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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Eng 1813

José María Castañé collection of Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris correspondence


Correspondence between Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris and Robert Wright.


  • 1972-1980

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


.3 linear feet (1 box)
Consists of 72 letters exchanged between Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris and military historian Robert Wright (b. 1912) regarding the former's role in the Allied air campaign to defeat the Axis powers. An RAF serviceman himself during the Second World War, Wright was concerned with justifying Harris's controversial strategy of area bombing, in which civilians and non-military targets were included, as a component of the policy of "total war" waged by Britain against Nazi Germany.

NB: Harris's letters are signed autograph originals; Wright's are a mix of signed autograph originals and carbon copies.

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 Sir Arthur Harris's correspondence forms 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 chronologically.

Other Finding Aids

An inventory of the collection in Spanish, compiled by Castañé, is extant in both paper and electronic form. Please consult Houghton Library reference staff to access this material.

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 Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris correspondence, 1972-1980 (MS Eng 1813): Guide.
Michael Austin
2017 September 7
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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