The Benson Latin American Collection

Dorothy Schons Papers, 1586-1955 (bulk 1926-1955)

Descriptive Summary

Creator Schons, Dorothy, 1898-1961
Title Dorothy Schons Papers
Dates: 1586-1955 (bulk 1926-1955)
OCLC Record No. 34023032
Extent 2.7 linear feet
Language Spanish and English
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Professor and author Dorothy Schons was born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1890 and died in 1961 in Austin, Texas. On the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin from 1919 to 1960, Dr. Schons became Assistant Professor of Romance Languages at UT in 1927 and Associate Professor in 1943. She authored six books and approximately 50 articles in the field of Spanish and Spanish-American literature, and served on the boards of several periodicals. She was awarded the Diploma de Honor by the Academia Mexicana in 1939 and was elected corresponding member of the Ateneo of Madrid in 1949.

Scope and Contents Note

Literary productions, correspondence, and a few audiovisual materials relating primarily to Schons’ publishing and teaching activities. Correspondence is largely from Mexican authors Ermilo Abreu Gómez, José de J. Nuñez y Domínguez, Luis González Obregón, and Rafael Heliodoro Valle. Topics are Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Latin American literature, Juan Ruíz de Alarcón y Mendoza, religious drama, history of playing cards and the ballad, "The Deck of Cards," and historiography of the New World. The papers contain research notes on most of these topics and on Francisco Aguiar y Seyxas, as well as notebooks, arranged by source, compiled by Schons on visits to libraries and archives in Spain, Great Britain, Guatemala, and Mexico.

Items relating to Sor Juana include the "Libro de professiones" of the convent of San Gerónimo (1586-1713), as well as manuscripts, lists, excerpts of publications, and images of Sor Juana. Among items about Latin American literature are an anthology of translations, and materials on the short story in Spanish-speaking countries. Documents on Juan Ruíz de Alarcón y Mendoza consist of articles published by Schons and photostats from the Archivo General de Indias. Notes on aspects of Spanish-language religious drama, excerpts from plays, and a published article form the materials on religious drama. Items on the history of playing cards include research notes, song texts, sheet music, two phonodiscs, and a few letters. Drafts and notes comprise the materials on New World historiography. Works by other authors include an anthology of translations by Emily Schons, Dorothy’s sister, and an 18th-century copy of Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora’s "Piedad de don Fernando Cortés."

The series "Personal" contains a list of books given by Schons to the University of Texas libraries and an honorary diploma from the Academia Mexicana.


The Dorothy Schons Papers were organized into four series by the staff of the Mexican Archives Project, which completed the processing of the collection in June 1994. The series are:
  • I. Letters from Mexican writers, 1928-1934.
  • II. Subject files.
  • III. Works by other authors.
  • IV. Personal.


Access Restrictions

The "Libro de professiones" including the signature of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz may not be accessed by the public due to preservation concerns. A photographic reproduction of Sor Juana's signature is available instead. Otherwise unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Standard copyright restrictions apply.

Index Terms

The Dorothy Schons Papers are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries' catalog:
Schons, Dorothy, 1898-1961--Archives
Juana Ines de la Cruz, Sister, 1651-1695
Ruiz de Alarcon, Juan, 1580?-1639
Aguiar y Seyxas, Francisco de
Abreu Gomez, Ermilo, 1894-1971
Nunez y Dominguez, Jose de J. (Jose de Jesus), 1887-
Gonzalez Obregon, Luis, 1865-1938
Valle, Rafael Heliodoro, 1891-1959
Latin American literature
Religious drama, Spanish
Folk-drama, Spanish American
Other Authors
Schons, Emily, d. 1958
Siguenza y Gongora, Carlos de, 1645-1700

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Dorothy Schons Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin.

Box and Folder Inventory

I. Letters from Mexican writers, 1926–1934

box folder
1 1 From Ermilo Abreu Gómez, 1928–1929.
2 From Ermilo Abreu Gómez, 1930–1934.
3 From José de Jesús Núñez y Domínguez, 1928–1934.
4 From Luis González Obregón, Rafael Heliodoro Valle, Manuel Borja, and others, 1926–1934.

