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.
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.
575 Linear Feet
While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not
an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission
or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.
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. Series 24 is closed until processed.