Guide to the B. Traven Collection, 1917-1989

Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 1999
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the B. Traven Collection, 1917-1989

Collection number: M0570

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email: speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu
  • URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Date Completed:
1991
© 1999 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: B. Traven Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1917-1989
Collection number: Special Collections M0570
Creator: Klein, H. Arthur, collector.
Extent: 6 linear feet.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

None.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

Provenance

Gift of the estate of H. Arthur Klein, 1991.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] B. Traven Collection, M0570, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Biographical Note

Herbert Arthur Klein, a journalist and author, and his wife, Mina Cooper Klein, had a life-long fascination with the works of B. Traven. For over fifty years, the Kleins collected many different kinds of material on Traven. They also translated and edited a collection of short stories by Traven, The Kidnapped Saint (Lawrence Hill, 1974).
Herbert Klein was born around 1907 in New York City. He received his A.B. from Stanford University and his M.A. from Occidental College. In addition, Klein pursued graduate studies at Columbia University, UCLA, Berkeley, and the Berlin Handelshochschule.
Klein began his career as a newspaperman, moving in 1930 to the Berlin office of the Chicago Tribune. Shortly thereafter he married. A couple of years later, he taught English at the Marxistische Arbeiter Schule in Berlin. Here one of his students first introduced him to the work of B. Traven, who was an especially popular author among German workers. The Kleins left Germany in 1933.
After returning to the U.S., Klein corresponded with Traven from 1933 to 1935 (about a dozen letters altogether). Mina Klein also wrote Traven a few times and was answered by a Señor Martinez, whom she strongly suspected was Traven. Although the Kleins never met Traven, after his death they did visit his widow, Rosa Elena Luján.
The Kleins lived most of their lives in Malibu, California, where the air was better for Herbert Klein's health. Mina Klein died in 1979, and Herbert Klein died about ten years later.
Klein's professional name was H. Arthur Klein. He and his wife wrote, edited, or translated over twenty books. Some of these were popular science and art books, such as The World of Measurements (1974), Peter Bruegel the Elder, Artist of Abundance (1968), and Käthe Kollwitz; Life in Art (1972). The Kleins also translated works by Wilhelm Busch from German into English. Although this collection contains several plans for a study of Traven, only The Kidnapped Saint was ever completed.

Scope and Content

This collection includes over fifty years' worth of materials on the author B. Traven collected by Herbert and Mina Klein. The holdings are divided into the following sections, which largely correspond to Herbert Klein's original ordering of the material.

Access Terms

Ballio, Tino.
Bang, Herman, 1857-1912.
Baumann, Friedel.
Baumann, Michael L.
Cheuse, Alan.
Gray, Robert.
Hagemann, E.R.( Edward R.), 1921-
Huston, John.
Johnson, William Weber, 1909-
Klein, Mina C.
Kohner, Paul.
Küpfer, Peter.
López Mateos, Esperanza.
Lujan, Rosa Elena.
Mermet, Irene.
Olafson, Robert.
Raskin, Jonah, 1942-
Recknagel, Rolf.
Spota, Luis.
Stevenson, Philip
Stone, Judy.
Traven, B.
Wieder, Josef.
Wyatt, Will.
Büchergilde Gutenberg.
Lawrence Hill & Co.
American literature--20th century.
Photoprints.
Phonotapes.
The B. Traven Newsletter. Der Bücherfreund. The Great Traven Hunt or Erica's Dream. The Kidnapped Saint. Rosa Blanca. Stories by the Man Nobody Knows.

