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Frans Blom Papers


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Diaries or Field Notes

Other Papers

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Frans Blom Papers, 1919-1963 | The Latin American Library at Tulane

By Ruth Olivera and Michael F. Fry, July 1981. Revised by Ruth Olivera, October 1987 and September 1989

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Collection Overview

Title: Frans Blom Papers, 1919-1963Add to your cart.

ID: Manuscripts/Collection 24

Primary Creator: Frans Ferdinand Blom (1893-1963)

Extent: 77.0 Items


2 Hollinger boxes

The collection here consists of a variety of papers associated with Blom in some way. They either originated with him, were acquired by him, or are related to him.

Box 1: Diaries or Field Notes

12 diaries or sets of notes, most in Danish, plus 1 folder

Box 2: Other Papers

Folders 1 - 5: Correspondence

Folders 6 & 6A: Notes & drawings

Folders 7 - 14: Blom's printed works or information about him

Folders 15 - 20: Items directly related to Blom's experiences or interests

Folder 21: Obituraries

Oversize folder 1: Hand-drawn map of the central Petén region of Guatemala

Date Acquired: 07/01/1981

Subjects: Antiquities -- Guatemala, Archaeological expeditions, Archaeological sites -- Guatemala, Archaeological sites -- Honduras, Guatemala, Maps -- Guatemala, Petén, Guatemala

Languages: Danish, English, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

1919-1963.  The Frans Blom Papers consists of materials written or collected by Frans Blom, a prominent Danish archaeologist of Tulane University's Middle American Research Institute. Of special interest is his diary of anthropological field notes, with watercolor drawings, compiled during the 1925 Tulane University Expedition to Chiapas. Included are his Mexican gun permits, correspondence, published articles, and obituaries. Also includes his 1921-1922 diaries in Danish of explorations in Veracruz, with photos, maps, and drawings. 77 pieces.

Collection Historical Note

Frans Blom was associated with Tulane University as staff member or head of the Middle American Research Institute from 1924-1941. Many of the holdings in the Latin American Library were acquired by Blom during that time. For a biography of his life, see Robert L. Brunhouse, Frans Blom, Maya Explorer (F1435.B63B78). An extensive collection of Blom manuscripts is located in the Bancroft Library (Z-R 8) at the University of California, Berkeley.

Subject/Index Terms

Antiquities -- Guatemala
Archaeological expeditions
Archaeological sites -- Guatemala
Archaeological sites -- Honduras
Maps -- Guatemala
Petén, Guatemala

Administrative Information

Repository: The Latin American Library at Tulane

Access Restrictions: Open to the public. No known restrictions.

Related Materials: LAL Image Archive Collection 41

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Diaries or Field Notes],
[Box 2: Other Papers],

