Laurence Gould collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the United States Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930 (leader Richard Evelyn Byrd) and correspondence regarding the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Laurence (Larry) McKinley Gould was born in Michigan in 1896. He studied law and geology at the University of Michigan before serving in Italy and France with the US Army Ambulance Service during the First World War. After the war, he resumed his geological studies at the University of Michigan, receiving his doctorate in 1923. In 1926, he was a member of the University of Michigan's expedition to Greenland under Professor W.H. Hobbs and the following year, he joined G.P. Putnam in exploring and mapping the west coast of Baffin Island. In 1928, he was selected as geologist on the United States Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930 (leader Richard Evelyn Byrd), later serving as second-in-command. Gould took charge of the construction of the expedition base, Little America, and led dog-sledging parties to study the geology of the Rockefeller and Queen Maud Mountains. On his return, he wrote a classic account of his experiences in the book Cold.

In 1932, he established a geology department at Carleton College, Minnesota, remaining professor of geology there until 1945 when he was appointed president of the college. During the Second World War, he acted as chief of the Arctic section of the US Air Force's Arctic, Desert and Tropic Information Centre. In 1955, he led the US delegation at the first planning meeting for the Antarctic programme of the International Geophysical Year, which provided the basis for international scientific co-operation in the Antarctic. A member of many trustee boards and foundations, Gould served as president of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) between 1963 and 1970, and was strongly influential in promoting both national and international polar science. On retiring from Carleton College in 1962, he was appointed professor of geology at the University of Arizona. He died on 20 June 1995.

Published work Cold; the record of an Antarctic sledge journey by Laurence McKinley Gould, Carleton College Minnesota (1984) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1928-1930]


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

Access Information

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.


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.

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 Dr Laurence McKinley Gould by Gordon de Quetteville Robin in The Polar Record (January 1996) volume 32 number l80 p81-82 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7)

Other 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.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.