Rupert Gould collection

Reference and contact details: GB 15 Rupert Gould
Title: Rupert Gould collection
Dates of Creation: 1921-1949
Held at: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Extent: Correspondence (47 leaves) and articles (27 leaves)
Name of Creator: Rupert Thomas Gould and others
Level of Description: fonds
Language of Material: English

Archivist's Note

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and 'Rupert Thomas Gould' by James Mann Wordie and Brian Birley Roberts in The Polar Record (September 1949) volume 5 number 37 and 38, p365 and Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Administrative/Biographical History

Rupert Thomas Gould was born on 16 November 1890. He was educated at Dartmouth Royal Naval College, entering the Royal Navy in 1906. After serving in the Mediterranean, on the Yangtze, and in the Home Fleet, he suffered a mental breakdown and was invalided in 1915. From 1916 until 1927, Gould served as naval assistant in the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty, promoted in 1919 to the rank of lieutenant commander (retired). While at the Hydrographic Department, he undertook an extensive revision of all the Admiralty charts of the Antarctic and the charts of the Canadian Arctic. Deeply interested in chronometers, he spent many years restoring the chronometers of John Harrison and Captain James Cook, and in 1947 was awarded the gold medal of the British Horological Institute. His book The marine chronometer, its history and development, published in 1923, became the standard work on the subject. Gould had a wide-ranging knowledge of polar history, contributing to several publications on the subject, and his biography of Captain Cook was published in 1935. During the 1930s, his knowledge of the history and rules of tennis led him to umpire on centre court at Wimbledon, and throughout the 1930s and 1940s he worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation, featuring in radio programmes such as Children's Hour and The Brains Trust. He died on 5 October 1948.

Published work, Captain Cook by Rupert Thomas Gould, Duckworth, London (1935) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Cook, J.] The marine chronometer, its history and development by Rupert Thomas Gould, J.D. Potter, London (1923), Oddities, a book of unexplained facts by Rupert Thomas Gould, Philip Allan & Co. London (1928) SPRI Library Shelf (2)91(091), Enigmas, another book of unexplained facts by Rupert Thomas Gould, Philip Allan & Co. London (1929) SPRI Library Shelf (2)91(091)

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Gould the geographer and meteorologist Hugh Robert Mill, correspondence to Gould and articles written by him regarding Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916 (led by Shackleton).

System of Arrangement

The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of correspondence and articles respectively.


Further accessions possible.

Access Conditions

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


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Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

Gould, correspondence

Reference and contact details: GB 15 Rupert Gould / Correspondence
Dates of Creation: 1921-1941
Extent: 20 letters
Name of Creator: Rupert Thomas Gould and others
Language of Material: English.

Administrative/Biographical History

The correspondence comprises of letters written to Arthur Robert Hinks and Hugh Robert Mill regarding Antarctic history. Mill wrote several books on the Antarctic and Antarctic explorers including Siege of the South Pole in 1905 and The life of Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1923

Scope and Content

  • MS 297/5/1-10;D Correspondence (7 letters and enclosures) with Arthur Robert Hinks, 30 January 1 to 10 October 1941 [On Antarctic history and historical mapping] 18 leaves, typescript
  • MS 100/38/1-12;D Letters (12) to Hugh Robert Mill, 1921-1941 [Regarding polar history] 28 leaves, typescript
  • MS 1325/20;D Letter to Hugh Robert Mill, 23 September 1929 [Request for information] 1 leaf, typescript

System of Arrangement

The correspondence is arranged alphabeticaly by recipient.

Related Units of Description

The institute holds archival collections for Arthur Hinks and Hugh Robert Mill.

Gould, papers

Reference and contact details: GB 15 Rupert Gould / Papers
Dates of Creation: 1949
Extent: 2 articles
Name of Creator: Rupert Thomas Gould
Language of Material: English.

Administrative/Biographical History

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton took part in four expeditions to the Antarctic, the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909, The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916 and the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic expedition, 1921-1922.

The articles relate to the second and third expeditions.

Scope and Content

  • MS 1599/1-2;D Two articles about Ernest Shackleton, 1949 ['The dash for the South Pole 1908-1909' and 'Shackleton's Endurance expedition 1914-1916'] 27 leaves, typescript

System of Arrangement

As deposited.

Related Units of Description

The Institute holds extensive archival collections for all four expeditions and Sir Ernest. See SPRI collections GB 15 British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904, GB 15 British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909, GB 15 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1916, GB 15 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea party], 1914-1917 and GB 15 Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921-1922 for more information.