Scope and Contents
Call Number: M1437
Gould, Stephen Jay
Title: Stephen Jay Gould papers
Bulk Dates: 1941-2002
564.75 Linear feet (790 boxes, 119 cartons, 30 flat boxes, 14 map folders; 160 videotapes, 271 audio cassettes, 7 reels, 35
compact discs. Computer media: 1,180 files [52 megabytes])
Summary: This collection documents the life of noted American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science, Stephen
Jay Gould. The papers include correspondence, juvenilia, manuscripts, subject files, teaching files, photographs, audiovisual
materials, and personal and biographical materials created and compiled by Gould. Both textual and born-digital materials
are represented in the collection.
Language(s): The materials are in English.
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives.
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6064
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Gift of Rhonda Roland Shearer, 2004 (Accession 2004-148); 2005 (Accession 2005-248); 2007 (Accessions 2007-021, 2007-193,
and 2007-240); 2008 (Accession 2008-099); 2009 (Accession 2009-144); 2010 (Accession 2010-018); and 2011 (Accession 2011-017).
Information about Access
Open for research, except restricted materials in Series 8. Harvard University; Series 9. New York University; Series 10.
Organizations, committees, boards; Series 20. Family; and Series 23. CVs, endorsements, reviews. These restricted files are
closed for research until 2086. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital
use copy. Born-digital materials are in-process and currently unavailable.
Ownership & Copyright
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the
Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent
is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission
from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research
and educational purposes.
[identification of item], Stephen Jay Gould Papers, M1437. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford,
This collection was processed by Jenny Johnson with assistance from Laura Williams & Beth Noyes. Audiovisual materials were
processed in 2010 by Crystal Rengal; born-digital materials are being processed by Peter Chan (2012).
Gould's rare books and manuscripts have been individually cataloged as part of the Stanford University Libraries Special Collections'
rare books and manuscripts collections.
Stephen Jay Gould, notable American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science was born on September
10, 1941, in New York City, the son of Leonard and Eleanor (Rosenberg) Gould. His father Leonard was a court stenographer,
and his mother Eleanor was an artist. When Gould was five years old, his father took him to the American Museum of Natural
History in New York. Gould often recalled throughout his life how viewing the
Tyrannosaurus rex during this childhood trip marked the beginning of his lifelong passion for paleontology. His interest in paleontology continued
to develop throughout his childhood and teenage years, and was encouraged by his family and educators. In addition to steadfast
support of their boy’s academic pursuits, the Goulds were doting parents who sought to expose their child to a wide range
of culture and activities, as well as a sense of civic responsibility. Though Gould’s early childhood and teenage years were
largely focused on his two prevailing passions, paleontology and the New York Yankees, he also sang in school and city choirs,
and was a zealous advocate for civil rights and supporter of many progressive social issues of the day.
Gould attended New York public schools, and attended Antioch College in Ohio, graduating in 1963 with a degree in Geology.
During his undergraduate years he studied abroad at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. In 1965 he married Deborah
Lee, an artist and fellow Antioch student. Together they would have two sons, Jesse and Ethan. In 1966, Gould accepted a position
at Antioch College as Professor of Geology. Following his time at Antioch College, Gould attended Columbia University for
his graduate work, under the guidance of mentor Norman Newell. For his doctoral thesis he investigated variation and evolution
in an obscure Bermuda land snail. He earned his Ph.D. in paleontology from Columbia University in 1967. That same year he
joined the faculty of Harvard University as Assistant Professor of Geology and Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology.
In 1971 he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 1973 he was promoted to Professor of Geology. In 1982 he was awarded
the title of Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, a position he retained until his death in 2002. From 1996 to 2002 Gould
also served as Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University. In 1972, along with Niles Eldredge,
he developed the theory of punctuated equilibria. Theirs was a revision of Darwinian theory proposing that the creation of
new species through evolutionary change occurs not at slow, constant rates over millions of years but rather in rapid bursts
over periods as short as thousands of years, which are then followed by long periods of stability during which organisms undergo
little further change.
A prolific writer, Gould authored 300 consecutive essays for his monthly column
This View of Life which appeared in
Natural History, the journal of The American Museum of Natural History. He also authored over 20 best-selling books, and wrote nearly a thousand
scientific papers. Many of Gould's Natural History essays were reprinted in collected volumes, such as
Ever Since Darwin and
The Panda's Thumb. Popular treatises included books such as
The Mismeasure of Man,
Wonderful Life, and
Full House, and his landmark work
The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Gould was also a lifelong baseball fan, and often referenced the sport in his essays. Many of his baseball essays were anthologized
in his posthumously published book
Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville.
In July 1982, Gould was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a deadly form of abdominal cancer most commonly linked to
asbestos exposure. After a difficult two-year recovery, Gould published a column for Discover magazine, titled "The Median
Isn't the Message," which discusses his reaction to discovering that mesothelioma patients had a median lifespan of only eight
months after diagnosis and the importance of statistical reasoning and the meaning of variation.
