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Descriptive Summary

Scope and Contents

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Jefferson Rea Spell: Partial Bibliography

Description of Series

Spell Papers

The Benson Latin American Collection

Jefferson R. and Lota M. Spell Papers

Draft Inventory

Descriptive Summary

Creator Spell, Jefferson Rea, 1886-1967; Spell, Lota M. (Lota May), 1885-1972
Title Jefferson R. and Lota M. Spell Papers
Dates: 1844-1972
Dates: 1920-1970
Abstract Correspondence, research materials, literary manuscripts and notes, family papers, and photographs from the careers and lives of Jefferson R. Spell, Ph.D., professor of Latin American literature at The University of Texas, and his wife, Lota M. Spell, Ph.D., musician and Librarian (1922-27) of the Latin American Collection at The University of Texas
OCLC Record No. 33332702
Extent 70 linear ft.
Languages English and Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Chronology: Jefferson Rea Spell
9 Nov 1886 born in Pottsboro, Grayson County, Texas
1901-1905 attended Allen Academy, Bryan, Texas
1905-1913 attended UT intermittently; taught Latin at high schools in Bartlett, San Antonio, and Navasota
1910 married Lota Mae Harrigan
1913 received B.A. from UT (classics major)
Jan 1920 appointed instructor in romance languages at UT
1920 received M.A. from UT with thesis, "Spanish teaching in the United States, "
1927 Adjunct Professor at UT (called Assistant Professor from 1936)
1931 received Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania with dissertation,"The life and works of José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, "
1939 Associate Professor at UT; received Diploma de Honor from Academia Mexicana for studies in the field of Mexican literature
1942-1946 Institute of Latin American Studies (Executive Committee)
1943-1945 vice-president and acting president of the Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana
1944 Professor at UT
1944-1946 Guest Professor in the Summer School of the National University of Mexico
1960 retired from UT
1962 Professor Emeritus
3 March 1967 died at his home at 2108 Hartford Rd., Austin, Texas
1967 (Texas Chapter) Member of the Year, in memoriam
Chronology: Lota M. Spell
2 Feb 1885 born in Big Spring, Texas (raised in San Antonio)
1898-1901 attended Virginia Institute, Bristol, Virginia (girls' boarding school)
1902-1905 studied music in Austria and Germany (Grand Ducal Conservatory, Karlsruhe)
1905-1910 taught music and performed as a pianist in Mexico City
1910 instructor at Whitis Preparatory School, Austin
8 Sept 1910 married Jefferson Rea Spell
1914 received B.A. from UT
1919 received M.A. from UT
1922-1927 librarian of the Genaro García Collection, University of Texas Library
1923 second woman to receive Ph.D. from UT, with a major in history and a minor in education (also studied at Columbia University and University of Chicago)
1929-1933 associate editor of The Musicale
1929-1939 teacher of music, music history and appreciation at Mulholland School, San Antonio, and the Texas School of Fine Arts, Austin
1933-1947 associate editor of Southwestern Musician
1936 inscription writer for historical monuments, State of Texas
1946-1948 editor of Texas Music News
early 1960s donated her correspondence to the Latin American Collection and sold personal library to UT
3 April 1972 died in Austin

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Scope and Contents

Correspondence, research materials, literary manuscripts and notes, family papers, financial documents, printed material, and photographs from the Spells' careers and lives.

Subgroup I consists of materials concerning both Jefferson and Lota Spell. It includes correspondence concerning many literary figures and various of the Spells' activities, notably the International Institute of Ibero-American Literature; card files pertaining to the Spells' research and publications; writings undertaken in collaboration or on shared topics, such as the Mexican diplomat, journalist, playwright, and entrepreneur, Manuel Eduardo de Gorostiza; items relating to their activities at the University of Texas; family papers; financial documents; and assorted materials such as notebooks, travel diaries, and clippings. Most photographs are from the series, Family Papers.

Subgroup II is formed of Jefferson Spell's manuscripts and notes for his publications about the life and works of the Mexican novelist, José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi; the life and works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his influence on the literature and thought of Latin America; Eusebio Vela; Spanish-American theater and fiction; numerous articles; and his M.A. and Ph.D theses, on the respective topics of Spanish teaching in the U.S. and José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi.