II. Subject files

Materials relating to Schons' research and teaching activities.
1 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
5 "Libro de professiones y elecciones de prioras y vicarias del convento de San Gerónimo," 1586–1713.
The "Libro de professiones" featuring Sor Juana's vows and signature is closed to the general public due to the fragile nature of the document and the writing medium. A color photographic copy of the document is available in folder 1.7.
View the Libro de professiones y elecciones de prioras y vicarias del convento de San Gerónimo
6 Notes by Schons on names and on entries made in Sor Juana's hand in the "Libro de professiones..."
7 Photocopies and other reproductions of page 174 of "Libro de professiones..." which contains Sor Juana's vows [BLAC generated].
8 "Sor Juana: a chronicle of old Mexico." Typescript—part original, part carbon—of unpublished historical novel by Dorothy Schons with verse translations by Emily Schons. 302 pages. Lacks: chapter IV in its entirety, one page from chapter XXV, and last section title sheet, "Postlude." Bibliography and marginalia appear to be from earlier drafts.
9 Photographs and photostats:
I. Illustrations and maps for "Sor Juana: a chronicle of old Mexico." [Captions from Schons' Table of Contents]
1. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, copy of a self-portrait by S. Hernández (Robert H. Lamborn Collection, The Pennsylvania Museum).
2. The Marquis of Mancera, from an oil painting in the National Museum of Mexico.
[photograph reproduced from a book]
3. Fray Payo Enríquez de Ribera, from an oil painting in the National Museum of Mexico.
4. The Church of San Jerónimo [entrance], from a photograph.
5. Padre Antonio Núñez de Miranda, from an engraving by Bernardín Alemán, 1701 (Courtesy Ermilo Abreu Gómez).
6. The Count of Paredes, Marquis of Laguna, from an oil painting in the National Museum of Mexico. Lithograph by V. de Murguía e hijos; photostat of lithograph in Manuel Rivera's Los gobernantes de Mexico, t.1 (1872)
, between pp. 252–253. (TxU copy at qF 1205 R62 v.1 LAC-Z)
7. Don Francisco de Aguiar y Seijas, from an oil painting in the Cathedral Gallery of Mexico.
[positive and negative photostats]
8. A page from the Book of Vows of [the Convent of] San Jerónimo. First page from the "Libro de professiones..."
9. The Count of Galve, from an oil painting in the National Museum of Mexico. Lithograph by V. de Murguía e hijos; photostat of lithograph in Manuel Rivera's Los gobernantes de Mexico, t.1 (1872)
, between pp. 264–265. (TxU copy at qF 1205 R62 v.1 LAC-Z)
10. The Tenth Muse, from an oil painting in the National Museum of Mexico, by Miguel Cabrera, 1750
(Courtesy José de Jesús Núñez y Domínguez). [photostat and two photograph copies]
11. Don Manuel Fernández de Santa Cruz, from an engraving in Miguel de Torres, Dechado de príncipes eclesiásticos [engraving not in 1716 edition at TxU].
12. Sor Juana [table of contents entry]: from an oil painting in the Escorial (Courtesy Ermilo Abreu Gómez) [entry on sheet with picture], from a portrait recently discovered by Genaro Estrada in the Escorial, Spain.
1. New Spain in 1682, from an engraving in Baltasar de Medina, Crónica de la Provincia de San Diego [corrected entry: Chronica de la Santa Provincia de San Diego de Mexico... (Mexico, 1682)
. Engraving between folios 229 and 230. TxU copy at qGzz 972.02 M467c] [photostat]
2. San Miguel de Nepantla in 1639, from a map in the possession of Señor Miguel San Vicente, Nepantla (Courtesy Rafael Heliodoro Valle).
3. Mexico–Tenoxtitlan; from a map by Juan Gómez de Trasmonte, 1628.
II. Other reproductions:
Pictures of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (all black & white, 5"x7"). [Note: Information about items 1, 2, 4 from Ermilo Abreu Gómez's Iconografía de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Mexico, 1934). TxU copy at G868.73 J87Ya]
1. Photograph of oil painting by Josephus Chávez in the library of Genaro Estrada (Mexico).