Gould was among the first group awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship in 1981. In 1983, Gould was
awarded fellowship into the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he later served as president (1999–2001).
He also served as president of the Paleontological Society (1985–1986) and the Society for the Study of Evolution (1990–1991).
In 1989 Gould was elected into the body of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2001 the American Humanist Association named
him the Humanist of the Year for his lifetime of work. In his lifetime, Gould would be awarded over forty-four honorary degrees
and 66 major fellowships, medals, and awards.
In 1995, Gould married artist and sculptor Rhonda Roland Shearer who is the mother of two children, Jade and London Allen,
Gould’s stepchildren. Together Gould and Shearer founded the non-profit Art Science Research Laboratory, which is “committed
to the creation of intellectual environment and advocacy of interdisciplinary study, encompassing the areas of research, collections
Stephen Jay Gould died May 20, 2002, of cancer at the age of 60.
Text for Biographical Note provided from:
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/biography.html; http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/shermer_sjgould.pdf; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Jay_Gould;
Bibliographies of Gould’s writings:
http://www.stephenjaygould.org/bibliography.html Allmon, W. D., Kelley, P. H., & Ross, R. M. (2008).
Stephen Jay Gould: Reflections on his view of life. New York: Oxford University Press.
Scope and Contents
This collection documents the life of noted American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science, Stephen
Jay Gould. The papers include correspondence, juvenilia, manuscripts, subject files, teaching files, photographs, and personal
and biographical materials created and compiled by Gould.
The materials found in the born-digital series were processed separately by Peter Chan, Digital Archivist for Stanford University
Libraries' Department of Special Collections. For detailed processing and access information, please see notes for "Series
6: Born-Digital Materials." Audiovisual materials include audio cassettes, videotapes, compact discs, and reels. Titles were
transcribed directly from media by Crystal Rengal in 2010, and the listing was incorporated into the finding aid in 2011.
Wherever Gould's original arrangement of materials was discernible, the order was retained. However, a significant portion
of the materials were not well organized. Where possible, arrangement notes for the specific series will indicate which portions
reflect Gould's arrangement system, and which were arranged by processing archivists.
The papers are arranged in 23 series. The arrangement of the collection is as follows:
Series 1. Correspondence
Series 2. Juvenilia
Series 3. Manuscripts
Series 4. Subject Files
Series 5. Audiovisual Materials
Series 6. Born-Digital Materials
Series 7. Columbia University
Series 8. Harvard University
Series 9. New York University
Series 10. Organizations, committees, boards
Series 11. Conferences, lectures, and symposia
Series 12. Research
Series 13. Baseball
Series 14. Music
Series 15. Photographs
Series 16. Artifacts, ephemera, memorabilia
Series 17. Awards
Series 18. Clippings and scrapbooks
Series 19. Biographical
Series 20. Family
Series 21. Works by others
Series 22. Oversize (miscellaneous)
Series 23. CVs, endorsements, reviews (restricted)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Asimov, Isaac, 1920-1992
Bahamas National Trust.
Bok, Derek Curtis.
Boston Cecilia (Musical group).
Bunge, Mario, 1919-
Cain, Arthur J. (Arthur James)
Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
Clarke, Arthur C. (Arthur Charles), 1917-2008
Clinton, Bill, 1946-
Clinton, Hillary Rodham.
Correia, Clara Pinto
Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882
Dawkins, Richard, 1941-
Dershowitz, Alan M.
DiMaggio, Joe, 1914-1999
Ehrlich, Paul R.
Eysenck, H. J. (Hans Jurgen), 1916-1997
Fox, Harold Munro, 1889-1967
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983
Gardner, Martin, 1914-2010
Gates, Bill, 1955-
Gates, Henry Louis
Gore, Albert, 1948-
Huxley, Julian, 1887-1975.
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895
King, Stephen, 1947-
Lamarck, Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de, 1744-1829
Leakey, Richard E.
Lewontin, Richard C., 1929-
Luria, S. E. (Salvador Edward), 1912-1991
Maynard Smith, John, 1920-2004
Mayr, Ernst, 1904-2005
Medawar, P. B. (Peter Brian), 1915-1987
Merton, Robert King, 1910-2003
Montagu, Ashley, 1905-1999
Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich, 1899-1977
National Academy of Sciences.
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
Newell, Norman Dennis, 1909-2005
Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994.
Raup, David M.
Ripley, Sidney Dillon, 1913-2001
Rogovin, Milton, 1909-2011
Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Sacks, Oliver W.
Sagan, Carl, 1934-1996
Scott, Eugenie Carol, 1945-
Shearer, Rhonda Roland, 1954-
Sibley, Charles Gald, 1917-
Simpson, George Gaylord, 1902-1984
Skinner, B. F. (Burrhus Frederic), 1904-1990
Stebbins, G. Ledyard (George Ledyard), 1906-2000
Sulloway, Frank J.
Vrba, E. S. (Elisabeth S.)
Wilson, Edward O.
Wright, Sewall, 1889-1988
History of Science
Punctuated equilibrium (Evolution)