Born in Stewiacke, Nova Scotia, in 1875, R.C. Archibald was the son of Abram Newcombe Archibald and Mary Mellish. He attended Mount Allison Academy, Sackville, New Brunswick, 1885-1889 and College 1889-1894 graduating with a BA degree (Hon. mathematics) and Teacher's Diploma (violin). He taught mathematics at the Mount Allison Ladies' College and completed an Artist's Diploma (violin) in 1895 before attending Harvard University from which he received BA and MA degrees in 1896 and 1897. He also attended the University of Berlin 1898-99 and received a PhD degree from the University of Strasbourg, 1900.
From 1900-1907 he taught music, mathematics and served as librarian at the Mount Allison Ladies' College. During this time he assembled archival records related to Mount Allison including calendars, student publications, photographs and memorabilia. As the only child of Mary Mellish Archibald, second preceptress of the Ladies' College, the institution was his family.
Dr. Archibald taught 1907-08 at Acadia University but his professional career as a mathematician was spent at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, where he served as professor from 1908-1955. Author of many academic articles on mathematics, history of mathematics, music and history he founded, built and described the Mary Mellish Archibald Memorial Library (MMAML) Collection at Mount Allison between 1905 and 1955. He died 26 July 1955.
Mary Mellish born in Pownal, Prince Edward Island, January 1849 graduated from the Mount Allison Ladies' Academy in 1867 with an MLA. She taught mathematics and married Abram Newcomb Archibald in 1874. He died in 1883 and Mrs. Archibald returned to serve as preceptress and vice-principal of the Ladies' College from 1885 until her in death 9 January 1901. She was an active member of the Woman's Missionary Society and Women's Christian Temperance Union, president and charter member of the Alumnae Society of the Ladies' College, serving as alumnae representative on the Board of Regents, 1895-1900.