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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Span 185

José María Castañé collection of 20th century war-related manuscripts, photographs, and objects


Miscellaneous documents produced during the First World War, Second World War, and the Korean conflict.


  • circa 1898-1990

Language of Materials

Collection contains materials in Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Czech Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, and possibly other languages. English, German, and Russian make up the great majority.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


16 linear feet (41 boxes and 1 volume)

Consists of letters, miltary documents, personal records (such as identity cards, work permits, and ration cards), and propaganda produced chiefly during the Second World War, with some material from the First World War and the Korean conflict. Includes publications, visual media, and objects.

Photographs depict people and places associated with the Second World War, as well as the Soviet Union before and after that conflict. Notable individuals include the following: King George VI; Hermann Göring; Heinrich Himmler; Adolf Hitler; Joseph Joffre; Vladimir Lenin; Vyacheslav Molotov; Benito Mussolini; John J. Pershing; Joseph Stalin; Harry S. Truman; Georgii Zhukov. Also includes some photographs documenting the Spanish-American War, the First World War, and portraits of Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts.

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 these manuscripts form a 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 alphbetically by creator or title of document, thereunder chronologically, thereunder in ascending order of Castañé document number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Processing Information

Processed by Michael Austin, 2018.

Castañé, José María, collector. José María Castañé collection of 20th century war-related manuscripts, photographs, and objects, circa 1898-1990 (MS Span 185): Guide.
Michael Austin, Irina Klyagin
2017 November 8
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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