The Herbert Eugene Bolton Papers document the career of an eminent
historian who, as director of the Bancroft Library and Chairman of the University of
California at Berkeley's History Department in the 1920s and 1930s, was a leader in the
field of study known as the Spanish Borderlands.
Herbert Eugene Bolton was born on July 20, 1870 in Wilton, Wisconsin. At the University of
Wisconsin (class of 1895) he studied under Frederick Jackson Turner; after two years of
graduate work there he left to pursue a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, which he
earned in 1899. In 1901 he joined the history department at the University of Texas, Austin,
where he developed his lasting interest in the history of Spanish-American exploration. His
next stop was California, first at Stanford from 1909-1911, and then Berkeley for the
remainder of his career. In 1916 he became the Curator of the Bancroft Library (a title that
was soon switched to Director), and he took over the helm of the History Department after
the death of Henry Morse Stephens in 1919.
Number of containers: 99 cartons, 145 boxes, 5 file boxes, 80 oversize boxes and 5
Linear feet: 215 linear feet
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