2. Photograph of oil painting formerly in the convent of San Jerónimo; reproduced in El Renacimiento, v.1 (Mexico, 1869)
between pp. 18 and 19. [Gz 868.705 R29 v.1 cop.1]
3. Photograph of cover illustration of Sor Juana from volume VIII of Obras completas of Amado Nervo (Madrid, 1920)
. (G868.73 N359 A1 v.8)
4. Photograph of statue of Sor Juana sculpted by Ignacio Asúnsolo and located in the first patio of the Secretaría de Educación Pública; dedicated April 3, 1924.
Convento de San Jerónimo.
1. Photograph of side (from back looking toward front).
2. Photograph of side (closer to side of building than previous photograph).
Reproductions of textual material:
1. Positive photostat of marginal notes made by Sor Juana on pages 284, 285 of a copy of Pietro Cerone's work Melopeo..., a treatise on music theory published in 1613. Handwritten annotation on verso by Ermilo Abreu Gómez.[Reproduced in Ermilo Abreu Gómez, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz; bibliografía y biblioteca (Mexico, 1934)
, pp. 448–449. (G868.73 J87Xa LAC-Z)]
2. Positive photostat of title page of manuscript copy of Sor Juana's play "El Septro de Joseph, autto historial alegórico." [Gz 868.72 P75 no.10]
3. Negative photostat of "Licencia" in 1690 edition of Carta athenagórica. [Not made from TxU copy at Gzz 868.73 J87c]
10 Drawing of Sor Juana by Manuel Cáceres Novelo, 1934.
box folder
2 1 Carta atenagórica. Corrected galley proofs of the Ermilo Abreu Gómez edition published in Contemporáneos, v.6, no.22 (mar. 1930), pp.215–268.
2 "Joanna Agnes a Cruce." Negative photostat of entry in Juan José Eguiara y Eguren's "Bibliotheca mexicana," v.3, pt.1 (original in the Benson Latin American Collection: García Ms. G182); with handwritten partial transcription.
3 Documents on Sor Juana omitted from Notes from Spanish archives. Typescript from AGI 62-4-45 "Expediente sobre los acreedores al espolio de D. Francisco de Aguiar y Seijas, Arzobispo de México." [Schons' article "Nuevos datos para la biografía de Sor Juana," Contemporáneos, v.3 (ene.–mar. 1929), pp.161-176, based on this document. Notes from Spanish archives cataloged at Gz 980.6 Sch19n]
4 Transcripts from the Archivo General de Indias concerning Francisco Aguiar y Seyxas. 62-4-45 Leg. 22 Pleitos del Consejo Núm. 6. 28pp. (2 cops.) 62-4-45 Expediente sobre los acreedores al espolio de don Francisco Aguiar y Zeyjas, Arzobispo de Mégico: años 1699 a 1703. 6pp. (2 cops.)
5 Additions to Schons' bibliography of Sor Juana. Typescript. Refers to Schons' "Some bibliographical notes on Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1925) (PQ 7296 J6 Z885 LAC-Z); Bibliografía de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1927) (G868.73 J87Xst LAC-Z)
6 "Catálogo razonado de algunas obras de Sor Juana." Schons' handwritten notes on the chronology of Sor Juana's works.
7 Notes from books by Sor Juana's contemporaries which describe the times.Carbon typescript.
8 Clipping and reprints of articles by Schons, 1927–1928.
(1) "The first feminist in the New World," Equal Rights, official organ of the National Woman's Party, v.12, no.38 (Oct. 31, 1925), p.302.
(2) "Algunos puntos obscuros de la vida de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," La Voz nueva, (serialized in 4 parts). pt.1: no.7 (17 dic. 1927) 2 pp. pt.2: no.9 (31 dic. 1927) 3 pp. pt.3: no.10 (7 ene. 1928) 2 pp. pt.4: no.11 (14 ene. 1928) 3 pp. Translation of "Some obscure points in the life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," Modern Philology, v.24, no.22 (1926), pp.141–162.
(3) & (4) Tear sheets of book reviews from Revista de estudios hispánicos, t.1 no.1 and no.3 (1928). Books reviewed: (3) Poemas inéditos of Sor Juana, 1926. (4) Obras escogidas of Sor Juana, 1928.
9 Typescripts of articles or book excerpts by other authors.