Scope and Content Note

Although Herbert and Mina Klein worked together closely on many of the projects described in the collection, almost all of the correspondence and notes are by Herbert Klein, who also seems to have assembled the original files. For simplicity's sake, Herbert Klein is referred to as Klein throughout the collection's description, while his wife is referred to by her full name. Some common abbreviations found throughout the material are BT for B. Traven, HAK for Herbert Arthur Klein, and MCK for Mina Cooper Klein.
Many of Herbert Arthur Klein's original folder titles were kept in this collection. What Klein labeled as original, especially in his correspondence with B. Traven, was often the carbon copy of his original letter. Moreover Klein often retyped the letters he received from Traven. A few true originals are included here in the Traven-Klein correspondence; where the original is in poor condition, a photocopy follows.
Prominent persons and institutions mentioned in this collection include:
  • Ballio, Tino
  • Baumann, Friedel
  • Baumann, Michael L.
  • Büchergilde Gutenberg
  • Hagemann, E.R.
  • Johnson, William
  • Klein, Herbert Arthur
  • Klein, Mina Cooper
  • Lawrence Hill & Co.
  • Kohner, Paul
  • Küpfer, Peter
  • López Mateos, Esperanza
  • Luján, Rosa Elena
  • Marut, Ret
  • Mermet, Irene
  • Olafson, Robert
  • Raskin, Jonah
  • Recknagel, Rolf
  • Rosa Blanca (film)
  • Spota, Luis
  • Stevenson, Phil
  • Stone, Judy
  • Traven, B.
  • Wieder, Josef
  • Wyatt, Will

Series Description

 

Series I. Correspondence

Scope and Content Note

This is arranged chronologically within each subsection: correspondence with B. Traven; with Traven's widow and publishers; and with Traven scholars, libraries, Klein's attorney, newspapers.
 

Series II. Klein's manuscripts and notes for projects

 

Series III. Subject Files

Scope and Content Note

This section has material on Traven arranged first by year (pre-1920-1985) and then alphabetically by subject.
 

Series IV. Photos and audio tapes

 

Series V. Books and play

Scope and Content Note

This section includes a paperback by Traven, a dissertation on Traven, and a play about Traven.
 

Series VI. Serials

Scope and Content Note

Most of these periodicals have at least one article on Traven.
 

Series VII. Addendum

Scope and Content Note

This is a list of serials dispersed throughout the collection.

Container List

 

I. Correspondence (arranged chronologically within subsection)

 

With B. Traven

Box 1, Folder 1

General index of Klein's letters to and from Traven

Box 1, Folder 2

Traven-Klein letters, 1933originals

Box 1, Folder 3

Traven-Klein letters, 1934originals

Box 1, Folder 4

Original Klein letter to Traven, 5/28/35

Box 1, Folder 5

Original Klein letter to Traven, 7/2/35

Box 1, Folder 6

Originals of material sent by Traven, 7/16/35

Box 1, Folder 7

Klein letter to Traven, 8/1/35

Box 1, Folder 8

Original Klein letter to Traven, 10/1/35

Box 1, Folder 9

Traven-Klein letters, 1933-35

 

With Traven's widow and publishers

Box 2, Folder 1

Rosa Elena Lujan (Traven's widow), 1967-78

Box 2, Folder 2

Correspondence, British publishers, 1936-59

Box 2, Folder 3

Lawrence Hill & Co., Hill & Wang, Inc., 1966-70

Box 2, Folder 4

Lawrence Hill & Co., 1971-73

Box 2, Folder 5

Lawrence Hill & Co., 1974

Box 2, Folder 6

Lawrence Hill & Co., 1975

Box 2, Folder 7

Lawrence Hill & Co., 1976-80

Box 2, Folder 8

Contracts and royalty reports from L. Hill, 1975-79

Box 2, Folder 9

Penn State Press, 1976

Box 2, Folder 10

Allison and Busby, 1979

Box 2, Folder 11

Ken Saunders, 1980

 

With Traven scholars, libraries, Klein's attorney, newspapers

Box 3, Folder 1

E.R. Hagemann, 1959-60

Box 3, Folder 2

Phil Stevenson, 1961-73(also has letters from Traven to Stevenson)

