Skip to main content

Papers of Gilbert G. Stamm

Identifier: WGGS

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Gilbert G. Stamm consists of documents dated 1952 to 1987, with the bulk falling between the years that Stamm was both assistant commissioner and commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1972 to 1977. The collection consists of speeches given by Stamm at meetings and conferences, information on projects that the Bureau was involved in, legal papers, printed material, slides, and photographs.


  • Creation: 1952-1987
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1972-1977


Restrictions on Access

"Confidential" markings on correspondence or other materials have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access. However, the collection is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Gilbert G. Stamm (1911-1989) had a long career in government, which included serving as the commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation from 1973 to 1977. After graduating from Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University) in 1935, with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and sociology, Stamm went to work for the Department of Agriculture. In 1946, Stamm was offered the position of project superintendent of the Central Snake Projects Office for the Bureau of Reclamation.

Stamm worked his way up within the Bureau of Reclamation. After becoming project superintendent he became an associate regional supervisor of irrigation, regional supervisor of operations and maintenance, assistant regional director, chief of the Division of Irrigation and Land Use, assistant commissioner, and finally commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.

During his career with the Bureau, Stamm worked on many major irrigation and dam projects including the Central Arizona Project and the Colorado River Basin Project. He spent much of his time traveling the country with the purpose of educating the public on water resource issues and promoting Reclamation projects.

Stamm earned recognition and awards through his work at the Bureau of Reclamation and his efforts in his community. At the Bureau of Reclamation he earned a Superior Performance Award in 1956, Special Act Award in 1962, a Quality Award in 1963, and a Citation for Distinguished Service in 1968 for his world-wide contribution to land and water resources development. In 1973 Colorado State University named him an honor alumnus.

Stamm was commissioner during one of the Bureau's darkest hours. The 1976 Teton Dam failure occurred claimed the lives of ten townspeople. Shortly after the Teton Dam failure, Stamm retired from the Bureau of Reclamation and became an international consultant, visiting over thirty foreign countries. Stamm died in 1989, leaving behind his wife and four children.


9 linear feet (5 record cartons, 3 document boxes, 1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Gilbert G. Stamm (1911-1989) is best known for his appointment and service as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation between 1973 and 1977. Stamm spent over thirty years educating the public on water issues and promoting reclamation projects throughout the United States. The collection contains speeches, information on Bureau of Reclamation projects, photographs and slides of projects, and printed material about Stamm and the Bureau. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.


The collection consists of 8 series in 9 boxes:

Series 1: Speeches, 1958-1984

Series 2: Projects, 1952-1987

Series 3: Legal papers, 1964-1986

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1960-1985

Series 5: Printed material, 1954-1984

Subseries 5.1: Printed material by Stamm, 1963-1978

Subseries 5.2: Books, brochures, and pamphlets, 1954-1984

Series 6: Slides, 1957-1974

Series 7: Photographs, 1960-1976

Series 8: Scrapbook, 1973-1976


The Papers of Gilbert G. Stamm was donated to the Colorado State University Archives on September 16, 1991, by his daughter, Jacqueline Stamm Grose. The papers were transferred from the manuscripts collection to the Water Resources Archive on February 17, 2003.

Online Materials

Some speeches, files, photographs, and slides have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.

Related Collections

Related collections in the Water Resources Archive include the papers of James L. Ogilvie and Whitney Borland.


The processing of this collection was completed on June 28, 2005, and included removal of all metal binders, paperclips, and staples. Acid-free paper was inserted between any newspaper clippings in the scrapbook. Oversized documents, including five photographs and a framed magazine cover featuring Stamm, have been placed in the same box as the scrapbook. All slides and some larger, professional photographs have been placed in protective plastic sleeves. Slides of Stamm's family vacations and other personal visual material were removed from the collection. The documents were then placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Two copies of the Federal Reclamation and Related Laws Annotated: Volume I were in the collection. One copy remains with the collection, while the other was added to the library holdings.

Inventory Note

Note: Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e." Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy. Authored articles, books, and studies are listed in bibliographic form.

Guide to the Papers of Gilbert G. Stamm
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Gayle Sharp
Copyright 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA