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F. W. Olin Library

Special Collections and Archive

The Arturo Torres-Rioseco Collection

Dr. Arturo Torres-Rioseco (1897–1971) was a Chilean poet, scholar, translator, historian, and diplomat who taught extensively in the United States and Latin America. He was full professor of Spanish American Literature at UC Berkeley (1936–1969), professor of summer sessions at Columbia University, University of Mexico, University of Guatemala, Stanford University, Duke University, and Mills College. Dr. Torres-Rioseco worked closely with Mills College’s Casa Panamericana Program and its School of International Relations in the 1940’s. In 1961, he was appointed by John F. Kennedy as a member of the Advisory Committee on Latin American Relations. He also wrote several books of poetry, translated the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and wrote a book on Gabriela Mistral. 

After Dr. Torres-Rioseco’s death his wife, Rosalie Godt Torres-Rioseco, began to donate books and manuscripts, including letters, non-fiction, poetry, novels, and journals from Arturo Torres-Rioseco’s private collection to the Special Collections Department of the F.W. Olin Library, Mills College. This department now houses the Arturo Torres-Rioseco Collection, consisting of over 400 volumes of literature of major 20th century Latin American poets and writers, as well as correspondence from political and literary figures.

The Collection contains works by Jorge Luis Borges, Arturo Capdevilla, Jorge Carrera Andrade, Joaquin Edwards Bello, Manuel Gálvez, Gabriela Mistral, and many others. Most of these books are in their original wrappers, many with beautifully designed pictorial covers, and most are inscribed by the authors to Arturo Torres-Rioseco. There is also a run of the influential Spanish Loyalist magazine Hora de Espana, (Jan. 1937–Sept. 1938) with poetry and prose, contemporary accounts, and military affairs. Authors include: Rafael Dieste, Pablo Neruda, Manuel Altolaquirre, Antonio Sanchez Barbudo, and others.

Letters to Arturo Torres-Rioseco from several major Latin American writers and political figures, such as Gabriela Mistral, Juan José Arévalo (President of Guatemala), Camilo José Cela, Manuel Gálvez, Cecília Meireles, and others are housed within the General Manuscripts Collection in the Special Collections Department. 

A selection of letters to Arturo Torres-Rioseco has been published in a book entitled Literary and Cultural Journeys: Selected Letters to Arturo Torres-Rioseco, edited by Professor Carlota Caulfield and Professor Miguel Angel Zapata and published by Mills College Center for the Book (1995). This book is in print and available from the Center for the Book.

(call number = Torres-Rioseco)

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Last Updated: 12/16/13