Box 3, Folder 3

Grad student, 1975

Box 3, Folder 4

Judy Stone, 1975(also notes on her book)

Box 3, Folder 5

Jonah Raskin, 1975-79

Box 3, Folder 6

Rectification letters, UCLA Special Collections, 1976

Box 3, Folder 7

William Weber Johnson, 1976

Box 3, Folder 8

Paul Kohner, 1976

Box 3, Folder 9

George Hanson, 1976-78

Box 3, Folder 10

Michael Baumann, 1976-1982

Box 3, Folder 11

Tino Ballio, 1977

Box 3, Folder 12

Ernst Schürer, 1982

Box 3, Folder 13

Traven Conference correspondence, 1982

Box 3, Folder 14

Rolf Recknagel, 1976-[82?]

Box 3, Folder 15

Karl Guthke, 1982-3

Box 3, Folder 16

Peter Küpfer, 1982-3

Box 3, Folder 17

Martha Müller, 1989

Box 3, Folder 18

Klein's attorney Lauri Provencher, 1979

Box 3, Folder 19

NY Review of Books, June 1970

Box 3, Folder 20

LA Times, 1982

 

Series II. Klein's manuscripts and notes for projects

 

Kleins' work on Traven stories

Box 4, Folder 1

Editing notecards for Traven tales

Box 4, Folder 2

Special materials on Jungle or Mahogany novels (book jackets, correspondence with publishers, translations that later appeared in Kleins' book)

Box 4, Folder 3

Master file, The Kidnapped Saint

 

(Primarily first drafts of translations for The Kidnapped Saint)

Box 4, Folder 4

The Kidnapped Saint

Box 4, Folder 5

Submission

Box 4, Folder 6

Story of a Bomb

Box 4, Folder 7

Diplomat

Box 4, Folder 8

Frustration

Box 4, Folder 9

Reviving the Dead

Box 4, Folder 10

Accomplices

Box 4, Folder 11

Indian Dance in the Jungle

Box 4, Folder 12

Introduction, In the Freest State in the World

Box 4, Folder 13

In the Freest State in the World (text)

Box 4, Folder 14

In the Freest State in the World (endnotes)

Box 4, Folder 15

Rejected stories: Burro Trading #6

Box 4, Folder 16

Rejected stories: Unexpected Solution #12 [original missing]

Box 4, Folder 17

Rejected stories: Welfare Hospital #13

Box 4, Folder 18

Rejected stories: Foreign Correspondent #14

Box 4, Folder 19

Rejected stories: Dynamite #15

Box 4, Folder 20

Rejected stories: The Guard #16

 

Primarily second drafts of translations for The Kidnapped Saint

Box 5, Folder 1

Submission #2

Box 5, Folder 2

Diplomats #3

Box 5, Folder 3

In the Freest State in the World #4 (1974 final typing)

Box 5, Folder 4

In the Freest State in the World #4 (1974 preliminary drafts)

Box 5, Folder 5

In the Freest State in the World #4 (notes by Kleins)

Box 5, Folder 6

Frustration #5

Box 5, Folder 7

Burro Trading #6

Box 5, Folder 8

Saint in Pain #7, corrections to Michigan Quarterly Review version of The Kidnapped Saint

Box 5, Folder 9

Auferweckung des Toten #9

Box 5, Folder 10

Indian Dance in the Jungle #10

Box 5, Folder 11

Accomplices #11

Box 5, Folder 12

Unexpected Solutions #12, rewritten Short Stories version, June 1957

Box 5, Folder 13

Welfare Establishment #13

Box 5, Folder 14

Foreign Correspondent

Box 5, Folder 15

Dynamite #15

 

Primarily second drafts, German versions of Traven stories

Box 6, Folder 1

Der fremde Soldat

Box 6, Folder 2

The Guard, in English translation by Klein

Box 6, Folder 3

Mutter Beleke

Box 6, Folder 4

Untitled

Box 6, Folder 5

Khundar

Box 6, Folder 6

Was in Frankreich alles geschehen kann

Box 6, Folder 7

Erzählungen

Box 6, Folder 8

Rejects: Traven stories in U.S. magazines, 1956-7

 

(Materials for book production)

Box 6, Folder 9

list of materials received from L. Hill, 1973

Box 6, Folder 10

Critiques from Hill et al.

