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Finding Aid for the Alberto Muller Schaertlin's The yellow count, 1935-1939
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Alberto Muller Schaertlin The yellow count
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1939
    Collection number: 170/454
    Creator: Schaertlin, Alberto Muller
    Extent: 335 leaves : paper, ill. ; 274 x 215 mm. bound to 281 x 227 mm.
    Abstract: Typescript of an unpublished account of a international swindle, The Yellow Count, with extensive appendices of material relating to the fictional events.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. 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

    Purchased from J. G. Stanoff, Booksellers, 1970.

    Processing Note

    Cataloged by Jonathan Naito with assistance from Jain Fletcher and Laurel McPhee, September 2004, in the Center For Primary Research and Training (CFPRT).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alberto Muller Schaertlin The yellow count (Collection 170/454). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230403 


    Little is known about Alberto Muller Schaertlin, other than that he seems to have been a man with unfulfilled literary aspirations. Notes inside the front cover indicate he lived in New York City during the 1930s before moving to Los Angeles in the second half of the decade. The second page of material tipped in between the front endpapers claims that the author spent two years in Europe doing research after the manuscript was completed. He registered The Yellow Count with the Author's League of America in 1934, and the Screen Writers Guild in 1940. He may have been of Swiss origin or heritage (Schaertlin enclosed a copy of a letter by Max Graf, the chancellor of the Consulate of Switzerland in Los Angeles, in which the chancellor praises the manuscript, suggesting that it will be popular as a novel and a film in both the United States and Europe.) The materials in the appendix also suggest that Schaertlin was very interested in Japanese imperialism.

    Scope and Content

    The typescript is the fictional account (with supporting documentation) for the story of Igor de Tilinsky, a Russian who had served in the army during the Russo-Japanese War. Tilinsky claimed to possess a contract drawn up by the Japanese during the war promising 138 million yen in exchange for Russian military secrets. However, the contract stipulated that the sum was to be paid on March 22, 1915; in the years leading up to 1915, Tilinsky and two associates traveled from Odessa to Zurich to London, attempting to make lavish purchases in exchange for future payments from this windfall. Approximately one quarter of the manuscript is devoted to appendices with background material gathered by Schaertlin, apparently during a two-year stay in Europe. The appendices include material on the historical background of Japanese imperialism, typed transcriptions of newspaper articles and legal documents, and photostats of documents from the British Museum. The articles emphasize that the Japanese contract was a hoax, though it is clear that the story also had its believers, especially among those who doubted that the Japanese could have defeated the Russians at Port Arthur without inside information.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Genres and Forms of Material


    Related Material

    Bound Manuscripts Collection (Collection 170)  . Available at UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.