Box 2: Other PapersAdd to your cart.
Folder 1-5: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Correspondence includes a TLS from Tiburcio Carías Andino, President of Honduras, to Blom acknowledging receipt of a letter dated April 17, 1935. Attached is a photograph of Carías. Also a TLS from Lilly de Jongh Osborne, 17 May 1935, to Blom about a manuscript vocabulary of the Lenca language; and a TL from General Jorge Ubico of Guatemala, 22 May 1935, to Blom thanking him for a pamphlet "Guatemala Textiles." Correspondence for the years 1952-1956 is principally between Frans Blom and Edith Ricketson, his friend and the librarian of the MARI, concerning requests for various reference materials and mention of incidents of his work and life in Chiapas. He writes on the letterhead stationery Na-Blom, the name of his residence. Other correspondents are Robert Wauchope, the director of MARI who succeeded Blom, and Jessie Dingraudo Brown, a former MARI librarian. Added in 1988 is a 1939 ALS from Blom to Matilda Gray in which he is trying to raise money by getting her to buy his china. It was found in a book which had belonged to Gray and was given to the LAL by her heirs.
Folder 6: Two notes signed by BlomAdd to your cart.
Folder 6A: DrawingsAdd to your cart.
Two small drawings identified as "Chamula Mands Hat Simojouel" and "El Lirinl, Río Pedregal. Vor Vart" which were found with photographs of the Tulane Expedition to Middle America, 4th, 1928. One is stamped with the name Frans Blom.
Folder 7Add to your cart.
Publication announcements in 1926 of Tribes and Temples: A Record of the Expedition to Middle America Conducted by the Tulane University of Louisiana in 1925. Blom was in charge of this expedition and co-author with Oliver LaFarge of the book.
Folder 7AAdd to your cart.
"Remarks on the Classics of Middle American Historical Research." A paper with bibliography, delivered at a meeting of the Louisiana Library Association. 19 April 1929. A gift of Martha B. Robertson.
Folder 8Add to your cart.
A report on the expedition of 1930, "The Uxmal Expedition," Which appeared in the Tulane News Bulletin, vol. 10, no. 7, April, 1930. In it he describes the daily routine and responsibilities of the expedition members.
Folder 9Add to your cart.
A reprint of "Short Summary of Recent Explorations in the Ruins of Uxmal, Yucatán," a paper presented at the XXIV International Congress of Americanists in Hamburg on 13 September 1930 and published in their proceedings. This copy was dedicated by Blom to Matilda Geddings Gray. Mrs. Harold Stream donated it to the Latin American Library.
Folder 10Add to your cart.
A photocopy of a newspaper article on the benefits of the Middle American Research Department to New Orleans, which appeared in the official publication of the Young Men's Business Club of New Orleans. 14 October 1931.
Folder 11Add to your cart.
A reprint from The Military Engineer January-February, 1935, of Blom's article, "Maya calculations and construction." This copy belonged to Maurice Ries, who worked in the MARI while Blom was there.
Folder 12Add to your cart.
A reprint of "La aviación conquista a Honduras," from the Boletín de la Unión Panamericana, November, 1935. Included is a 1934 mock-up of the contents of the first issue of Maya Research which Blom edited from 1934-1936. Both pieces are gifts of Mrs. Harold Stream.
Folder 13Add to your cart.
A reprint of "Ossuaries, Cremation and Secondary Burials among the Maya of Chiapas, Mexico" from the Journal de la Societé des Americanistes, XLIII, 1954. A gift of Mrs. Harold Stream.
Folder 14Add to your cart.
A photocopy of a typescript article by Blom, "Notes on the falsified Maya Codex of Prague. Work of Genero López," 1956. Added information on this article has been supplied by Tulane student Dan C. Meyer, who also includes a bibliography on forged works.
Folder 15Add to your cart.
Three gun permits issued to him in 1919 and 1920 in Minatitlan and Puerto Mexico (now Coatzacoalcos) during the time he was working for an oil company. Also there is a travel pass issued to him by Gen. Benito Torruco and one abandoned by General Cal y Mayor at Pozo Colorado, which was found and identified by Blom.
Folder 16Add to your cart.
The news sheet "El cangrejo," Año 1, Número 21, April 21, 1925, published in Comalcalco, Mexico, which tells of the Tulane scientific expedition, and the newspaper El despertador, Año 1, Número 242, July 18, 1925, published in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, which mentions a lecture on the Maya given by Blom in a local school.
Folder 17Add to your cart.
A 1917 map "Plano de la zona petrolífera del istmo" with penciled markings which undoubtedly relate to his experience working for an oil company in Mexico, and an undated map of Mexico with markings which trace the route of what appears to be the expedition of 1925. In LAL Flat File.
Folder 18Add to your cart.
Four black and white facsimile plates of the Codex Mendoza (f. 58-61 of the Codex) from an unidentified publication.
Folder 19Add to your cart.
Invitation to a banquet to be held November 11, 1855, in the Alameda in celebration of the fall of Sebastopol, issued to Andrés Fanini (?). This is apparently an item collected by Blom.
Folder 20Add to your cart.
Article "Koh y och," in Mañana, March 12, 1949, México, D.F., which consists of letters by Blom and his wife Gertrude Duby about an expedition they are undertaking into the Lacandón jungle of Chiapas. It includes photographs of ruins and Indians. Gertrude Duby appears in one.
Folder 21: ObituariesAdd to your cart.
Item 1: 24 June 1963, clipping with photograph of Blom from the Times-Picayune.Add to your cart.
Item 2: 27 June 1963, clipping by Pie Durour in the New Orleans States-Item.Add to your cart.
Item 3: Photocopy of an obituary by Douglas S. Byers in American Antiquity 31, 65/66.Add to your cart.
Item 4: Reprint from Estudios de Cultura Maya Vol. III, Mexico, 1963, by J. Eric Thompson with photograph of Blom.Add to your cart.

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[Box 1: Diaries or Field Notes],
[Box 2: Other Papers],

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