Box 6, Folder 11

Table of contents and plans for Hill book

Box 6, Folder 12

Im Freiesten Staat der Welt

Box 6, Folder 13

Intro I (draft of introduction)

Box 6, Folder 14

Questions on German translations, 1974

Box 6, Folder 15

Notes: Diaz regime and Mexico City sanitation

Box 6, Folder 16

4 stories added in Cassell 1967book, Night Visitor

Box 6, Folder 17

White Rose #1 (excerpt)

 

Klein's final drafts for The Kidnapped Saint

Box 7, Folder 1

Submission #2

Box 7, Folder 2

Diplomats #3

Box 7, Folder 3

In the Freest State in the World #4

Box 7, Folder 4

Frustration #5

Box 7, Folder 5

Burro Trading #6

Box 7, Folder 6

The Kidnapped Saint [draft lacks title page]

Box 7, Folder 7

Tin Can #8

Box 7, Folder 8

The Revival of a Dead Man #9

Box 7, Folder 9

Indian Dance in the Jungle #10

Box 7, Folder 10

Accomplices #11

Box 7, Folder 11

Unexpected Solution #12

Box 7, Folder 12

The Welfare Hospital

Box 7, Folder 13

Foreign Correspondent #14

Box 7, Folder 14

Dynamite #15

Box 7, Folder 15

The Guard #16

Box 8, Folder 1

First 43 galleys, The Kidnapped Saint

Box 8, Folder 2

Proofs, The Kidnapped Saint

Box 8, Folder 3

Master proofs of The Kidnapped Saint

 

Klein's writings and notes on Traven, chronologically ordered

Box 9, Folder 1

Klein drafts of Traven reviews, 1930s

Box 9, Folder 2

New Republic review by Klein, 1934

Box 9, Folder 3

New Masses review by Klein, 1934

Box 9, Folder 4

British Library: Traven material, 1973,etc.

Box 9, Folder 5

Büchergilde Gutenberg [Traven publishers], 1926-

Box 9, Folder 6

Introduction to The Freest State in the World, 1979

Box 9, Folder 7

Additional biographical material for Freest State

Box 9, Folder 8

Alphabetical guide to Traven material, 1976

Box 9, Folder 9

Titles for tentative Traven book

Box 9, Folder 10

Book on Traven

Box 9, Folder 11

Misc. Traven notes, 1982

Box 9, Folder 12

Klein-Traven letters analyzed

 

Series III. Subject files

 

Klein's chronological files with notes and/or material on Traven that appeared in each year: periodical articles, BT Mitteilungen, notes from UCLA Special Collections material on Traven. Pre-1920 to 1985,with some omissions

