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George McCutchen McBride papers, 1942-1949 [bulk dates 1906-1952]
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Items Removed from the Collection
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: George McCutchen McBride papers
    Collection number: 2240
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.5 linear ft. (1 oversize box, 3 oversize boxed rolls, 7 map folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1942-1949 [bulk dates 1906-1952]
    Abstract: George McBride was the chair of the Geography department at UCLA from 1923 until 1942, subsequently serving in South America as the Technical Advisor to the Ecuador-Peru Mixed Boundary Demarcation Commission from 1942-1949. The collection is comprised of materials created and compiled by McBride during his tenure on the boundary commission, in which he followed closely the activities of the commission while reporting directly to the Secretary of State on the border demarcation process.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.
    Creator: McBride, George McCutchen, 1876-1971

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Professor George M. McBride, 19 March 1956.

    Processing Note

    Processed by Mitchell Erzinger, April 2014.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], George McCutchen McBride Papers (Collection 2240). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.


    Dr. George McCutchen McBride was born on October 11, 1876 in Benton, Kansas. Graduating from Park College Academy and Park College in Parkville, Missouri, he went on to receive a D.D. from Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, subsequently beginning the first phase of his career as a missionary teacher in South America from 1901-1915, where he taught in high schools in Santiago, Chile and La Paz, Bolivia. During this time, McBride achieved fluency in Spanish and began to develop his ideals and interests through a firsthand understanding of traditional rural and urban life across the economic, social, and political strata.
    McBride returned to the United States in 1915 to pursue graduate work in geography at Yale, becoming an Assistant Librarian and Research Associate for the American Geographical Society in 1917, and receiving his Ph.D. in Geography from Yale in 1921 with a dissertation on the "Land Systems of Mexico." In 1922, McBride accepted a position in the Geography department at UCLA (then still named the University of California, Southern Branch). Integral to its expansion, he served as chairman of the department from 1923 until 1942, at which point he was called to serve as the United States technical advisor to the Ecuador-Peru Mixed Boundary Demarcation Commission until 1949. In this role, he followed closely the activities of the commission, preparing multiple reports for the US Department of State on the progress of the border demarcation, in addition to supervising the aerial photography of the border line conducted by the US Army Air Force.
    In 1956, McBride was awarded for his work in South America by the American Geographical Society with the David Livingstone Centenary Medal for "scientific achievement in the field of geography in the southern hemisphere." In 1961, he was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. George McBride died in Claremont, California on October 7, 1971, just shy of his 95th birthday. His scholarly publications and journal articles have since appeared in print in both English and Spanish, and are recognized as classics in the field.

    Historical Note

    The border conflict between Ecuador and Peru was one of the longest running border conflicts in the Western Hemisphere, rooted in the imprecise borders and shifting territories of viceroyalties and administrative districts during the Spanish colonization that had begun in the 16th century. After a broad series of disputes, major escalation of the conflict occurred in 1941 when Peru invaded Ecuador after alleging that Ecuador had incurred on Peruvian territory, resulting in the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War from July 5-31. A cease fire was subsequently agreed upon, and on January 29, 1942, the Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries - also known as the Rio Protocol - was ratified in Rio de Janeiro, formally addressing the border dispute between Ecuador and Peru. The treaty designated a mixed boundary commission comprised of representatives from both countries, in addition to representatives from the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States - mediating parties tasked with being the guarantors of the treaty - to collaborate as needed to resolve disagreements during the boundary demarcation process.
    Mapping of the Ecuador-Peru border was completed in 1947, and was met with near unanimous approval from both Ecuador and Peru. However, in 1948, the government of Ecuador cited a geographical error in the Rio Protocol, wherein a single watershed between the Zamora and Santiago rivers in the Cordillera del Condor region was identified, when in fact the geographical surveys had revealed two watersheds. This nullity thesis reopened Ecuador's aspirations for a sovereign outlet to the Amazon, and in turn reignited the border conflict over the subsequent decades, culminating in a month-long military clash in January 1995 known as the Cenepa War. In February 1995, a cease-fire - the Declaracion de Paz de Itamaraty - was produced, providing for demobilization and continued bilateral talks between Ecuador and Peru and the guarantor states of the Rio Protocol. The result was a definitive peace agreement, the Brasilia Presidential Act, ratified on 26 October 1998.

    Scope and Content

    The collection is comprised of materials created and compiled during the period of McBride's service in South America from 1942-1949 as the technical advisor to the Ecuador-Peru Mixed Boundary Demarcation Commission, as put into place by the Rio Protocol. The material includes copies of the final report to the Secretary of State as prepared by George McBride, notes, periodic reports, and supplemental research materials such as article clippings and publications used during demarcation and in the drafting of the final report, in addition to official memorandums and McBride's professional correspondences with the Department of State and various members of the boundary commission. Also included are a variety of maps utilized in and produced during the demarcation process, comprised of general, political, and topographic maps, aeronautical charts and detail sketches, aerial photography and maps of the border region conducted and prepared by the US Army Air Force, and McBride's own holograph maps and sketches. Collection material is in English and Spanish.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Clippings collected by McBride
    2. Correspondence
    3. Maps
    4. Memoranda
    5. Notes and Research
    6. Photographs
    7. Posters
    8. Reports
    The collection is organized by type of material and chronology. Box/folder contents and titles from boxes 1-7 are taken from McBride's original description and personal organization of the material, indicated by quotations. Alternate arrangements and titles/additions from the processor are denoted in brackets. Maps have been separated and ordered based on size and/or production, where applicable. The following is a summary of container contents:
    • Box 1: Final Report to the Secretary of State on the Ecuador-Peru Boundary dispute.
    • Box 2: Bibliographic cards, notes, reports, memos, correspondence and other research materials applicable to the boundary commission, written and/or collected by McBride for the preparation of the Final Report.
    • Box 3: Official memorandums and related documents from the Technical Advisor to the Ambassador and other officials of the demarcation commission.
    • Box 4: Official correspondence of George McBride, including letters sent and received from 1942-1949.
    • Box 5: Notes, clippings, memos, reports and publications related to the Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute, including aerial survey notes and maps.
    • Box 6: Reports and publications from the Republic of Ecuador, Peru, and neutral military parties regarding the Ecuador-Peru boundary.
    • Box 7: Clippings collected by McBride regarding the Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute, from 1942-1944.
    • Box 8: Aerial trimetrogon photography of the Ecuador-Peru border region conducted by the US Army Air Force.
    • Box 9: Graphic posters from Ecuador and Peru.
    • Box 10-18: Maps.

    Items Removed from the Collection

    One poster - Newsmap for the Armed Forces, Overseas edition, from 1945 - has been removed to the Poster Collection (Collection Number 95), as it remains contextually and thematically unassociated with the rest of the content in this collection.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7414610 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Aerial views.
    Boundary disputes-20th century.
    Condor Range (Ecuador and Peru)
    Ecuador-Peru Conflict, 1941
    Latin America-Boundaries.