Contents and Arrangement

Series 5: Photographs, 1935-1989

1 box

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The Elena Garro Papers consist of manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks, journals, photographs, printed material, and a diary of Elena Garro (1916-1998), a Mexican novelist, short story writer, and playwright who lived for many years outside of Mexico. Included in the papers is correspondence and personal documents of Garro's daughter, Helena Paz Garro (1939-2014), a published poet.

Manuscripts for some of Garro's published novels, novellas, and short stories such as Busca mi esquela, Testimonios sobre Mariana, and Y Matarazo no llamó are present in the papers; as well as some of Garro's plays like Felipe Angeles and Parada San Ángel. There are many iterative drafts of Garro's Memorias de España 1937. Also present are many unpublished or incomplete manuscripts, including 89 notebooks Garro filled with notes on an unfinished project about early 20th century Russian history and historical figures.

The correspondence features both outgoing and incoming letters with family members, publishers, artists, and writers who Garro befriended when she lived abroad. Correspondents include literary agent Carmen Balcells, Adolfo Bioy Casares, José Bianco, Max Aub, Victoria Ocampo, Luis Buñuel, René Aviles Fábila, Guillermo Schmidhuber de la Mora, Leonor Fini, José María Fernández Unsáin, Emilio Carballido, Ulyses Petit de Murat, and Emmanuel Carballo. Correspondence also includes significant amount of early handwritten letters by Octavio Paz to Elena Garro during their courtship and up until their divorce (1935-1956), a few handwritten letters by Elena Garro to Octavio Paz, including incomplete letters concerning the breakup of their marriage, and handwritten and typewritten incoming and outgoing letters to Helena Paz Garro (1958-1989). There are also letters from Octavio Paz's mother, Josefina Lozano de Paz, to Elena Garro, Octavio Paz, and Helena Paz Garro. The Helena Paz Garro correspondence includes letters from Cuban author Roberto Fernández Retamar and American poet Muriel Rukeyser.

The papers also include 16 photographs, three of which show Elena Garro and Octavio Paz together (one is from the mid 1930s and one is dated 1952), and two photographs of Elena Garro and Helena Paz Garro, dated 1967 and 1973.

Also included are a variety of materials belonging to Elena Garro and Helena Paz Garro, including journals, prescriptions, financial receipts, animal care documents, a diary, and an inscribed, dedicated copy of Octavio Paz's poem, ¡No pasaran! Additional materials include seven typescripts of works by Elena Garro, including short stories, short novels, and plays.


Arranged by photographic composition (i.e. photographs of Elena Garro alone, Elena Garro with Octavio Paz, and Elena Garro with others).

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

Nothing was removed from the collection during the 2015 and 2022 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions for Reproduction and 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:

Series 5: Photographs; Elena Garro Papers, C0827, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
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Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 14