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Robert P. Miller Papers

Identifier: GTM-120518

Scope and Contents Note

The Robert P. Miller Papers document the work of American geologist Robert P. Miller, who was one of the first Americans to enter Saudi Arabia to explore that nation's rich oil resources in the 1930s. As an employee of the California Arabia Standard Oil Company (CASOC), Miller took part in establishing the oil industry in Saudi Arabia from its earliest days. CASOC was the precursor of the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), which produced great amounts of oil in Saudi Arabia for decades. The Robert P. Miller Papers include correspondence to and from Miller and noted individuals, such as G.C. Gester, Lloyd N. Hamilton, Bill Lenahan, J.O. Nomland, H. St. John Philby, and R.C. Stoner. Chronological correspondence is also present, dating from 1931 to 1935. Topics of correspondence include the status of oil wells, transportation, planning, supplies, logistics, finding water, government relations, and personnel. Correspondence was sent to and from Jubail, Jeddha, Bahrain, London, San Francisco, and other locations. A fine run of more than 30 black-and-white photographs dating between 1933 and 1935 depicting life in Saudi Arabia and CASOC's activities is also preserved in this collection.


  • 1932 - 1948
  • Majority of material found within 1932 - 1935


Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical Sketch

Robert P. Miller (d. 1982) was a geologist with the California Arabia Standard Oil Company (CASOC) when it first entered Saudi Arabia to explore for oil in that country in the early 1930s. CASOC was the predecessor of the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO), which produced massive amounts of oil in Saudi Arabia for many decades.

Saudi Arabia became a modern nation on September 23, 1932. Robert P. Miller arrived in the island nation of Bahrain on May 24, 1932, and the first well in Bahrain was established in that same year (Robert P. Miller Papers: Box 1 Folder 35). In 1933, Miller was in Saudi Arabia at Jubail, Hinnat, and El Qatif (ibid). Miller and Schuyler B. Henry were the first geologists to enter Saudi Arabia. They and other early officials mapped much of the Saudi lands, and they located sites which had promise for producing oil, such as the Dammam Dome. Robert P. Miller left Arabia in 1935.

Robert P. Miller died in 1982.

[Sources: Stegner, Wallace. "Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oil." Selva Press, 2007.]


0.75 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Kenneth Sproul and Judith Davis, May 2012.

Robert P. Miller Papers
Scott S. Taylor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-12: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057