Scope and Content of the Collection
Language of Material:
Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University Library
Title: William M. Tipton Papers
Tipton, William (William M. Tipton)
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.1923.09.23
1.79 linear feet
(1 document box, 1 archival binder and 1 flat box)
Date (inclusive): 1887-1978 (bulk 1893-1918)
Abstract: The William M. Tipton Papers, 1887-1978 (bulk 1893-1918), document the personal and professional life of William M. Tipton.
The records consist of pamphlets, correspondence, Spanish vocabulary lists, photographs, land surveying tools, government
documents, newspaper clippings, and various notes. This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. William M. Tipton's
Personal Papers, 1887-1978 (bulk 1893-1918); Series II. Lists of Spanish Terms with English Translations, n.d.; and Series
III. Surveyor Tools and "The Gift of Tongues" Manuscripts, 1915-1923 (bulk 1915-1917).
Language of Material: English, Spanish.
Physical Location: This collection is located in Santa Clara University Library's Archives & Special Collections.
The collection is open for research. There are no restrictions.
This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. William M. Tipton's Personal Papers, 1887-1978 (bulk 1893-1918);
Series II. Lists of Spanish Terms with English Translations, n.d.; and Series III. Surveyor Tools and "The Gift of Tongues"
Manuscripts, 1915-1923 (bulk 1915-1917).
William M. Tipton was born in Dayton, Ohio on February 20th, 1857. His family moved to Brownsville, Nebraska the following
year and his father Thomas Weston Tipton was elected to the United States Senate after the end of the Civil War. During Thomas
Tipton's incumbency, the family lived in Washington, D.C. where William Tipton was educated at the Emerson Institute. William
Tipton briefly taught in the Brownsville, Nebraska public schools before accepting a position in the office of the Surveyor
General of the Territory of New Mexico in Santa Fe. In order to read old governmental documents from New Mexico from its time
under the governance of Spain and Mexico, Tipton learned Spanish and began to develop skilled understanding of land grants
and how to handle Spanish language documents specifically. Because of this self-taught expertise, he worked as a land surveyor
and protected the U.S. government from fraudulent land claims in the New Mexico Territory.
On August 15, 1892, Tipton was appointed a Special Agent and Spanish Expert to the United States Attorney for the Court of
Private Land Claims. The court was organized to address and settle land claims in New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, and
Arizona in the aftermath of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. In 1901, Tipton was sent by the United States government to the
Philippines at the beginning of the U.S. occupation following the 1898 Treaty of Paris. He established the Bureau of Public
Lands and became of the first head of the Bureau. After a few years working in Manila, Tipton returned to the United States
and worked in different federal and New Mexican state government positions before his retirement in 1921.
He then moved to Santa Clara County with his second wife, Alice J. Tipton, and lived on a ranch there until his death in 1922
at the age of 65.
Throughout his life, Tipton complied lists of Spanish terms with the hope of adding them to a Spanish-English dictionary.
These lists make up the majority of his personal papers.
The biographical information for this finding aid comes mostly from a letter written by William Tipton's second wife Alice
J. Tipton to the University President Rev. Zacheus J. Maher, S.J. from when she transferred William Tipton's papers to the
University Library in 1923 and from an article from the The American Surveyor.
Roeder, Fred, LS. "Will Tipton of the Spanish Archives." AmeriSurv.com. The American Surveyor, 11 Aug. 2009. 05 Aug. 2016.
Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California's oldest operating
institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original
21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank
until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law
were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and
Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty
tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence
halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the
undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for
generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
Bibliography: Santa Clara University. "About SCU – History." www.scu.edu/about/history.cfm (Accessed Nov. 23, 2010) McKevitt, Gerald, S.J.
The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851-1977. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.
William M. Tipton Papers, MSS.1923.09.23, Santa Clara University Library, Archives & Special Collections.
