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Victor Wolfgang Von Hagen papers

Call Number: MS 1183

Scope and Contents

The main concern of these papers is the writings of Victor W. Von Hagen on South and Central America. The approximately 150 letters (1932-1949) from individuals and institutions deal almost entirely with questions of research and publication of Von Hagen's articles and books. Notable among the correspondents are Sir Charles G. Darwin and Leonard Darwin, relatives of the famous naturalist, Aldous Huxley, Samuel Eliot Morison, and Lewis Mumford. The letters from Mumford, Charles R. Anderson, and Raymond Weaver are of particular interest for the information about Herman Melville which they provide.

Aside from a few financial papers, the remainder of the collection consists of typescripts for six of Von Hagen's books, galley sheets for a seventh, and research materials such as off-prints of articles, transcriptions and photocopies of early letters and other documents from South America, photographs, and notes for various publications. Perhaps most intriguing are the materials relating to The Aztec and Maya Papermakers (published in 1943) which include not only a transcript, galley sheets, extensive research materials, and photographs, but also a large number of samples of paper made from the bark of different types of trees.

Correspondence has been arranged alphabetically by author, writings chronologically by date of publication. A portion of The Aztec and Maya Papermakers materials are located in an oversize box; cross-references are provided in the list of contents on the following page.

These papers were donated to Yale University by Victor W. Von Hagen in 1955.


  • 1932-1954


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Victor W. Von Hagen in 1955.


5.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes, 2 folios)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, research materials, typescripts, and galley proofs for ten books written by Von Hagen relating to Central and South American history.

Biographical / Historical

Author, explorer; expeditions to Mexico, 1931-1933; Ecuador, Upper Amazon, Galapagos Islands, 1934-1936; Honduras, Mosquito Coast, Guatemala, 1937-1938: Northern Panama, 1940; Colombia, Amazon, Peru, 1947-1948; West Indies, 1949-1950; Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, 1953; director Inca Highway Expedition for American Geographic Society, 1953-1955; dir. Roman roads expedition, North Africa, Jordania, Italy, 1962-1965; author of 48 books.
Guide to the Victor W. Von Hagen Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
September 1982
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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