Box 10, Folder 1

Undated file in UCLA Special Collections

Box 10, Folder 2

Pre-1920

Box 10, Folder 3

1926

Box 10, Folder 4

1927

Box 10, Folder 5

1928

Box 10, Folder 6

1929

Box 10, Folder 7

1930

Box 10, Folder 8

1931

Box 10, Folder 9

1932

Box 10, Folder 10

1933

Box 10, Folder 11

1934

Box 10, Folder 12

1935

Box 10, Folder 13

1936

Box 10, Folder 14

1937

Box 10, Folder 15

1938

Box 10, Folder 16

1939

Box 10, Folder 17

1940

Box 10, Folder 18

1942

Box 10, Folder 19

1943

Box 10, Folder 20

1944

Box 10, Folder 21

1945

Box 10, Folder 22

1946

Box 10, Folder 23

1947

Box 10, Folder 24

1948

Box 10, Folder 25

1949

Box 10, Folder 26

1950

Box 10, Folder 27

1951

Box 10, Folder 28

1952

Box 10, Folder 29

1953

Box 10, Folder 30

1954

Box 10, Folder 31

1955

Box 10, Folder 32

1956

Box 11, Folder 1

1957

Box 11, Folder 2

1958

Box 11, Folder 3

1959

Box 11, Folder 4

1960

Box 11, Folder 5

1961

Box 11, Folder 6

1963

Box 11, Folder 7

1966

Box 11, Folder 8

1967

Box 11, Folder 9

1969

Box 11, Folder 10

1970

Box 11, Folder 11

1971

Box 11, Folder 12

1972

Box 11, Folder 13

1973

Box 11, Folder 14

1974

Box 11, Folder 15

1975

Box 11, Folder 16

1976

Box 11, Folder 17

1977

Box 11, Folder 18

1978-80

Box 11, Folder 19

1985

Box 12, Folder 1

Bang, Herman, influence on Traven

Box 12, Folder 2

Bek-Gray, Robert

Box 12, Folder 3

Cheuse, Alan

Box 12, Folder 4

Communist press critics of Traven

Box 12, Folder 5

Huston, John on Traven

Box 12, Folder 6

Land des Frühlings, notes and analysis

Box 12, Folder 7

Library of Congress, notes on Traven holdings

Box 12, Folder 8

Lopez Mateos, Esperanza

Box 12, Folder 9

Manana and Luis Spota

Box 12, Folder 10

The Marut-Traven connection

Box 12, Folder 11

Marut (Traven) 1922and earlier

Box 12, Folder 12

Powell, L.C. and Traven, Aug. 1976

Box 12, Folder 13

Recknagel, Rolf, checklist of articles on Traven

Box 12, Folder 14

Revolution, German, notes

Box 12, Folder 15

Sex, women, and Traven

Box 12, Folder 16

Socialism in Germany, notes

Box 12, Folder 17

Spanish language sources on Traven

Box 12, Folder 18

Special materials, Universitas-Verlag

Box 12, Folder 19

UCLA Special Collections, MCK file

Box 12, Folder 20

Wieder, Josef

Box 12, Folder 21

Der Ziegelbrenner, 1917-22,copies and analysis

Box 12, Folder 22

Der Ziegelbrenner, notes from British Museum, 1973

Box 12, Folder 23

Der Ziegelbrenner, notes from Recknagel

Box 13, Folder 1

Transcriptions of Marut [Traven] writings by Rolf Recknagel, 1969

 

Printed materials about Traven, chronologically ordered

Box 14, Folder 1

Articles by Michael Baumann, 1975-77

Box 14, Folder 2

Notes from Das B. Traven Buch, 1976

Box 14, Folder 3

Serial material on Traven, Aug. 1976

Box 14, Folder 4

Periodical pieces on BT, 1977

Box 14, Folder 5

LA Times, 1978

Box 14, Folder 6

Reviews of Will Wyatt's book, 1979-80

Box 14, Folder 7

Traven material, July 1983

Box 14, Folder 8

Traven seminar, USC, Nov. 12, 1977

Box 14, Folder 9

Materials on Canadian production, 1976-77

Box 14, Folder 10

Materials on BBC production, 1977-78

Box 14, Folder 11

Films, Traven

 

(Miscellany)

Box 14, Folder 12

Traven mat'l to sort and file

Box 14, Folder 13

German publications of BT books, misc. material

Box 14, Folder 14

Newspaper articles about Mexico, 1982

 

Series IV. Photos and Audio Tapes

Box 15, Folder 1

Rosa Elena Lujan, Mexico City, Jan. 1973

Box 15, Folder 2

Photos from BBC documentary, 1977

Box 15, Folder 3

Conference photo, 1982

Box 15, Folder 4

2 cassettes on P. APC [Philological Association of the Pacific Coast, daughter organization of the MLA] B. Traven Seminar, Los Angeles, Nov. 12, 1977(2.5 hours). Presentations by panelists (Judy Stone, Michael Baumann, Charles Humphrey, Robert Goss, et al.), followed by open discussion moderated by Robert Olafson. The Kleins attended.

