedings of the conference
Box 3 Folder 7 "The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway." Unpublished paper, 1955
Box 3 Folder 8 "Systematic changes in the beds of alluvial rivers." Paper delivered beforethe American Society of Civil Engineers, Jackson, Mississippi, February 20, 1957 and published in Hydrauli cs Journal (August, 1957), paper #1331
Box 4 Folder 1 "Brief history of trade development in the Mississippi River System." Published in Business and Economic Review [University of Missouri] (July-August, 1960)
Box 4 Folder 2 "Field profiles mechanically plotted to scale." Published in Military Engineer (Jan.-Feb., 1962)
Box 4 Folder 3 "Turn mechanisms of alluvial streams." Published in Military Engineer (Jan.-Feb., 1963)
Box 4 Folder 4 "The effect of temperature on river-bed configurations (its possible state-discharge relationship)" Paper delivered before the Second Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Jack son, Mississippi, Jan.-Feb., 1963 and published in Proceedings (Miscellaneous publication #970), Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture
Box 4 Folder 5-11 "Comprehensive river stabilization." Paper delivered before the American Society of Civil Engineers, Mobile, Alabama, March 8, 1965 and published in the Society's Waterways and H arbors Journal (Feb., 1966), paper #4672
Box 4 Folder 12 "Hot Jetty Mix--a jetty construction material." Published in Military Engineer (July-Aug., 1967)
Box 4 Folder 13 "Formation of flood plain lands." Published in Journal of the Hydraulics Division, American Society of Civil Engineers (May, 1969)

Correspondence, reports, articles, etc. on various flood control and related projects

Box 5 Folder 1 Shearer patent suit, ca. 1920-1927
Reports of experimental board
Box 5 Folder 2 Explosives, 1926
W. B. Alford's report on the Rodney Cutoff plug, March 23
Box 5 Folder 3 Experimental concrete revetment, ca. 1926-1934
Box 5 Folder 4 Articulated concrete mattress, 1929
Proposed improvements
Box 5 Folder 5 Rock fill groins for river bank protection, 1930-1944
New Madrid, Missouri and Osceola, Arkansas
Box 5 Folder 6 Underwater survey of bank revetments, ca. 1931-1932
Cairo, Illinois to New Orleans
Box 5 Folder 7-8 Miscellaneous material on asphalt mattress design and production, ca. 1932-1942
Box 6 Folder 1 Miscellaneous material on asphalt mattress design and production, ca. 1932-1942
(continuation of Box 5, Folders 7-8)
Box 6 Folder 2 Channel stabilization data, ca. 1932-1945
Box 6 Folder 3 Design data, asphalt mattress plant, ca. 1933-1935
Box 6 Folder 4 Miscellaneous materials on asphalt mattresses, ca. 1933-1963
Plans, specifications, photographs, correspondence, etc.
Box 7 Folder 1 Miscellaneous materials on asphalt mattresses, ca. 1933-1963
(continuation of Box 6, Folder 4)
Box 7 Folder 2 Miscellaneous data on asphalt mattresses, ca. 1934-1947
Box 7 Folder 3 Album, photographs of asphalt plant operations, 1935
Box 7 Folder 4 Miscellaneous data on asphalt levee paving, ca. 1935-1946
Box 7 Folder 5 Hardscrabble Bend, 1936
Intercepting drain perforated pipe
Box 8
Specifications for asphalt mattress, 1936-1942
Box 9 Folder 1-12 Specifications for asphalt mattress, 1936-1942
(continuation of Box 8)
Box 9 Folder 13 Miscellaneous data on asphalt cement and asphalt mixture, ca. 1936-1951
Box 9 Folder 14 Manual of Bank Protection Survey Equipment and Methods, 1937
Box 9 Folder 15 Sand, 1937-1938
Miscellaneous data
Box 9 Folder 16 Revetment Board, 1937-1941
Box 9 Folder 17 Plaquemine revetment, 1941
Box 9 Folder 18 Military construction in Eastern Base Section, England, 1941-1942
Box 9 Folder 19 Area memorandums, 1942
Issued by Carey as Major, Area Engineer, U. S. Engineer Office
Box 9 Folder 20 Military construction in Eastern Base Section, England, 1943
Box 10 Folder 1 Military construction in Eastern Base Section, England, 1944-1945
Box 10 Folder 2 Pipe coverings for projected Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, ca. 1945-1958
Box 10 Folder 3 Underwater survey of concrete revetment, White Castle, ca. 1947
Box 10 Folder 4 Disaster plan for New Orleans, 1948
New Orleans Reserve Officers Association
Box 10 Folder 5 Concrete revetments, 1949-1958
Miscellaneous data on materials, etc.
Box 10 Folder 6 Airboats for inspections, surveys, etc., 1950
Box 10 Folder 7 Arkansas-White-Red Office, 1950-1952
Box 10 Folder 8 Old River Closure, ca. 1950-1954
Box 10 Folder 9 Miscellaneous correspondence on technical subjects, 1950-1958
Box 11 Folder 1 Sediment papers, 1951
Arkansas-White-Red Office
Box 11 Folder 2 Comprehensive stabilization for Red River, ca. 1952-1956
Box 11 Folder 3 Foreshore erosion problem on the Lower Mississippi, 1955-1956
Box 11 Folder 4 Articulated concrete mattress, 1955-1958
New developments
Box 11 Folder 5 Studies, 1957-1961
Sonoprobe, cable cutters, Copperweld, earth resistivity, cone penetrometer, sonor thumper
Box 11 Folder 6 Articulated concrete mattress, ca. 1959-1961
Miscellaneous material
Box 11 Folder 7 Bank Revetment Board, 1960-1961
Box 11 Folder 8 Magdalena River, 1962
Consultant work in Colombia for the Corporacion Autonoma Regional de los Valles des Magdelena y del Sinu (CVM)
Box 11 Folder 9 Sonar pinger in surveying condition of revetments, 1962-1963
Box 11 Folder 10 Miscellaneous papers, ca. 1925-1979
(No obvious connection to Carey, but retained anyway)


