The Carboniferous and Permian formation names currently in use in Alberta were first set up at many different localities—superposition cannot be proved in every case. Two synthetic standard sections are presented and correlations in the Bow Valley and north to the Peace River country are illustrated by two stratigraphic cross sections. On the basis of these correlations the history of nomenclature is critically reviewed. It is shown why the Alberta Society of Petroleum Geologists Committee adopted some names and discarded others. Miscorrelation of Meramecian dark shaly limestones (Mount Head formation) in the Rocky Mountains, with Osagean beds of a similar lithology (Shunda formation) in the foothills has been the main cause of confusion in earlier attempts to subdivide the Late Paleozoic of Alberta.