Collection processed and finding aid written by Michelle Runyon in 2016. Finding aid updated and EAD encoded by Andrea Hoff
Arthur Spearman, S.J. Papers (link to online finding aid): http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/tf6r29n8f2
Ames on forgery; its detection and illustration, with numerous causes célèbres (illustrated) by Daniel T. Ames (link to bibliographic
Código de colonización y terrenos baldíos de la República Mexicana / formado por Francisco F. de la Maza y publicado según
acuerdo del presidente de la República. Por conducto de la Secretaría de estado y del despacho de fomento. Años de 1451 a
1892 (link to bibliographic record):
Coleccion de los decretos y ordenes de las Cortes de España, que se reputan vigentes en la republica de los Estados-Unidos
Mexicanos (link to bibliographic record):
Diccionario enciclopédico de la lengua castellana con la nueva ortografía adoptada oficialmente por la Real Academia española
/ Enrique Vera y González (link to bibliographic record):
Ensayo de gramatica hispano-tagala / compuesto por el fr. Toribio Minguella de las Mercedes (link to bibliographic record):
Gramática de la lengua castellana: destinada al uso de los americanos / por D. Andres Bello (link to bibliographic record):
Gramática de la lengua castellana / por la Real academia española (link to bibliographic record):
Historia de la Nueva México / por el capitán Gaspar de Villagrá. Reimpresa por el Museo Nacional de México, con un apéndice
de documentos y opúsculos (link to bibliographic record):
Manual iloco-castellano: ó, Sea método para aprender ó enseñar el castellano en los pueblos ilocanos / Fernando Ferrer (link
to bibliographic link):
Nahuatlismos de Costa Rica ; ensayo lexicográfico acerca de las voces mejicanas que se hallan en el habla corriente de los
Costarricenses (link to bibliographic record):
Nuevo diccionario de la lengua castellana / por la Academia española, añadido con unas veinte y seis mil voces, acepciones,
frases, y locuciones entre ellas muchas americanas, por don Vicente Salva; y con un suplemento de más de 300 páginas, que
contiene las voces de ciencias y artes, etc., que no se hallan en el cuerpo de la obra (link to bibliographic record):
Ordenanzas de tierras y aguas, o sea formulario geométrico-judicial para la designación, establecimiento, mensura, amojonamiento
y deslinde de las poblaciones y todas suertes de tierras, sitios, caballerías y criaderos de ganados mayores y menores y mercedes
de agua / obra publicada por Mariano Galvan (link to bibliographic link):
Papers of President Zacheus J. Maher (link to bibliographic record): https://sculib.scu.edu/record=b1811018
Reales ordenanzas para la direccion, régimen y gobierno del importante cuerpo de la minería de Nueva-España : y de su Real
Tribunal general / De orden de Su Magestad (link to bibliographic record):
Second report of the United States Board on Geographic Names (link to bibliographic record):
The handwriting of Junius : professionally investigated by Charles Chabot, expert / With preface and collateral evidence,
by the Hon. Edward Twisleton (link to bibliographic record):
Tratado de lenguaje castellano : ó, Guia para la enseçanza de la lengua materna / por Feliz Ramos i Duarte (link to bibliographic
Viajes por Filipinas:de F. Jagor / traducidos del aleman por S. Vidal y Soler (link to bibliographic record):
Scope and Content of the Collection
The William M. Tipton Papers, 1887-1978 (bulk 1893-1918), document the professional and personal life of William M. Tipton
who worked in several capacities for the state and federal government, starting as a land surveyor for the New Mexico Territory.
In his spare time, Tipton complied several lists of Spanish terms that did not appear in most prominent Spanish-English dictionaries
of his time with the hope of submitting them and also studied how Tagalog interacted with Spanish in the Philippines. The
records consist of lists of Spanish terms, notes, government documents, land surveyor tools, newspaper clippings, pamphlets,
Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special
Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Santa Clara University -- History
Education, Higher -- California -- San Jose
New Mexico -- History
Land Grants -- New Mexico