Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Henry Raup Wagner Papers, 1912-1957
BANC MSS C-B 849  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (146.62 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Henry Raup Wagner Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1912-1957
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-B 849
    Creator: Wagner, Henry Raup, 1862-1957
    Extent: Number of containers: 9 boxes, 7 cartons
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence with other bibliophiles, scholars, libraries, etc. relating to his research and writing on various aspects of western and Latin American history and to his other activities, including interest in California Historical Society; MSS of his writings; transcripts and photocopies of documents and research notes on Cortes, Bartolome de las Casas, Ebenezer Dorr, and others; personalia; records of books bought and sold to Yale University, Huntington Library and elsewhere; clippings.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Henry Raup Wagner papers, BANC MSS C-B 849, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Scope and Content

    Henry Raup Wagner was born in Philadelphia on September 27, 1862. He attended Quaker and other private schools and graduated from Yale with an A.B. degree in 1884 and an L.L.D. in 1886. After a very brief career in law, he engaged in the mining business in New Mexico, Colorado and other parts of the west. In 1898 he accepted a position as ore buyer for the Guggenheims and represented the company in Mexico, Chile, London, and New York for the next twenty-three years. Early in his career he became interested in economics, Spanish methods of extracting silver, metallurgy, and history, and collected books on these and related subjects. Each collection became source material which he used to write a book after which he gave or sold the collection to the Yale University Library, the Huntington Library, and other institutions. By 1921 he had completely retired from business and was able to devote full time to the study and writing of history. The Plains and the Rockies, probably his most important work, was published in 1920, followed by The Spanish Southwest in 1924. Other works include Bullion To Books (1942), Peter Martyr and His Works (1947), Peter Pond, Yankee Fur Trader and Explorer (1955), and The Life and Writings of Bartolomé De Las Casas (published posthumously in 1967). His Published Writings -bibliographies, monographs, and articles -total some 175 titles.
    Wagner also served as president of the Historical Society of Southern California and trustee of the Southwest Museum, and was an active member of the Zamorano Club and a founding member of the Friends of The Bancroft Library. The rejuvenation of the California Historical Society in 1922 was due largely to his influence. Despite increasing blindness from about 1950, he was able to continue his research, with the aid of his secretary Ruth Frey Axe, until his death on March 27, 1957.
    Wagner's papers were given to The Bancroft Library over a number of years by Wagner, himself, with additions from his estate in 1957. A few items were transferred from the F. P. Farquhar papers. The collection relates primarily to his book collecting activities and to his research and writing.
    The key to arrangement which follows describes the collection in greater detail.