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Dr. Henry H. Hildebrand Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-163

The Dr. Henry H. Hildebrand Papers contain his research, (including data sets, manuscripts, and correspondence) and his publications, along with a vast amount of information pertaining to marine science he accumulated over the years. The collection also houses Dr. Hildebrand’s paperwork from numerous committees and organizations with which he was involved. He kept extensive historical records of marine related happenings in the south Texas area dating from the mid-1800s to 2000.


  • Majority of material found within none
  • 1823 - 2003



56 Linear Feet

Materials Specific Details

Dr. Hildebrand’s papers before 1947 (Series I: Early Life) only contain records of his navy service, correspondence from his early life, and a few pieces of paperwork. The papers from 1947-1949 (Series II: Master's Degree Studies) contain reports and personal accounts of his time in Ungava Bay. He also had paperwork and notes from his time at McGill University. Series III: Doctoral Degree Studies represents Hildebrand's studies in doctoral programs at both the University of Washington and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute. It includes data and reports from his research in the Bering Sea and the North Pacific, but only a small amount of paperwork from Washington University. During Hildebrand’s time at the University of Texas, Institute of Marine Science (1950-1954) his papers show he worked with shrimp fisheries in the western Gulf of Mexico, cold wave effects on the marine ecosystem, algae distribution, and tar on beaches.

Series IV: Post-Doctorate Research represents the research conducted by Dr. Hildebrand during his professional career. It includes his research papers on the Laguna Madre, Texas, which began in the late 1950s and lasted throughout his lifetime. His main accomplishment in the Laguna Madre and Oso Bay research was the completion of a six-year study on the Barney M. Davis Power Plant. Dr. Hildebrand’s interest in the Laguna Madre de Tamaulipas began at the start of his career in the 1950s and continued through the early 1990s. He conducted research on Alacran Reef in the late 1950s and his papers contains the data and manuscripts of his work. Dr. Hildebrand’s interest in sea turtles began in the late 1950s and continued until his death. This paperwork includes the discovery of the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nesting grounds. Dr. Hildebrand regularly reviewed stranding reports from the 1980s through the 1990s. From the late 1960s through the mid-1970s he worked on conducting aerial surveys on fish-eating birds. In the early 1970s he began observations on brown pelican populations, and later conducted research to link pelican population decline to pesticide. Dr. Hildebrand’s papers cover his shark fishing research in the early 1980s. He also researched shark attacks throughout his career by gathering firsthand accounts but only attempted to publish in the early 1990s. His papers on this subject contain his data, notes and manuscripts. Dr. Hildebrand worked extensively with the shrimp fisheries throughout his career in the western Gulf of Mexico and throughout bays and estuaries. He was also involved with a lawsuit between TPWD and various fisheries companies in 1981. Dr. Hildebrand worked with various fisheries throughout his career. His red drum papers are concentrated in 1974, and the black drum paperwork is concentrated in 1972. Dr. Hildebrand worked on oyster fisheries at various times throughout his career.

Series V: Teaching Work encompasses Dr. Hildebrand's time at the University of Corpus Christi (1957-1973) and Texas A&I Kingsville (1973-1979) and contains paperwork from both universities as well as plans and teaching aids. The teaching papers also cover annual research class trips to British Honduras (now Belize) from 1967 to 1977 and an annual research project titled the “Diurnal” which was established in 1967 and Hildebrand continued to work on through 1974.

Dr. Hildebrand acquired many reports on dam problems and possible locations, which can be found in Series VI: Civic Works. Those reports focus on the Wesley Seale Dam, the eventual Choke Canyon Dam, and the potential R&M Dam site. Dr. Hildebrand followed dredging progress throughout the Coastal Bend area, and he actively worked to stop shell dredging in 1965. He was actively involved in other civic or community projects including the Corpus Christi Museum, the Texas State Aquarium, and the Beach Access debate.

Dr. Hildebrand collected vast records over his career on all manner of topics, and kept extensive historical clippings that ranged from the mid-1800s throughout his lifetime. Such materials are found in Series VII: Collected Reference Materials. His involvement in many committees and organizations throughout his career is reflected in Series VIII: Committees/Groups. Such groups included the Organization for Preservation of an Unblemished Bayfront (OPUS), Professional Involvement of Seafood Concerned Enterprises (PISCES), the Texas Shrimp Association, and the Winship Foundation, among others. In Series IX: Correspondence, Other (representing correspondence not related to other series) Dr. Hildebrand’s communications with scientists and researchers ranged from providing reprints of his works to sending detailed answers to questions on various subjects. Series X: Reports and Publications by H. H. Hildebrand contains copies of publications by Hildebrand, gathered together here to provide an easy overview of his work. Copies of some publications are also to be found in the series to which they pertain by subject. Dr. Hildebrand’s papers include a number of artifacts, including pressed algae, shell collections, and awards from his career. These are to be found in Series XI: Artifacts, Specimens, and Awards.

Dr. Henry H. Hildebrand Papers
In Progress
Amie Cuvelier
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives, Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Repository

6300 Ocean Dr.
Unit 5702
Corpus Christi TX 78412 United States
361-825-5973 (Fax)