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Collection Overview

Karsen, Sonja
Sonja Karsen Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1897-1993 (mostly 1950-1973)
4 boxes
Storage Note:
ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 1-4
English Spanish; Castilian


Sonja Karsen, born in 1919, was a professor of Spanish at Skidmore College and intensively researched Jaime Torres Bodet and Guillermo Valencia, two Latin American politicians and poets. The Sonja Karsen papers contain much of her research on these two figures.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection consists of papers of Karsen used in her research on two Latin American poets. Karsen's papers relating to Jaime Torres Bodet (1902-1974), the Mexican minister of education, foreign ambassador, director general (1948-1952) of UNESCO, author and poet, include eighty letters sent by Torres Bodet spanning 1952 to 1974, and copies of her letters sent to him, correspondence of Karsen about Torres Bodet, copies of various poems, articles and speeches by Torres Bodet, bibliographies, and printed reviews, dissertations and articles on Torres Bodet. Karsen's papers relating to the Colombian poet and politican Guillermo Valencia (1873-1943) include copies (transcribed by Karsen) of Valencia's poetry (1897-1943) entitled "Poesias Sueltas," copies of many of his translations into Spanish of various works by Baudelaire, Gautier, Hugo, Rilke, Keats, and others, correspondence (1943-1992) of Karsen about Valencia, photographs, clippings, and reviews of Karsen's book (1951) on Valencia. Other correspondence present includes that of Colombian essayist Baldomero Sanín Cano (1942-1951), Mexican writers José María González de Mendoza and Rafael Solana, and professor and critic Carlos García Prada.

The collection also includes two phonograph records (33 1/3 rpm): Guillermo Valencia reading "Los Gatos" by Baudelaire (undated) and Torres Bodet reading selections of poetry and prose (1960) in a recording made for the "Voz Viva de Mexico" series produced by the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.

Collection Creator Biography:

Karsen, Sonja

Karsen has been a professor of Spanish and modern languages at Skidmore College since 1957. She is the author of Guillermo Valencia: Colombian Poet, 1873-1943, (1951), Selected Poems of Jaime Torres Bodet, (1964), and a biography, Jaime Torres Bodet (1971).

Collection History


Gift of the author.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2003. Finding aid written in 2003.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Sonja Karsen 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:
ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 1-4