(1) Agüeros, Victoriano, "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz." Typescript. 9pp. [from "Carta segunda," published in Cartas literarias, Mexico, Imprenta de "La Colonia Española" de A. Llanos, 1877, pp. 63–76. Not at TxU.] (2) Rivera, Agustín, "Dos monjas teólogas escolásticas," Typescript. 18pp. [published in Entretenimientos de un enfermo, Lagos, A. López Arce, 1892. Not at TxU.] Concerns Vieyra and the Carta atenagórica from the viewpoints of Sor Juana and Sor Margarita Ignacia (Convento de Santa Monica de Lisboa).(3) Valle, Rafael Heliodoro, "Iconografía de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," Typescript. 7pp. [Published in Revista de revistas, (21 nov. 1926).]
10 Clippings and reprints by other authors.
(1) Abreu Gómez, Ermilo, "Silva de la madre Juana Inés de la Cruz," La Voz nueva, no.23 (31 oct. 1928) 3pp.
(2) Abreu Gómez, Ermilo, "Sor Juana en Escudo de armas de Méjico," La Voz nueva, no.24 (30 nov. 1928) 1p.
(3) Abreu Gómez, Ermilo, "(Respuesta a Sor Filotea de la Cruz), la vida de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz contada por ella misma," La Voz nueva. (Serialized in 3 parts; only pt.2 in clippings file. Pt.1 appears in no.25 of 31 dic. 1928 [5pp.] and pt.3 in no.28 of 31 mar. 1929 [4pp.]) pt.2: no.26 (31 ene. 1929) 6pp.
(4) Abreu Gómez, Ermilo, "Lo mitológico en la poesía de Sor Juana," La Voz nueva. (Serialized in two parts.)pt. 1: no.35 (oct.–nov. 1929) 3pp. (2 cops. complete; 1 cop. incomplete)pt. 2: no.36 (28 feb. 1930): "Notas al artículo ‘Lo mitológico...'" 2pp.
(5) Book review of Ermilo Abreu Gómez's 1929 edition of Respuesta a Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, in El Imparcial (Guatemala), jueves, 20 junio 19??.
(6) "Gaceta de libros," Revista de revistas (31 ago. 1930), p.35. Article on Ermilo Abreu Gómez's editions of Sor Juana's works, including the "Carta atenagórica." 1p.
(7) Abreu Gómez, Ermilo, "Un manuscrito inédito de Sor Juana." 2pp. Source unknown. About Sor Juana's annotations found in a book of poetry.(Unrelated article on verso dated junio 1933.)
(8) "El amoroso tormento de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," Caras y caretas (8 sep. 1928). 2pp.
(9) Chávez, Ezequiel A., "Notas sobre puntos y aspectos controvertidos de la vida y la obra de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz." Sobretiro de revista Universidad de México, no.25-26 (1933).
(10) "Juana de América," El Tiempo (Guatemala), 15 dic. 1928. 1p. At end: Casa Roja.
(11) Junco, Alfonso, "La crisis de Sor Juana," El Universal, 29? oct. 1932. 2pp.
(12) López Nuñez, Juan, "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," La Voz (Madrid), 9 sep. 1929. 1p.
(13) Luz Morales, María, "Poetisas de América: Sor Juana Inés," La Mañana (?), no date. 2pp. (Pages may not be from the same issue.)
(14) "La memoria de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz fue honrada ayer en la capital," Excelsior, 13 mar. 1926.
11 (15) La Bibliografía: publicación mensual de la Librería de Porrúa Hermanos, 2. época, no.14 (mar. 1931). Contains article by Rafael Heliodoro Valle, "Bibliografía mexicana en los Estados Unidos" (pp. 1–3), which mentions Schons and her bibliography of Sor Juana.
12 "Aduana de Apolo." Negative photostat of early 18th-century manuscript which contains references to Sor Juana; with handwritten partial transcription.
13 Alvarez de Velasco y Zorrilla, Francisco. "A la eruditíssima, ingeniossísima y sapientíssima Soror Inés Juana de la Cruz," 1697. Manuscript. Most of text published in his Rhythmica sacra, moral y laudatoria, Burgos and Madrid, 1703. Not at TxU. 1989 edition at PQ 8179 A588 R48 1989 LAC.
OV Oversize clippings:
(1) Castañeda, Carlos E., "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, primera feminista de América," La Prensa (San Antonio, TX), Dec. 4, 11, 1932. 3pp.
(2) Godoy, José F., "Galería de mujeres célebres—Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," Revista de revistas (12 mayo 1929), p.30.
(3) Gutiérrez, Emma Rosa, "Breve biografía de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," La Prensa, 16 sep. 1928, sec. 5, p.3.
