Information for Researchers
Scope and Content of Collection
Collection Title: George P. Hammond papers
Date (inclusive): 1913-1992,
Date (bulk): bulk 1920-1985
Collection Number: BANC MSS 70/89
Hammond, George P. (George Peter), 1896-1993
Number of containers: 59 cartons, 3 boxes, 5 file-boxes, 3 oversize folders
Linear feet: 62
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: The George P. Hammond Papers document the life and career of a Southwestern U.S. historian, who was director of the Bancroft
Library from 1946-1965, and who wrote and published numerous books based on Spanish documents, as well as the history of California.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English, Spanish and Danish
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information
on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The
Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright
owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See:
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research
and educational purposes.
[Identification of item], George P. Hammond Papers, BANC MSS 70/89, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Alternate Forms Available
There are no alternate forms of this collection.
Documents relating to Navajo Indians (BANC MSS C-A 401)
Carrie Nelson Hammond diaries, 1922-1997 (BANC MSS 2000/124)
Working files for the Book Club of California's 1948 Keepsake publication, Letters of the Gold Discovery (BANC MSS 92/13)
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Oñate, Juan de, 1549-1624
Larkin, Thomas Oliver, 1802-1858
Weber, Charles David Maria, 1814-1881
Barclay, Alexander, 1810-1855
Archivo General de Indias
Archivo General de la Nación (Mexico)
Manuscripts for publication.
The George P. Hammond Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by George Hammond in 1970. Additions were made over the remaining
years of his life; the last addition came from his daughters in 2002.
No additions are expected.
System of Arrangement
Arranged to the folder level.
Processed by Anastasia Karel, Arcadia Falcone, Rachel Gulbraa, and Mia Ouranitsas in 2008-2009.
George Peter Hammond was born on September 19, 1896 in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and spent the first 13 years of his life in
Kenmare, North Dakota. In 1909 his family moved to California; they arrived in Fresno but shortly thereafter settled on a
plot of land in nearby Caruthers. While his parents and older brother worked on the family's farm, Hammond attended the local
grammar school, followed by high school in the town of Easton, eight miles away. He graduated in 1916 and started college
at Berkeley in the fall of that year. At the beginning of his junior year (in Jan. 1919, due to World War I), he chose to
pursue the study of Western American history and became one of Herbert Eugene Bolton's students. He also worked at the Bancroft
Library for two hours a day. By attending summer school in 1919, Hammond was able to graduate with his class in the spring
By the following year Hammond had not only completed his Master's degree in history, but also earned a teaching certificate
from the University of California. Instead of becoming a teacher, however, Hammond took Bolton's advice to pursue further
graduate work and became a teaching fellow in the History Department. Prior to this term, in August 1921, Hammond married
Carrie Nelson, with whom he would have four children. After a year working with Bolton, Hammond was awarded the Native Sons
of the Golden West Fellowship, which offered him the chance to study in Europe for a year (1922-1923). He spent this time
primarily in the Archivo General de Indias doing research on Don Juan de Oñate and New Mexico, the subjects of his PhD. dissertation.
Hammond's doctorate was put on hold when Bolton urged him to accept a teaching position at the University of North Dakota.
It was here that Hammond met Agapito Rey, a fellow historian with whom he would write multiple works. In the summer of 1924
Hammond finished his Ph.D., and after a second year teaching in North Dakota, accepted a more rewarding position at the University
of Arizona. This post also lasted two years, and in the spring of 1927, the University of Southern California beckoned.
While at USC, Hammond formed the Quivira Society, a group of scholars with the mission to publish rare Spanish documents.
Another highlight from this period was his semester-long sabbatical in Mexico in 1933, where he photographed many documents
in the Archivo General de la Nación.
Another opportunity presented itself in 1935, this time at the University of New Mexico, where Hammond was offered a multifaceted
position as Professor of History and Head of the History Department, as well as Dean of the Graduate School. This position
lasted for ten years, during which time Hammond also worked for the state's Historical Records Survey (1936-1939), and was
an active member of the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Celebration (1940).
While on sabbatical from UNM in 1945-1946, Hammond was offered the directorship of the Bancroft Library. Over the course
of the next twenty years he dramatically changed the nature of the library by acquiring collections, establishing formal policies
and procedures, and fundraising through the Friends of the Bancroft Library, an organization created a month after he arrived.
Although Hammond officially retired in 1965, he maintained an office as Director Emeritus until the late 1980s. He went to
Spain on a Fulbright grant (1965-1967), continued to research and write, and remained active with the Friends of the Bancroft
Library. Hammond passed away on December 3, 1993 at the age of 97.
Scope and Content of Collection
The George P. Hammond Papers consist of five series: Research Materials, Correspondence, Professional Activities, Writings,
and Personal. Correspondence was found in all parts of the collection, and while the bulk of it is in Series 2, some letters
were filed with the appropriate subject. Personal materials were also scattered, often mixed with correspondence or professional
materials from the same year. Hammond documented virtually every part of his life and career, and then wrote about it in
his memoirs, which offers researchers a wealth of information on life in California and the Southwest during the first half
of the twentieth century. The only activity not well-documented is his work with the Historical Records Survey in New Mexico.