Guide to the Collection
The collection consists of personal papers including letters and diaries; professional papers including literary, historical, and scientific compositions; and papers related to Alice Bache Gould's education. Also, papers related to her professional activities as teacher and mathematician, and her travels in Puerto Rico and Spain. The collection also includes a large volume of family correspondence, especially with her father, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, who ran the astronomical observatory at Cordoba, Argentina, her mother, Mary A.Q. Gould, and grandfather Josiah Quincy.
Mathematician and historian Alice Bache Gould was born in Cambridge, Mass. in 1868, the daughter of astronomer Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1824-1896) and Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould (1834-1883), and granddaughter of Josiah Quincy (1802-1882). As a young child she lived with her family in Cordoba, Argentina where her father was the head of the Argentine National Observatory. Alice returned to Cambridge in 1871 to live with relatives while her family stayed in Argentina. In 1885 she began her education at the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women in Cambridge (later Radcliffe College). She then attended Bryn Mawr College from 1886 1889, where she received her A.B. in mathematics and physics as a member of the school's second graduating class. She continued her study of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Newham College in England from 1890-1893.
Upon her return from England, Alice taught mathematics for a year at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and began her graduate studies at the University of Chicago in 1894. She received a fellowship from the University in 1895 for her PhD thesis on Brodian geometry under the guidance of mathematician E. H. Moore. The death of her father on Thanksgiving 1896 and the loss of her fellowship in 1897 put a strain Alice's health and she returned to Cambridge, Mass. before completing her thesis.
In 1897 Alice established an endowment at the Academy of Science in her father's name. She spent the next several years looking for work and occasionally lecturing on mathematics. She attempted to complete her studies in Chicago but returned to Cambridge to recover from poor health. In 1900 she began research for her monograph on Louis Agassiz which was published by her cousin-in-law Mark A. De Wolfe Howe in 1901 as part of the Beacon Biographies of Eminent Americans series. In 1903 Alice traveled to Puerto Rico to recover from the flu and from 1905-1907 was instrumental in establishing the "Porto Rico Teachers' Fund" that raised money for a nursing school.
During her early visits to Puerto Rico Alice became interested in the early colonization of the new world, especially Columbus' first voyage. In 1911, she traveled to Spain where she spent most of the rest of her life researching in Spanish archives, most notably the Archivo de Simancas. In July 1919 she published a story in the Atlantic Monthly entitled "The Adventure of the Missing Fortnight" that described some of her experiences researching in Spain.
During World War I Alice worked as a volunteer in the espionage office of the United States embassy in Spain and led an effort to send female clerical workers to the embassy to help with war work. She returned to the Chicago in 1918 to teach navigation to naval officer candidates at the University of Chicago Ensign School at the Municipal Pier. During this time she began research for on her essay on Great Circle Sailing, a navigational technique that calculates points along a great circle route.
In 1926 Alice returned to Spain to continue her research on Columbus and became involved in public education measures and the establishment of local schools in Simancas. The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 forced her to return to Boston but after the war she returned to Spain. She lived the remainder of her life in Simancas where she died in 1953.
The Alice B. Gould papers consist of 46 document boxes, 11 volumes, 1 oversize box, and 1 oversize drawer organized into two series: I. Alice Bache Gould papers and II. Benjamin Apthorp Gould family papers.
Series I. Alice Bache Gould papers contain correspondence, letterbooks, diaries, notebooks, literary, historical, and scientific compositions, and miscellaneous printed materials, relating to Gould's education at Bryn Mawr College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago; her professional activities as a teacher and mathematician, and her travels and research in Puerto Rico and Spain. This series also includes student notebooks and research notes detailing Alice's studies in mathematics, navigation and history.
Correspondence includes letters exchanged between Alice and her father, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, who ran the astronomical observatory at Cordoba, Argentina, her mother, Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould, grandfather Josiah Quincy, cousin Fanny Huntington Quincy, and other Quincy and Gould family members; and letters to and from classmates and teachers at Bryn Mawr, including Mary E. Hoyt, cousin of Woodrow Wilson, and Martha Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, among others.
Series II. Benjamin Apthorp Gould family papers contain Benjamin Apthorp Gould family correspondence; diaries kept by Benjamin Apthorp Gould and Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould; and Gould-Quincy family genealogy. The correspondence and diaries document family life in Cordoba, Argentina and the young death of Alice's sisters; and life in Cambridge, Mass. Correspondents include Mary's father Josiah Quincy and mother Mary Jane Miller Quincy.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. Alice Bache Gould papers, 1845-1939
This series consists of correspondence, letterbooks, diaries, notebooks, essays, and miscellaneous printed materials, relating to Alice Bache Gould's education at Bryn Mawr College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago; teaching and lecture notes and other material related to her professional activities as a teacher and mathematician; and her travels and research in Puerto Rico and Spain. Also contains personal financial records; correspondence and financial records related to the Benjamin Apthorp Gould Memorial Fund established by Alice for the National Academy of Science in her father's name; and correspondence, financial accounts and legal documents related to the donation of the Edmund Quincy homestead in Quincy, Mass.
A. Personal papers, 1877-1939
i. Alice Bache Gould diaries, 1888-1938
ii. Alice Bache Gould correspondence, 1873-1939
iii. Alice Bache Gould letterpress books, 1897-1908
B. Financial records, 1889-1937
i. Alice Bache Gould account books, 1898-1901
ii. Alice Bache Gould estate papers, 1889-1906
iii. Benjamin Apthorp Gould Memorial Fund, 1896-1918
iv. Edmund Quincy Homestead, 1893-1937
C. Education, 1845-1937
i. Dr. Stern's German math manuscript, 1845
ii. Student notebooks, 1881-1937
iii. School scrapbooks and diplomas, 1886-1892
iv. Math notes and essays, 1891-1939
v. PhD thesis on Brodian geometry, 1985-1899
(Use this subseries with caution. Alice Bache Gould rolled her PhD thesis into scrolls and cut and pasted sections using pins. The scrolls have been cut into sheets but many of the pins are still in place.)
D. Research and writing, 1899-1939
i. Great Circle Sailing, 1919-1922
ii. Lecture notes, n.d.
iii. Research notes and essays, 1899-1939
iv. Poetry, n.d.
E. Printed material, 1883-1938
II. Benjamin Apthorp Gould family papers, 1809-1904
This series contains correspondence between Benjamin Apthorp Gould his parents, Benjamin Apthorp Gould and Lucretia Dana Goddard Gould, his aunt Hannah Flagg Gould, and his wife Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould; and correspondence between Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould and her parents Josiah Quincy and Mary Jane Miller Quincy. Also, diaries kept by Benjamin and Mary Gould. The correspondence and diaries discuss family life in Cordoba, Argentina and Cambridge, Mass. and include descriptions of the deaths of Benjamin and Mary's young daughters Susan and Lulu Gould in 1874. This series also includes Gould-Quincy family genealogical notes; and printed material.
A. Family correspondence, 1809-1904
B. Benjamin Apthorp Gould diaries and notebooks, 1834-1878
C. Mary Apthorp Quincy Gould diaries, 1858-1883
D. Anna Cabot Lowell Quincy Waterston poetry, 1840-1881
E. Gould-Quincy family genealogy
E. Printed material, 1835-1900
Photographs Removed from the Collection
Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Alice Bache Gould photographs, ca. 1850-1997. Photo. Coll. 166.
Alice Bache Gould papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.