Gilbert Waterhouse was born on 15 July 1888 in Hipperholme, Yorkshire. The son of Harold Waterhouse of Tarleton, Lancs., Gilbert Waterhouse was educated at Pendleton Grammar School, the Wigan Institute, Pendleton Higher Elementary School and Manchester Grammar School. He studied at St John's College, Cambridge, and the University of Berlin, and, in 1910, was the first recipient of the Tiarks University German Scholarship, Cambridge. Waterhouse held an Assistant Lectureship in English at the University of Leipzig from 1911 to 1914.

Returning to England, he was Assistant Master at Manchester Grammar School from 1914 to 1915, thereafter Professor of German at the University of Dublin from 1915 to1932. From 1919 to 1925 he served as Administrator to the Government Scheme of Grants to ex-Service Students (Ireland) and, in 1920, as Secretary to the Royal Commission on the University of Dublin. He was appointed Professor of German at the Queen's University, Belfast in 1933, remaining there until 1953. He died on 25 July 1977. In 1920 he had married Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Woods; they had three daughters.

His publications include: The Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Seventeenth Century (1914); ‘The War and the Study of German: a public lecture delivered in Trinity College, Dublin, on Tuesday, May 29th, 1917’ (1917); an edition of Franz Grillparzer’s: Weh' dem der lügt (1923); The Prince of Peace (1927); A Short History of German Literature (1928); Clara Viebig: The Sleeping Army [transl.] (1929); General von Seeckt: Thoughts of a Soldier  [transl.] (1930); Simon van der Stel's Journal of his Expedition to Namaqualand (1685) (1932, supplement 1953).

The Papers

The archive comprises personal and academic correspondence (1911-1939); papers on Waterhouse's time as Assistant Lecturer in English, University of Leipzig (1911-1914), including copies of letters from Karl Breul to Waterhouse (1910-1913) and Waterhouse's letters from Leipzig (1911-1914); papers on holidays in France and Germany (1920-1930); papers on his visit to Munich (1930); papers on his move from Dublin to Belfast (1933); papers on his exchange visit to the USA (1950-1951). Research notes and papers include miscellaneous articles (1912-1937); correspondence and papers on The Literary Relations of England and Germany in the Seventeenth Century (1913-1950); correspondence and papers on the translation of Franz Grillparzer’s Weh' dem der lügt (1917-1964); notes and papers for articles on St Patrick's Purgatory (1923-1926); correspondence and papers on Waterhouse's translation of Clara Viebig: The Sleeping Army (1927-1929); correspondence and papers relating to the publication of A Short History of German Literature (1928-1968); correspondence and papers on Waterhouse's translation of General von Seeckt, Thoughts of a Soldier (1930); correspondence and papers on Waterhouse's articles and lectures on Goethe (1927-1935); notes and papers on Anglo-German relations, particularly under the Nazis (1933-1943); notes on the mineralogist, Sir Charles Giesecke [1761-1833] (1936-c.1970); and newspaper cuttings from British, German and French newspapers, mainly on Germany and National Socialism (1929-1937).

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