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Guide to the Richard Benedict Goldschmidt Papers, (bulk 1900-1956)
BANC MSS 72/241 z  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Richard Benedict Goldschmidt Papers,
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1900-1956)
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 72/241 z
    Creator: Goldschmidt, Richard Benedict, 1878-1958
    Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes and 4 cartons Linear feet: 7
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Letters written to him by colleagues and friends, some relating to his scientific work in Germany; copies of letters written by him; manuscripts of his writings; speeches and course lectures; notebooks; bibliography; publications about him, including eulogies and biographical material; clippings; genetic data sheets; drawings for publications.

    Included also: letters written to and by his colleague Professor Curt Stern about Goldschmidt.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Richard Benedict Goldschmidt papers, BANC MSS 72/241 z, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.


    Richard B. Goldschmidt was born on April 12, 1878 in Frankfurt am Main. He studied in Heidelberg and Munich, 1896-1902, under Otto Bütschli and Richard Hertwig, receiving his PhD in 1902 from Heidelberg. From 1903 to 1913 he worked under Hertwig at the Zoological Institute in Munich and in 1914 was offered a position at the new Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology. In 1921 he became the Institute's second director, and continued the association until 1936, when Nazi persecution made life in Germany untenable for him. Goldschmidt had already spent some time abroad, having been in the U.S. during World War I and in Japan, as professor of zoology at the University of Tokyo, 1924-1926. In 1936 Goldschmidt accepted a professorship in the Department of Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught until his retirement in 1948.
    Goldschmidt wrote over 250 scientific papers and seventeen books, including two for laymen, Ascaris and Understanding Heredity, and two autobiographical works, Portraits from Memory and In and Out of the Ivory Tower. He received three honorary degrees, was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a foreign or honorary member in eighteen foreign academies and learned societies. In 1953 he served as President of the 9th International Congress of Genetics in Bellagio.
    He died in Berkeley on April 24, 1958.

    Scope and Content

    The larger part of this collection of Papers, which are housed in five boxes and four cartons, was donated by Professor Goldschmidt to the University of California in 1940, with some additions thereafter, both by him and by his colleague, Professor Curt Stern. Although a great many of his papers were left behind in Germany, most of the correspondence represented here covers the period from 1900 to 1936 with some letters also from the later years. The rest of the collection -primarily manuscripts of his writings, speeches and lectures, genetic data sheets and analyses, and notebooks -relate, for the most part, to his work in the U.S., with some earlier material as well.
    Papers donated by Professor Stern include letters written to him after Goldschmidt's death, eulogies and biographical material he prepared, and related material.
    The Key to Arrangement which follows describes this material in greater detail.