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Collection Overview

Ortiz de Montellano, Bernardo, 1899-1949
Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1909-1979 (mostly 1919-1947)
6 boxes and 2.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-6


Consists of manuscripts of poems, short stories, essays, and criticism, and correspondence by Ortiz de Montellano; correspondence, manuscripts of poetry, and typescript copies of poetry, short stories, and essays by others; and printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of manuscript material and correspondence of Ortiz de Montellano. The collection includes notes, typed manuscripts, with holograph corrections, of poems, short stories, essays, and book reviews by Ortiz de Montellano. The collection also includes typed manuscript copies of poetry and essays by authors such as Amado Nervo, Manuel José Othon, and Alfonso Reyes. There is extensive correspondence with Mexican poets and writers Genaro Estrada, Alfonso Reyes, Jaime Torres Bodet, and José Gorostiza, and with translators Francis de Miomandre, Valéry Larbaud, Dudley Fitts, and Edna Worthley Underwood. There is a small amount of material related to the publication of the magazine Contemporáneos and a large amount of printed material related to Ortiz de Montellano and others' published work. The strengths of the collection are the large number of published and unpublished poems of Ortiz de Montellano, his essays and notes on the aesthetics of poetry, the original letters of Ortiz de Montellano and four Mexican poets (Cuesta, Gorostiza, Torres Bodet, and Villaurrutia), and Ortiz de Montellano's correspondence with Estrada, Reyes, Torres Bodet, Gorostiza, Mariano Azuela, and José Vasconcelos.

Collection Creator Biography:

Ortiz de Montellano, Bernardo, 1899-1949

Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano (1899-1947) was a poet, literary critic, editor, and teacher who lived and worked in Mexico City, Mexico. He was a member of the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud, a literary group which was founded in 1918 by Ortiz de Montellano, Jaime Torres Bodet, José Gorostiza, and others. Alfonso Reyes, José Vasconcelos, and other writers had established the first Ateneo de la Juventud in 1908. Ortiz de Montellano and the members of the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud began writing for literary magazines while still students. Salvador Novo and Xavier Villaurrutia joined the Nuevo Ateneo de la Juventud in 1921. Jorge Cuesta and Gilberto Owen were other poets who later joined the group. Through the decade of the 1920s, these writers had their work published in magazines and newspapers. In 1928, Ortiz de Montellano, Bernardo J. Gastélum, and others started the magazine Contemporáneos. Ortiz de Montellano directed Contemporáneos from June 1928 through December 1931. The writers who contributed to Contemporáneos (these writers became known as the Contemporáneos group) were considered vanguard, or experimental writers and sought to reaffirm Mexican literature's ties with Modernist prose and poetry, as represented by the writers Paul Valéry and Marcel Proust, among others. Ortiz de Montellano also served as an occasional editor of Letras de México, a literary magazine which was published from 1937 to 1947.

Ortiz de Montellano's published books of poetry include Avidez (México: Ediciones del Ateneo de la Juventud, Librería Cultura, 1921), El trompo de siete colores (México: Cultura, 1925), Red (1928), Primer sueño, (1931), Sueños, (1933), and Muerte de cielo azul (1937). Sueño y Poesía is a volume of Ortiz de Montellano's poetry which was compiled by Wilberto Cantón, and published posthumously in 1952.

Ortiz de Montellano's prose works include Antología de cuentos mexicanos (editor and author), two theatrical pieces, Pantomima and El Sombrerón, (1930, 1931), La poesía indígena de México (1935), Figura, amor y muerte de Amado Nervo (1943), numerous literary essays published in Contemporáneos, and an exchange of letters with other poets published in Una botella al mar. Conversación epistolar a propósito del libro Sueños (1946). Many of his prose writings are included in Obras en Prosa (1988), a compilation edited and introduced by María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls.

Collection History


The Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano Papers were the property of the author's family until the University purchased the author's papers and books from his wife, Thelma Ortiz de Montellano, in 1989 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1995. Finding aid written by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1995.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-6

Find More


Several articles and many other prose pieces are included in María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls, ed., Obras en Prosa (México: UNAM, 1988). Ortiz de Montellano's poetry and the letters comprising Una botella al mar are included in María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls, ed., Sueños. Una botella al mar (México: UNAM, 1983).

Subject Terms:
Contemporáneos (Group of writers).
Critics -- Mexico -- 20th century.
Dramatists, Spanish -- 20th century.
Latin American literature -- 20th century.
Mexican essays -- 20th century.
Mexican literature -- 20th century.
Mexican poetry -- 20th century.
Poets, Mexican -- 20th century.
Poets, Spanish -- 20th century.
Translators -- France -- 20th century.
Translators -- United States -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Nervo, Amado, 1870-1919.
Torres Bodet, Jaime, 1902-1974.
Mexico -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.