This collection is primarily made up of correspondence between and addressed to members of the Gough family of Gort, Ireland, including George Stephens Gough; his wife, Jane Arbuthnot; and their children, Hugh, George, Rodolph, and Eleanor ("Nora").
The Correspondence series (740 items) largely consists of incoming personal letters addressed to Jane Gough, Viscountess Gough, and her son George. George Gough frequently wrote to his parents (most often his mother) throughout the 1860s, describing aspects of his education at Woodcote House in Henley-on-Thames, England; Eton College; and the University of Cambridge. He also commented on family news and his desire to join the military. George's later letters, written from the 1870s-1890s, concern his career with the British Army, which included service in England, India, and Africa; some of his letters from 1881 refer to political relations around the time of the First Boer War. He also wrote letters from Dresden, Germany, and from Switzerland.
Jane Gough received additional letters from acquaintances, including a group of letters expressing sympathy after George was wounded at the Battle of Abu Klea in January 1885. George Gough received letters from his siblings Hugh, Rodolph, and Nora, and from school friends and other acquaintances. One frequent correspondent, "Hubie," wrote throughout the 1860s, telling Gough about his experiences at Eton College and University College, Oxford.
The Diary (147 pages) recounts George Hugh Gough's travels in Canada and the United States during the fall of 1888. The volume covers the entirety of the trip up to Gough's return departure for Ireland, including ocean travel between Ireland and North America and railroad travel throughout Canada and the United States. Gough's entries regard daily activities, the scenery, historical context about places visited, and current events (such as the United States presidential election of 1888). The first page contains a list of visited locations and the distances between them. The final four pages contain a list of expenses incurred between September 28, 1888-November 15, 1888. A menu for passengers on the "'Allen' Line" of "Royal Mail Steamers" is pinned into the volume.
- Québec, Québec
- Montréal, Québec
- Ottawa, Ontario
- Toronto, Ontario
- North Bay, Ontario
- Vancouver, British Columbia
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Yosemite Region, California
- Ogden, Utah
- Denver, Colorado
- Chicago, Illinois
- New York City, New York
The Documents series (11 items) contains military appointments for Hugh Gough (March 15, 1843, and May 1, 1861) and George Stephens Gough (January 5, 1849), a document authorizing the recipient to raise a number of men for a military regiment (November 5, 1804), and 7 accounts for purchases made by G. V. H. Gough in March 1914. Gough paid for automobile repairs, shoe repairs, medical supplies, and food.
The Photographs series (11 items) includes nine black-and-white prints showing soldiers at leisure, soldiers with horses, and a military encampment. The remaining items are a carte-de-visite portrait of an unidentified boy and an informal outdoor picture of a boy with a dog.
The Writings, Lists, and Genealogy series is made up of 12 items. Writings include a small notebook containing French poetry, a sheet containing limericks and drawings, and an item titled "Liber secundus." Extracts and notes pertain to a House of Lords commission respecting forfeited Irish estates around the turn of the 18th century, to an "Index to the "Prerogative Wills of Ireland," and to a poem entitled "The Migration of the Sons of Umor." Lists include a "Catalogue of a Collection of Minerals and Geological Specimens arranged and sold by J. Tennant" in London, a list of clothing belonging to a member of the Gough family, a list of men involved in a cricket match, and a list of words made for an unidentified purpose. A family tree traces the descendants of Hugh Gough, great-grandfather of Hugh Gough, first Viscount Gough. One group of papers was intended to be used to record purchases in February 1862, though it contains only a heading.
Two items in the Printed Items series (11 items) pertain directly to Viscount Hugh Gough: a poem addressed to Gough and his wife during their visit to Bath on April 1, 1850, and a document regarding the construction of a memorial to Gough following his death (May 21, 1869). Other items include a "Map of the Northern Uaso Nyiro" (1914), three scorecards from cricket matches held at Lord's Cricket Ground in 1868 and 1780, and newspaper clippings pertaining to wineglasses, a funeral, and the Franco-Prussian War. The collection includes two books: a pocket-sized Book of Common Prayer that belonged to George Gough (1872) and a Catalogue of Pictures at Basildon Park, Berkshire (1910).
The Personal Stationery and Family Crests series (62 items) includes a drawing of a jester and numerous drawings and crests, most cut out of personal stationery belonging to a variety of individuals and families.