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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Span 180

José María Castañé collection of autographed portraits of political leaders


Autographed photograph portraits of 20th-century political leaders.


  • circa 1906-2005

Language of Materials

Materials in Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Polish, Portuguese, Romainian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


1 linear foot (3 flat boxes)
Consists of autographed photograph portraits of 20th-century world leaders. Notable individuals include the following: Konrad Adenauer; Yasir Arafat; David Ben-Gurion; Leonid Brezhnev; Fidel Castro; Chiang Kai-shek; Francisco Franco; Mahatma Gandhi; Mikhail Gorbachev; Charles de Gaulle; Adolf Hitler; Emperor Hirohito; Nikita Khrushchev; Mao Zedong; Benito Mussolini; Jawaharlal Nehru; Philippe Pétain; Yitzhak Rabin; Anwar Sadat; Joseph Stalin; Hideki Tōjō; Kaiser Wilhelm II; majority of UK prime ministers and US presidents. NB: Some photographs comprise group portraits with multiple signatures.

Biographical / Historical

José María Castañé is a Spanish businessman and patron of the arts. His collection of artifacts and documents relating to the major conflicts of the 20th century, of which the political portraits form one part, was compiled over some 25 years. A substantial portion of the Castañé Collection was donated to Harvard University's Houghton Library in 2015.


Arranged alphabetically by last name of subject.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

2014M-120. Gift of José María Castañé and the Fundación José María Castañé, 2015.

Processing Information

Processed by Michael Austin, 2017.
Link to catalog
Castañé, José María, collector. José María Castañé collection of autographed portraits of political leaders, circa 1906-2005 (MS Span 180): Guide.
Michael Austin
2017 March 9
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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