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Southworth Spanish Civil War Collection, Mandeville Special Collections Library

Collection Profile

Spain's Second Republic (1931–1936), the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), and the post-war years of the 1940s form the foci of the collection, named for Herbert Rutledge Southworth, who began collecting these materials during the war. Southworth was an American journalist closely associated with the Republican government both in Spain and in exile. He contributed numerous anti-Franco articles to the Washington Post during the war and, after the war, served as secretary to Fernando de los Ríos, the Spanish Republic's ambassador to the United States. Southworth's collecting interests continued while he served as a radio correspondent in Tangier during the 1940s and 1950s. In addition to histories, memoirs, and other books relating to Spain during the 1930s and 1940s, Southworth also assembled a substantial number of propaganda pamphlets and short-lived journals and newspapers of extremely limited circulation that appeared during the war years.

Since the acquisition of Southworth's collection in 1966, UCSD has continued to add materials to make it as comprehensive a collection as possible. Currently, the collection includes more than 13,000 items, including monographs, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, drawings, newspapers, posters, and manuscripts. Publications by Republicans, Falangists, Catholics, anarchists, communists, socialists, agrarian reformers, and regional political parties are all represented, as are those by Spanish exiles and partisans. The collection holds all works by such prominent writers as Diego Martínez, Juan Negrín, Indalecio Prieto, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, and Fernando de los Ríos; commentaries by non-Spanish writers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway and Joseph Goebbels are also collected.

Of special interest are publications that were printed in small editions and subject to destruction through censorship or war, such as 3,500 political pamphlets from a variety of parties, a copy of the mimeo newssheets printed by the Falangists inside the besieged fortress of Alcázar, and a plethora of ephemera published by the Partido Comunista de España and produced in Madrid. More than 600 drawings made by Spanish children during the war are particularly evocative of the human tragedy of such conflicts, and more than 100 original photographs by non-Spanish journalists working in Spain provide unprecedented graphic visual coverage of the war. More than 80 colorful posters published during the war illustrate the work of artists as propagandists.

Modern Spain has remained a focus of UCSD's Department of History since the establishment of the campus in 1960. The Southworth Collection is frequently used by students and the larger community of scholars, and images from the collection are often included in films, publications, and exhibitions—all testament to Herbert Southworth's passion and perseverance.

Collection Profile and Overview: Lynda Corey Claassen
Illustrations: Matthew Peters

More About This Collection

Digital versions of portions of the Southworth Collection may be viewed at the following sites:


Children's drawings:


Communist ephemera of Madrid:

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