 

Series V. Books and Play

Box 16, Folder --

B. Traven, Stories by the Man Nobody Knows (Regency: Evanston, 1961).Annotated paperback.

Box 16, Folder --

Peter Küpfer, Aufklären und Erzählen. Das literarische Frühwerk B. Travens (Diss., Zurich, 1981).[With dedication to Herbert Arthur Klein]

Box 16, Folder 1

Robert B. Olafson, The Great Traven Hunt or Erica's Dream. A Play in Three Acts (1977).Copy is lightly annotated.

 

Series VI. Serials

Box 17, Folder 1

BT Mitteilungen [subject folder; for location of issues see Addendum] No. 2-11 ed. by Esperanza Lopez Mateos and Josef Wieder (Zurich); no. 12-33 ed. by Josef Wieder (Zurich); no. 24-36 ed. by Rosa Elena Lujan (Mexico City) and Josef Wieder (Zurich).

Box 17, Folder 2

The B. Traven Newsletter. Vol. 1 no. 1 (Autumn-winter 1976)and 2 (summer 1976)ed. by Terrence Ponick, University of South Carolina. [The file includes correspondence with Ponick.]

Box 17, Folder 3

Frente a Frente. Organ Central de la Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios LEAR Sección Mexicana. Mexico City. Ed. Fernando Gamboa. [Hoover Library has other issues] 1936:3 (Ma).

Box 17, Folder 4

Smithsonian. March 1983.

Box 17, Folder --

Jewish Currents. New York. [SUL has other issues] 1961: Sept. 1975: Oct.(2 copies); Nov.(2 copies); Dec.(2 copies) 1976: Jan.; Feb.; Mar.; Apr.; May; June; July-Aug.; Sept.; Oct.; Nov.; Dec. 1977: Feb.

 

Series VII. Addendum

 

Serials dispersed throughout the collection:

 

- BT Mitteilungen [subject folder in box 17; SUL has other issues]

 

1951: 2 (F,missing p. 1-5); 3 (Ap); 4 (Jun); 5 (Au)

 

1952: 6 (Mar); 7 (May); 8 (Jul); 9 (Oct)

 

1953: 10 (May); 11 (Aug); 12 (Dec)[incomplete]

 

1954: 13 (F); 14 (Ap); 15 (Jul); 16 (S); 17 (D)

 

1955: 18 (Au); 19 (D)[incomplete]

 

1956: 20 (F); 21 (Jun); 22 (Au); 23 (N)

 

1957: 24 (Ja); 25 (Ap); 26 (Jul); 27 (Au); 28 (Au)

 

1958: 29 (Ma); 30 (Au); 31 (Nov); 32 (D)

 

1959: 33 (Mar); 34 (May); 35 (N)

Box [boxes 10-11]

1960: 36 (Ap)

Box [box 12]

- Der Ziegelbrenner, 1917-22.[SUL has other issues]

Box [boxes 10-11]

- Büchergilde. Monatsschrift der Büchergilde Gutenberg. Zurich.

 

1929: 10 (Oct)

 

1934: 5 (May)

 

1936: 1 (Ja); 4 (Ap)

 

1939: 6 (Jun); 9 (Se) 11 (N)

 

1940: 1 (Ja)

 

1959: 5 (May); 6 (Jun); 7 (Jul)

 

- Der Bücherfreund. Mitteilungsblatt des Vereins Schweizer Bücherfreunde. Zurich.

Box [box 10]

1939: 14 (Se); 15 (Oc); 16 (N)