Collection SC.010 - Ronald Hilton Papers and Audio Materials

Identity elements

Reference code

US TxSaT SC.010

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Ronald Hilton Papers and Audio Materials


  • 1898-1978, bulk 1938-1978 (Creation)


10 boxes, 12 linear feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Ronald Hilton was born in Torquay, England, in 1911. He received both his BA and MA from Oxford University, and studied at the University of California-Berkeley. Hilton's teaching career began at the University of British Columbia; he joined the faculty at Stanford University in 1942. Hilton founded the Institute of Hispanic American Studies at Stanford in 1948. The institute published the Hispanic American Report, a monthly journal about the Spanish-speaking world, and broadcast radio programs. In 1965 Hilton founded the World Association of International Studies, where he edited the World Affairs Report, a quarterly journal featuring commentaries on world news. The journal went on to become the first journal in any field to appear in its entirety online when Hilton began publishing it on the world wide web in 1983. Outside of his scholarly pursuits, Hilton played an influential role in uncovering the secret preparations for the Bay of Pigs invasion, when he reported that it was an open secret in Guatemala that Cuban ex-nationals were training there to overthrow Fidel Castro. His report was published in The Nation, and led to the New York Times's investigation into the matter. Hilton passed away in 2007, and was survived by his wife, Mary Hilton, and his daughter, Mary Huyck.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Acquired by Trinity University in 1982, the Ronald Hilton Collection was one of the largest private libraries on Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition to over 10,000 books (accessible via the library's catalog), the collection includes autographed letters from prominent Latin Americans, photographs of Cuba during the Spanish-American War, letters written to Hilton's shortwave radio program from listeners across the Western Hemisphere, and audiotapes of interviews with over 270 prominent figures in Latin American politics, academics, and culture.

System of arrangement

Items are arranged in four series.
Series 1: Correspondence, contains autographed letters from various prominent figures in Latin American studies.
Series 2: Spanish-American War Photographs, contains original photographs of Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
Series 3: KGEI Letters, contains letters written to Hilton by listeners of his shortwave radio program, many containing accounts of their lives throughout Latin America.
Series 4: Audio Recordings, contains tapes of interviews conducted by Hilton with prominent Latin Americans in politics, academics, and culture. Also contains recordings of panel discussions, theater productions, and other recordings.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the Special Collections & Archives reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Physical access

Technical access

The library does not currently have the equipment necessary to play the reel audio materials in the collection.

Conditions governing reproduction

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Scripts of the material

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Purchased from Ronald Hilton in 1982.

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Items from Series 2 (Spanish-American War Photographs) have been digitized and are available online at

Related archival materials

Along with these manuscript materials, Trinity University purchased a collection of rare books about Latin America from Ronald Hilton. These volumes are available in Special Collections, and can be searched via the library catalog.

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

  • Citation: Ronald Hilton Papers, 1898-1978. Coates Library Special Collections & Archives, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas).

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions


Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by Colleen Hoelscher, November 16, 2018.

Access points

Name access points

Accession area