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Charles Janin Papers: Finding Aid
mssJanin, Charles  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Related Materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Charles Janin Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1858-1937
    Collection Number: mssJanin, Charles
    Creator: Janin, Charles.
    Extent: 15,582 pieces in 44 boxes, 7 volumes, and 1 carton.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains papers related to the career of American mining engineer Charles Janin (1873-1937). Subject matter in the collection focuses on minerals, mines and mining, especially in California, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Russia (including Siberia), and Central and South America. While the focus of the papers is mining, the correspondence between mining engineers also includes observations on Europe during World War I, Russia and Siberia at the time of the Revolution of 1917, as well as social and political affairs in the various parts of the world.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. Charles Janin Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Acquired from Louis Janin, Henry Janin, and Elizabeth Janin Evans, December 1958, with additional gifts from Elizabeth Janin Evans on April 20, 1984, and June 6, 1996.
    The following materials were received as part of the addenda: Box 2, Folder 22a; Box 5, Folder 15a; Box 8, Folder 27a; Box 10, Folder 8a; Box 14, Folder 25; Box 15, Folder 12a; Box 16, Folder 22a; Box 24, Folder 19a; Box 29, Folder 6a-6c; Box 30, Folder 23a; Box 32, Folder 8a; Box 34, Folder 6a; and the unboxed volumes.

    Biographical Note

    Charles Henry Janin (1873-1937), son of Louis Janin and Elizabeth (Marshall) Janin, was a California mining engineer, who followed the career of his famous father. He began his professional life by working with his father, then established the firm of Janin, Stebbins & Smith (later Janin & Smith) until 1911, when he began working alone. In 1914 he joined the staff of the U. S. Bureau of Mines in Washington D. C., and participated in war work with that bureau during World War I, serving on the advisory committe on tin resources, as a member of the Gold Committee, and was instrumental in securing for the U. S. from Siberia, a large shipment of platinum, a very scarce and highly strategic element during the war years.
    Janin wrote and published a large number of mining articles, many of which were relative to gold dredging, his main field of interest during many years. As an active mining engineer he carried out investigations in gold, silver and tin mining areas in many parts of the world: the Western U. S., Mexico, Central and South America, Africa, Europe, Russia and Siberia, Malaya, Australia and New Zealand. Like his father and grandfather (Louis Alexander Janin), he had a strong interest in ranching, and made his home with his family, on Rancho Marcelino near Solvang, Santa Barbara County, California.

    Scope and Content Note

    The collection consists of letters, manuscripts (including diaries and mining reports), photographs and maps related to the career of mining engineer Charles Janin (1873-1937). Subject matter in the collection focuses on minerals, mines and mining, especially in California, Mexico, Alaska, Canada, Russia (including Siberia), and Central and South America.
    There is information about gold, silver, platinum, and tin mining as well as gold dredging, including a Commission for the Study of Gold in the U.S. by the United States Department of the Interior (Box 23, Folders 11-12) and a 1909 letter from Rossiter Worthington Raymond to Louis Janin regarding the professional ethics and legal problems common to mining engineers (Box 20, Folder 3).
    Notable material related to Siberia includes a 1918 Memorandum relative to the Necessity for Action by the Allied Governments in Siberia by the American Committee of Engineers in London (Box 1, Folder 7); five letters, dated 1929-1931) from Ennis C. Whitehead to Janin relative to projected flying trip across Siberia (Box 25, Folder 8); and correspondence from George S. Dyer relative to gold mining in Siberia, dated 1917-1936 (Box 4, Folder 23). In addition, there are papers related to the transfer of platinum to the United States from Siberia in the correspondence of Grigorio Benenson (Box 2, Folder 12); Arnold C. Hansen (Box 5, Folder 31); Norman C. Stines (Box 22, Folder 23), as well as responses from Janin to these individuals (see Box 7, Folder 25; Box 9, Folder 6; and Box 13, Folder 15), and in notes on platinum (Box 39, Folder 5).
    The collection also contains materials on Russian life and politics (including the Revolution of 1917). There are also materials on the history of the Santa Ynez Valley in California, including irrigation project papers (Box 21, Folders 6-8), and a piece, "Some Recollections of Early Days in the Santa Ynez Valley" by Janin (Box 14, Folder 24).
    Persons represented in the collection include Samuel Insull (14 pieces in Box 6, Folder 21), Vannoy Hartrog Manning (18 pieces in Box 17, Folder 19), and Montifiore G. Kahn (35 pieces in Box 15, Folder 16). The collection includes a letter to Janin from John Powers Hutchins related to pre-World War II in Europe (Box 6, Folder 14). Single letters from William Randolph Hearst, Harold L. Ickes, and William Gibbs McAdoo may also be found in the collection. There is also scattered correspondence from various Janin family members.
    Businesses or government agencies represented in the collection include the Ingersoll-Rand Company of California, Lena Goldfields, Ltd. (Lenskoe zolotopromyshlennoe tovarishchestvo), and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
    Although the collection consists basically of mining papers, it will also be of interest to researchers investigating Europe during World War I, Russia and Siberia at the time of the Revolution of 1917, or social and political affairs in the various parts of the world where mining engineers traveled and are intelligent observers, and from which they write letters to each other.

    Related Materials in the Huntington Library


    The collection is arranged in the following 11 series:
    • 1. Correspondence and manuscripts (Boxes 1-25)
    • 2. Photographs (Box 26)
    • 3. Mining reports (Boxes 27-37)
    • 4. Miscellaneous mining papers (Boxes 38-39)
    • 5. Field notes, diaries, accounts (Box 40)
    • 6. Janin family papers and photographs (Box 41)
    • 7. Business papers (Box 42)
    • 8. Gold dredging papers (Box 43)
    • 9. Ephemera and printed items (Box 44)
    • 10. Maps (in carton = Box 45)
    • 11. Separate Volumes (not in boxes)

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Janin, Charles -- Archives.
    Gold dredging.
    Gold mines and mining.
    Irrigation -- California -- Santa Ynez River Valley.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Alaska.
    Mines and mineral resources -- California.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Canada.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Central America.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Mexico.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Russia.
    Mines and mineral resources -- Russia (Federation) -- Siberia.
    Mines and mineral resources -- South America.
    Mining engineers -- California -- Archives.
    Platinum mines and mining.
    Silver mines and mining.
    Tin mines and mining.
    Santa Ynez (Calif.) -- History -- Sources.
    Santa Ynez River Valley (Calif.) -- History -- Sources.
    Soviet Union -- History -- Revolution, 1917-1921.


    Diaries -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Maps -- United States.
    Photographs -- United States.
    Technical reports -- United States.

    Additional Authors

    Hearst, William Randolph, 1863-1951.
    Ickes, Harold L. (Harold LeClair), 1874-1952.
    Insull, Samuel, 1859-1938.
    McAdoo, W. G. (William Gibbs), 1863-1941.
    Manning, Mr. (Vannoy Hartrog), 1839-1892.
    Janin (Family)
    United States. Department of the Interior.
    Ingersoll-Rand Company.
    Lenskoe zolotopromyshlennoe tovarishchestvo.