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Thomas C. Barger Papers

Identifier: GTM-161201

Scope and Contents

The Thomas C. Barger Papers contain materials related to his career working for the Arabian American Oil Company.

Series 1 - Correspondence Between Thomas C. Barger and His Family. Many letters written by Thomas C. Barger to his parents are contained in this series. A large number of letters from Thomas C. Barger to his wife Kathleen Barger are also present. Some letters from Thomas C. Barger to Mike T. Barger are also retained. The correspondence chronicles Thomas C. Barger's professional and personal activities in Saudi Arabia. Arranged chronologically. The correspondence dates from 1937 to 1966.

Series 2 - Thomas C. Barger Personal Correspondence. Correspondence regarding Thomas C. Barger's experiences in Saudi Arabia. Includes correspondence with Aramco officials. Arranged chronologically. The correspondence dates from 1944 to 1979.

Series 3 - Manuscripts/Reports. Contains reports and documents about the Saudi Royal family and the Saudi government, an article about Thomas C. Barger from "Aramco World Magazine," clippings by and about Thomas C. Barger, a lengthy manuscript by Thomas C. Barger about his experiences in Saudi Arabia, and a geological report from the Jabrin Area Western Rub 'Al Khali and Southern Tuwaiq Mountains (with maps). The materials in this series date from 1937 to 1977.

Series 4 - Photographs. This series contains an extensive collection of photographs concerning Thomas C. Barger's experiences in Saudi Arabia. The photos date from 1937 through 1967. Includes photos of people and places in Saudi Arabia.

Series 5 - Maps. This series contains printed maps of Saudi Arabia used by the California Arabian Standard Oil Company and Aramco. The maps date from 1938 to 1967.

Series 6 - Audiovisual Materials. This series contains two DVDs with film footage of scenes from Saudi Arabia, including footage of people, and, also, a number of films preserved among the Thomas C. Barger Papers.

Series 7 - Diaries. This series contains a large set of diaries kept by Thomas C. Barger spanning his time in Saudi Arabia. The diaries date from 1937 to 1973. They are arranged in rough chronological fashion. Of importance: Thomas C. Barger's field journal from 1939-40.


  • 1937 - 1979


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 Note

Thomas C. Barger (1909-1986) was a geologist and mining engineer who worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in Saudi Arabia from 1937 to 1969.

Born in Minneapolis, Barger graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1930. He was among the first explorers to search for oil in Saudi Arabia. He arrived in Saudi Arabia on December 14, 1937. In 1940, he began work for ARAMCO's government relations unit. During World War II, Barger explored and mapped the empty quarter of Saudi Arabia. He was named vice president of ARAMCO in 1958, and he served as president and CEO of the company from 1960 to 1969.

Thomas C. Barger died at the age of 77 on June 30, 1986.

Sources: - "Washington Post" obituary, July 12, 1986. - Typed biography from donor.


13.56 Cubic Feet (30 boxes)

0.911 Gigabytes (229 files)

Language of Materials



Metadata Rights Declarations


The collection is organized into seven series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Timothy Barger, 2016, and of Teresa C. Barger, Anne Barger Herbert, Mary Barger and Norah Barger Lutfi, 2017. The collection combines two accessions: GTM-161201 and GTM-171115.

Processing Information

The collection was rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders when it was received.

Thomas C. Barger Papers
Scott S. Taylor
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2023-09: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo
  • 2023-10: Accession GTM-171115 incorporated into the collection by Scott S. Taylor

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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