Box 11 Folder 11 Marine growth, general, 1947-1959
Box 12 Folder 1 Agricultural chemical herbicides and aquatic plant growth in general, ca. 1947-1961
Includes material relative to Carey's article, "Engineer uses of chemical herbicides," published in Military Engineer (May-June, 1952)
Box 12 Folder 2 Zimmerman, Dr. P. W., 1948-1950
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
Box 12 Folder 3 Tulane University, 1948-1950
Contract for marine growth control research
Box 12 Folder 4 Water hyacinths, etc., 1948-1950
Interim report
Box 12 Folder 5 Water hyacinth bulletin, 1949
Box 12 Folder 6 Log, 1949
Chemical treatments at Bonnet Carre
Box 12 Folder 7 Experiments with helicopter in spraying water hyacinths, ca. 1949-1950
Box 12 Folder 8 Water hyacinths, 1949-1954
Box 12 Folder 9 Marine growth, general, 1950


Box 12 Folder 10 Crib dike plans and plans for framed willow mattresses, ca. 1907-1923
Box 12 Folder 11 Deer Park, Louisiana, ca. 1918-1929
Cross sections and maps
Box 12 Folder 12 Shearer patent suit, ca. 1921-1928
Plans of mattress designs
Box 13
Miscellaneous, ca. 1919-1963
[See also oversize material listing at the end of this finding aid]


4" x 6" prints compiled into "mini-albums" by Carey. Each album is identified by name of photographer (Carey), roll number, date, and camera used. Each album includes a table of contents that provides the date that each photograph was taken and a bri ef description of the scene depicted therein. View a sample of the Carey photographs.

Box 14 1935-1936
Box 15 1936-1937
Box 16 1937-1939
Includes photographs of Carey's trip to Holland, Oct.-Dec., 1937
Box 17 1941; 1944-1945
Box 18 1948-1951; 1954
Box 19 1955; 1959; 1961
Box also includes water hyacinth project photographs, 1949; 1955 and asphalt capping and jetty repair photographs, 1937-1959
Miscellaneous photographs, n.d.
Box 20
Glass slides, n.d.
Box 21

Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Boxes 22-23 (part)
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District
Box 23 (part)
Mississippi River Commission
Box 23 (part)
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (other districts) and other U. S. Government Agencies
Box 24
U.S. Government Agencies
Including AWRBIAC 1955 reports
Box 25
State Governments, Universities, Corporations, and Organizations
Including product information and catalogs
Box 26
Engineering Magazines and Miscellaneous Books
Box 27
Shelved in the second basement cage near the map collection. Each item has a "Carey Papers" label with its item number

  1. Map of the Atchafalaya Floodway
  2. Plans, wire line earth coring device, modified oil field type (file #H-4-16558/3)
  3. Map, Alluvial Valley of the Mississippi River, Northern Sheet, Memphis District (Mississippi River Commission, 1939)
  4. Graph survey (hydrologic), flood of 1945--cross sections, Old River, Torras, La., Atchafalaya River, Simmesport, Krotz Springs, Morgan City, Wax Lake, and Calumet, La.
  5. Blueprints--asphalt plant drawings, 8/9/1950 (contents listed on outer wrapper)
  6. Tracings--asphalt plant drawings, 8/9/1950 (contents listed on outer wrapper)
  7. Atchafalaya River Study, 1951 (maps, charts, and drawings--in one volume)
  8. Mississippi River Commission maps (Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama)--incomplete
  9. Aerial photographs, Mississipi River from Concordia Parish to Head of Passes
  10. Fine grained alluvial deposits and their effects on Mississippi River activity, Harold N. Fisk (Waterways Experiment Station, July, 1947, vol. 11)
  11. Comprehensive review of Red River and tributaries--preliminary locations, channels, locks, and dams, 8/1962
  12. Maps of Red River, Index, Arkansas to Mississippi River (Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, 2nd edition, January, 1958)
  13. Hydrologic Survey, Mississippi River, Angola, La. to Head of Passes (Corps of Engineers, New Olreans District for the Mississippi River Commission, 7/1952)

Back to Manuscript Inventories

Back to Nutrias Home

Coded: October 5, 1998
Coded by: Wayne Everard