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Elgin Ralston Lovell Gould papers

Identifier: MS-0085

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Scope and Contents

The papers consist of 4 series: scrapbooks, lectures, writings and correspondence covering the years 1881-1925. The scrapbooks, the largest series, comprise 10 volumes that span 1899-1915 and contain newspaper clippings, dinner invitations, and articles. The clippings focus primarily on Gould's efforts as an urban Progressive, both in politics and housing reform. Gould was a founding member of the Citizens Union and an active campaigner for Seth Low's fusion candidacy in the mayoral race of 1901.

Gould focused his energies on developing alternative housing for the working class. The clippings narrate the attempts by Gould and his company, City and Suburban Homes, to construct "model tenements." Since the secondary literature on Gould and the company is almost nonexistent, the clippings provide a starting point for exploring Gould's role in urban housing reform.

Gould's writings and lectures illustrate his Progressive beliefs. His interests included industrial education (manual and technical training), the rescue movement (providing shelter and labor for the indigent), political reform, control of liquor traffic, and social conditions of labor. The correspondence, 1889-1922, includes only a small number of letters. The bulk of them (six) focus on the meeting of the International Statistical Institute in Chicago in 1893. Gould was American General Secretary of the Institute. The letters are from the State Department, apprising him which countries would be represented.


  • Creation: 1881-1925


Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical Note

Elgin Ralston Lovell Gould was born in 1860 in Ottawa, Canada. He received his B. A. from the University of Toronto in 1881, and came to the United States in 1882 to pursue doctoral studies at The Johns Hopkins University. Gould finished his Ph.D in 1886, and accepted a position with the Department of Labor to investigate European trade practices and living conditions of European workers.

After finishing his research, Gould joined the Hopkins faculty as a lecturer in 1892. He taught courses in the relatively new discipline of social science, focusing on research techniques as well as an exploration of social problems in Europe. He left Hopkins in 1895 to serve as professor of statistics at the University of Chicago, a position he held unitl 1896.

Gould moved his family to New York City in 1896 to assume the presidency of the City and Suburban Homes, a company formed for the purpose of building model tenement houses in New York as a business investment. Gould headed the company until his death in 1915.

In the 1901 mayoral race Gould supported Seth Low's fusion candidacy against the corrupt Tammany machine. Gould served as City Chamberlain (city treasurer) during Seth Low's administration.

Gould died on August 18, 1915 in Cartier, North Bay, Canada, the victim of a riding accident.


12.2 Cubic Feet (6 record center cartons, 10 legal size document boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Gould papers were donated to the University in 1981 by Dr. Thomas Zaccheo. Zaccheo acquired them while purchasing something else. The material on the City and Suburban Homes Company was purchased in 2004 and processed in 2005.

Related Materials

Letters written by Gould to Herbert Baxter Adams (MS.0004) and Daniel Coit Gilman (MS.0001) are also available in Special Collections. Gould's letters to Adams discuss his work in Europe for the United States Department of Labor documenting labor conditions; those to Gilman recount his efforts to obtain manuscripts of Eduard Laboulaye for Johns Hopkins University.

A memorial volume to Gould, Elgin Ralston Lovell Gould: A Memorial, was privately printed by the League for Political Education in 1916 (Norwood, Mass.: The Plimpton Press).

Processing Information

The papers were donated to Special Collections in 1981 by Dr. Thomas Zaccheo. The material on the City and Suburban Homes Company was purchased in 2004 and processed in 2005.

Elgin Ralston Lovell Gould papers
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Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA