The Gulick Family Papers, 1840-1964, primarily document the missionary life of John Thomas Gulick and the scientific career of Addison Gulick. In addition, there are materials from Peter Johnson Gulick (John's Father), Fannie Hinckley Thomas Gulick, Emily Gulick, Orramel H. Gulick, Julia A. E. Gulick and Frances A. S. Gulick.
Much of the material is comprised of personal correspondence between family and friends but much of these letters document the history of 19th century missionary work in China, Japan and Hawaii. In addition to the personal letters are many publications, poems, sermons, collected publications, copies of letters and personal effects. Addison Gulick was not a missionary but a prominent scientist at the University of Missouri. His major contribution to this collection is a biography of his father John Thomas Gulick. Also, Addison Gulick should be credited for his preservation efforts of many letters that John T. Gulick wrote to prominent evolutionary scientists of the 19th century - most notable are George Romanes and Charles Darwin. The original letters are not part of this collection but many copies have been included. Also, Addison Gulick was responsible for making sure that John T. Gulick's writings and shell collection were placed into the hands of museums and depositories for preservation and research and the locations of these are documented throughout Addison's papers.
Generally, the collection is personal in nature and documents the private lives of the Gulick family. However, many of the Gulicks had prominent public lives and so the personal nature of the material offers a private view of their many public accomplishments. The bulk of the papers originate before 1923, which is the year that John T. Gulick died. After this date, the collection primarily reflects the life of Addison Gulick.