(4) Gutiérrez Hermosillo, A., "El amor, el genio y la liberación de Sor Juana," Bandera de provincias: quincenal de cultura (Guadalajara, Jalisco), t.1, no.5 (primera quincena de julio 1929), pp.1, 6. (2 cops.: 1 issue of 6pp. complete; 1 lacks pp.3–4.)
(5) Núñez y Domínguez, José de J., "Los misterios de Sor Juana," El Mundo, no date. (At end of article following author's name: "México, a 29 de abril de 1927") 1p.
(6) Olvera, Elpidio, "Ante las ruinas de la casa natal de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz," Excelsior, 21 nov. 1926, pp.4–5.
(7) "Romances y redondillas de Sor Juana," El Universal: Magazine, sec. 5, 1 abr. 1928. 1p.
(8) Rosell, Lauro E., "Los iglesias coloniales de México: San Jerónimo," Jueves de Excelsior, 21 mar. 1929. 1 p.
(9) Jueves de Excelsior, 23 ago. 1928. (Entire issue of 32 pages which includes a one-page article "Sor Juana Inés visitada por su rubia amiga Miss Schons.") Unpaginated.
(10) Valle-Arizpe, Artemio de, "Del tiempo pasado," El Universal, 5 parts published between 22 abr. and 12 oct. 1930 plus one undated. 10pp. Pt. 1: "El destino mando." 22 abr. 1930, 2pp. Pt. 2: "A manera que un galeón real..." I. 20 junio 1930. 1p.; II. 27 junio 1930, 1p. Pt. 3: "Vida en clausura I. 7 sept. 1930, 2pp. II. 11 sept. 1930, 1p. Pt. 4: "En polvo, en sombra, en nada..." 12 oct. 1930, 2pp. Pt. 5: "Para tal penitente, tal confesor," no date, 1p.
2 Juan Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza
14 "Documentos relativos a Juan y Pedro Ruiz de Alarcón y Mendoza sacados de sus originales en el Archivo de Indias, Sevilla, por Dorothy Schons." Negative photostats.
15 Reprints of articles by Schons:
(1) "Alarcón's reputation in Mexico," Hispanic Review, v.8, no.2 (Apr. 1940), pp. 139–144.
(2) "The Mexican background of Alarcón," PMLA, v.57, no.1, pt.1, Mar. 1942), pp. 89–104.
3 Religious drama
1 Notes and excerpts of plays.
2 Notes and excerpts of plays (Southwestern drama).
3 The Ave Maria: Catholic home weekly, v.46 n.s. no.21 (Nov. 20, 1937). Contains article by Dorothy Schons, "Some Mexican green pastures" (pp.641–645).
1 History of playing cards and ballad "The Deck of cards"
box folder
3 4 History of playing cards: correspondence, notes, photostats.
5 "The Deck of cards": song texts and research notes.
6 "The Deck of cards": correspondence and sheet music, 1952.
7 "Deck of cards." 45 rpm phonodisc.
8 "Red deck of cards." 78 rpm phonodisc.
Anthology of translations from Latin American literature (draft):
9 Mexico and Central America.
10 Colombia and Venezuela.
11 Brazil.
12 Chile.
13 River Plate countries.
14 Caribbean.
15 International and inter-American relations.
16 Duplicate sheets and original translations of anthology for schools.
4 Short story in Spanish-speaking countries
1 Short story in Spanish-speaking countries. Schons' handwritten notes.
Other research notes
2 Notes on Spanish verse copied in Mexico.
3 Notes from Guatemalan library and archives (1 notebook).
4 Notes from the British Museum and the Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid) (1 notebook).
5 Notes from Spanish libraries and archives (2 notebooks).
6 Notes from Spanish libraries and archives (2 notebooks).
7 New World Historiography (notes on Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola, Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola, Antonio de Herrera, and Francisco de Terrazas).
8 Notes on Juan de Timoneda and Hernán González de Eslava.
9 Other notes on various topics.
5 Card files of Schons' research, teaching, class notes.
6 Card files of Schons' research, teaching, class notes.
7 Other publications
1 Additional publications by Dorothy Schons.
2 (1) "An interpretation of 'La serenata de Schubert'" [by Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera], Hispania, v. 19 (1936), pp. 437–440.
(2) "Negro poetry in the Americas," Hispania, v. 25 (Oct. 1942), pp. 309–319.
(3) "A Calderón document," Romanic Review, v. 19 no.2 (Apr.–June 1928), p. 157.