Subgroup III comprises Lota Spell's papers and contains manuscripts and notes for her publications on early printing in Mexico and the Southwest and early music in North America. Present in the papers are materials from her works on Samuel Bangs, Pedro de Gante, and musical topics, including the memoirs of musician Horace Clark; also represented is her publication, Research materials for the study of Latin America at the University of Texas (1954). Also included in the papers are correspondence, printed material, and teaching materials from Lota Spell's music activities and the associations to which she belonged, including the Texas Music Teachers Association, Austin District Music Teachers' Association, Texas Federation of Music Clubs, and University Interscholastic League. Mary Dunn, a Lubbock music teacher who was active in music education organizations, is prominently represented in these materials. Correspondence and research materails from the Texas Research Bureau are also included among Lota Spell's papers.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Spell, Jefferson Rea, 1886-1967--Archives.
Spell, Lota M. (Lota May), 1885-1972--Archives
Fernández de Lizardi, José Joaquín, 1776-1827
Bangs, Samuel, ca. 1794-ca. 1853.
Gorostiza, Manuel Eduardo de, 1789-1851
Gante, Pedro de, 1486-1572.
Vela, Eusebio, 1689-1736.
Clark, Horace.
Dunn, Mary, 1888-1972?
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 1712-1778--Influence.
Subjects (Organizations)
International Institute of Ibero-American Literature
Texas Research Bureau.
Texas Music Teachers Association
Austin District Music Teachers Association
Texas Federation of Music Clubs
University Interscholastic League (Tex.)
Subjects (Topical)
University of Texas at Austin
Music--North America--History.
Music--Instruction and study
Printing--North America--History.
Spanish American fiction--History and criticism.
Mexican literature--History and criticism.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jefferson R. and Lota M. Spell Papers, 1844-1972, Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Acquisition Information

The Jefferson R. and Lota M. Spell Papers were acquired by the Benson Latin American Collection shortly after Lota Spell's death in 1972.

Processing Information

The processing of the papers was begun by the Mexican Archives Project staff in November 1994 and was completed in March 1995.

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Jefferson Rea Spell: Partial Bibliography

Life and works of José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi (1931)

"Some little known plays of Gorostiza" (1932)

"The theater in Mexico City, 1805-1806" (1933)

Rousseau in the Spanish world before 1833 (1938)

Don Catrín de la fachenda, y fragmentos de otras obras de Fernández de Lizardi (1944)

Contemporary Spanish-American fiction (1944)

"The theater in New Spain in the early eighteenth century" (1947)

Tres comedias de Eusebio Vela (1948)

El periquillo sarniento, por José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, ed. y prólogo de J. R. Spell. 3vols., Editorial Porrúa (1949) 2nd ed. (1956) segunda edición corregida y ampliada (1959) [first edition] 3rd ed. corregida y ampliada (1961) 4th ed. (1962) 5th ed. (1963) 6th ed. (1964) 7th ed. (1965) 8th ed. (1967)

Don Catrín de la fachenda, y Noches tristes y día alegre, por José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, ed. y prólogo de J.R. Spell (1959)

Revistas Hispanoamericanos. Indice bibliográfica. 1843-1938 (1960)

"Sidelights on Manuel Eduardo de Gorostiza from his archive" (1962)

"A textual comparison of the first four editions of El periquillo sarniento" (1963)

Bridging the Gap: articles on Mexican literature, selected from the works of Jefferson Rea Spell (1971)

Lota M. Spell: Partial Bibliography

History of Musical Education in the U.S. (1919) [M.A. thesis]

"The first teacher of European music in America" (1922?) [Pedro de Gante]

Musical education in North America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (1923) [Ph.D. dissertation]

"Music and instruments of the Aztecs: the beginnings of musical education in North America" (1925)

The first music books printed in America (1929)

The contribution of the Southwest to American music (1931)

"Samuel Bangs: the first printer in Texas" (reprint 1931)

"The Anglo-Saxon press in Mexico, 1846-1848" (1932)

Music in Texas, a survey of one aspect of cultural progress (1936)

"Music in the cathedral of Mexico in the sixteenth century" (1946)

Cuatro documentos relativos a Sor Juana (1947)

Research materials for the study of Latin America at the University of Texas (1954)

Copycats with tunes you know (1957)

Gorostiza and Texas (1957)

Rafael Heliodoro Valle, 1891-1959 (1960)

Pioneer Printer: Samuel Bangs in Mexico and Texas (1963)

edited and wrote introduction for La vida después de la muerte, by José López Portillo (1964)

"The interplay of books and life: J.R. Spell and El Periquillo" (1968)

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Box and Folder Inventory


Spell Papers

1-168 A draft inventory of the Spell Papers is available in the Benson Collection Rare Books and Manuscripts reading room.
Download PDF Inventory for the Spell Papers

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