A Guide to the Jefferson Rea Spell Letters, 1941, 1943
Jefferson Rea Spell (1886-1967) attended the University of Texas at Austin intermittently from 1905 to 1913, when he received his BA degree with a major in Classics. In 1920 Spell was appointed Instructor in Romance Languages at UT, and he also earned a MA degree that year, with a thesis on "Spanish Teaching in the United States". He advanced to the rank of Adjunct Professor in 1927, Associate Professor in 1939, and to Professor in 1944. He retired in 1960 as Professor Emeritus.
Spell was a member of the Modern Language Association of America, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, and the International Institute of Ibero-American Literature, of which he was Vice-President and Acting President from 1943 to 1949.
Jefferson Rea Spell was the first to write about the Garcia Library, bought in 1920 by UT on the suggestion of Librarian E. W. Winkler, Historian Eugene Barker, and Dr. Charles W. Hackett, Professor of Latin American History. Largely through his efforts, the library holdings in Latin American literature grew from two dozen books in 1920 to 25,000 volumes by the time of his death. His wife, Lota May Harrigan Spell, was the second woman to receive a Ph.D. from UT, and served as the librarian of the Garcia Library from 1921 to 1927.
In Memoriam: Jefferson Rea Spell, UT Faculty Council.
The Jefferson Rea Spell Letters, 1941, 1943, contain two letters written to Spell that pertain to a microfilming project and to Spell's monograph, Rousseau in the Spanish world before 1833, published in 1938 by UT Press.
This collection is open for research use.
Jefferson Rea Spell Letters, 1941, 1943, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff, December 1998.
Detailed Description of the Papers