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MS049: Dwight Goddard Papers

Identifier: MS049

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials by and about Dwight Goddard, between 1896 and 1993. It includes some of Goddard’s writings, both on engineering and Buddhism (more can be found in the library’s collections), an engineering notebook, photocopies of letters to family, biographical information and tributes to Goddard, and genealogical information.


  • 1896 - 1993


Conditions Governing Use

Access: Permission of Archivist required. Copying: Papers may be copied with the consent of the WPI Archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Dwight Goddard was born in Worcester in 1861. He graduated from WPI with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1881. He held responsible engineering positions at Crompton & Knowles Loom Works, Massachusetts Screw Co., Washburn & Moen Co., Goddard Machine Co., Wyman-Gordon Co., and Park Drop Forge Co., Cleveland. In 1906 he published a book of biographical essays titled Eminent Engineers. He sold an invention to the U.S. Government which was used during World War I. This apparently made him a wealthy man and allowed him to retire from industry in 1913.

He spent most of his adult life as a Buddhist and writer about Buddhism. He had received a degree from Hartford Seminary in 1894, and became a missionary in China. In China he converted to Buddhism. Goddard was married three times, and had two sons. He spent many years in Thetford, Vermont and lived a spartan life with much time spent in contemplation.

Mr. Goddard sought to interpret Buddhist teachings for the Western world. In his foreward for the 1993 edition of Mr. Goddard’s A Buddhist Bible, Robert Aitken wrote: “Students of Zen Buddhism come to me with a variety of ‘first books’ in their past and among them, with some frequency, is Dwight Goddard’s durable anthology of translations, A Buddhist Bible, first published in 1932 and then republished in its present, enlarged form in 1938.”


.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Dwight Goddard graduated from WPI in 1881 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was a successful inventor and manager of a manufacturing company. He became a Buddhist and compiled an anthology of translations, A Buddhist Bible.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These materials were given to WPI by Russell Lovell, a great-nephew of Dwight Goddard, and himself a WPI alumnus, Class of 1940.


Stored separately [in 16 X 20 drop front box with WPI diplomas]: Diploma – Dwight Goddard, 1881 from Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science [WPI]

See also: Alumni Files – Class of 1881 – Dwight Goddard

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Repository Details

Part of the WPI Manuscript Collections Repository

100 Institute Rd
George C. Gordon Library
Worcester MA 01609 USA