III. Works by others

7 Emily Schons
2 "Translations of Latin American verse by Emily Schons; introduction by Dorothy Schons."
3 Reprint: Schons, Emily, "Language mastery," The Modern Language Journal, v.16, no.8 (May 1932), pp.639–643.
4 Poesía (décimas, octava, soneto). no date (18th century?). 6 folios. (Gift of Ermilo Abreu Gómez)
5 Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos de, "Piedad heróica de Don Fernando Cortés." 27pp., 2 parts: Pt.1 begins with second sentence 5 to 20; intercalated is bull of Pope Clements (5pp.) followed by 89–91, 115–131; Pt.2 is 92–114. (cf. published edition at Gz 972.02 C818Bs 1898)
6 "Mvtacyones, y adiciones del arte. Arte de hazer versos, y piezas de teatro, y jvsgar bien de vno, y otro." No date, 109 folios (1–13, 20–29, 34–102, 115–126, 140–144).
7 Photocopy of "Mvtacyones..." (BLAC generated)
8 "Quaderno de cosina" [cookbook]. No date, 77pp.
9 García de la Vega, José Vicente. "Discurso crítico que sobre el uso de las lagartijas como específico contra muchas enfermedades..." 54pp. Published in Mexico in 1782 (not at TxU).
box folder
OV OV "La sombra mágica de un joven asesinado alevosamente; novela histórica por Erasmo."
7 Printed material
10 Pamphlet: "Folk music of the United States and Latin America; combined catalog of phonograph records." Washington, D.C.: Division of Music, Library of Congress, 1948; reprinted 1953. Clipping: Poff, Claudia, "Davy Crockett conquers Peru." Clipping: "Yaqui celebrate Christ's rebirth."

IV. Personal

box folder
7 11 Honorary diploma awarded to Dorothy Schons by the Academia Mexicana, May 8, 1939.
12 Letter of Bess Caldwell, Acting Chairman, Dept. of Home Economics, University of Texas, to Dorothy Schons, July 27, 1951 [1p.]. Letter of E.W. Doty, Dean, College of Fine Arts, University of Texas, to Dorothy Schons, Aug. 3, 1951 [1p.]. Letter of Alexander Moffit, Librarian, University of Texas, to Dorothy Schons, Oct. 19, 1951 [1p.]. Lists of books given by Dorothy Schons to the Library of The University of Texas, Aug. 7, 1951; July 8, 1952; July 9, 1952; and July 14, 1952 [12pp.].