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Archer Milton Huntington Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: unknown

Biographical History

Archer Milton Huntington (1870-1955) was an American philanthropist, art patron, scholar and poet. The son of Arabella Duval Huntington and her husband, railroad industrialist Collis P. Huntington, Archer made substantial contributions -- both scholarly and financial -- in his chosen fields, though he is particularly known for his work in Hispanic Studies. He wrote several scholarly works in the field and in 1904 founded The Hispanic Society of America in New York City, a museum and rare books library which he helped fill with an impressive collection of Hispanic paintings, decorative art, books, manuscripts, maps, prints, and photographs. At about this same time, Archer was named foreign corresponding secretary for the New-York Historical Society; he served in this capacity for several years and contributed to the funding of many of the society's publications.

His first wife, whom he married in 1895, was Helen Manchester Gates, an Englishwoman and author. For his second wife (married in 1923), sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, Archer founded Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina where her works were displayed as well as those of dozens of other American sculptors. (She returned the favor, creating several Hispanic-themed works for the grounds of the Hispanic Society, including an equestrian sculpture entitled "The Cid.")

In 1936, Huntington donated an endowment which established the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress, now known as the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress; he also donated to the American Numismatic Society the funding and land for its headquarters and, later, a library. Together with Anna, he founded the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia, one of the largest and finest maritime museums in the world, and established the Archer and Anna Huntington Wild Life Forest Station in the Adirondacks of New York State.

Archer M. Huntington was awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Kenyon College, and the University of Madrid. Among his other philanthropic positions, he was president of the American Geographical Society and a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, the New-York Historical Society, the Museum of the American Indian, and the Heye Foundation. When he died in December of 1955, The Modern Language Journal published a biographical sketch which included the following praise:

In his passing, Hispanic studies in the United States, Spain, and Hispanic America have lost a generous patron who was also in his own right a scholar of distinction, a poet of charm, and in everything he did a good citizen." (The Modern Language Journal, Feb 1956, p. 59)

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Archer Milton Huntington Papers contains correspondence, secretarial notes (memos, letters and daybooks), writings, legal and financial papers, and ledgers.

Correspondence (Boxes 1 through 9) has been entirely merged into the Correspondence-subject files for the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers (see "Related Material" below). Boxes 1-9 no longer exist in this collection. Please refer to the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers for a complete listing. Briefly, this material contains incoming and outgoing correspondence with both individuals and organizations. Individual correspondents include painters (Edwin Blashfield), sculptors (Herbert and Adeline Adams, Gutzon Borglum, Donald De Lue, Gleb Derujinsky, James Earle and Laura Gardin Fraser, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, Vincent Glinsky, Malvina Hoffman, Edward McCartan, Herman Atkins MacNeil, Paul and Isabel Manship, Brenda Putnam, Alma Spreckels, Katharine Weems), writers (Maxwell Anderson, German Arciniegas, Grosvenor Atterbury, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, Nicholas Murray Butler, Archibald Macleish). Organizations represented in the correspondence include universities (Chatham College, Clark University, Columbia University, Harvard University, Syracuse University), museums and galleries (Brookgreen Gardens, Burr Galleries, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Columbia Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Fogg Art Museum, Grand Central Art Galleries, Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, Mariner's Museum, Museum of the City of New York, ), and professional associations (American Geographical Society, American Numismatic Society, Federal Art Project, Hispanic Society of America, National Institute of Arts and Letters, New-York Historical Society).

Secretarial notes comprises memos, letters, and daybooks spanning more than thirty years. Writings contains literary gallies, poems and literary manuscripts. Properties consists of information relating to various pieces of real estate including Brookgreen and Arbutus.

Ledgers contain financial and business information; the main subdivisions are NY receipts, estate correspondence, estate documents, general correspondence, Bank of Central Hanover receipts, and payment statements. General correspondence, formerly in Volumes 45-82 of Ledgers, has been entirely merged into the Correspondence-subject files for the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers (see "Related Material" below). Volumes 45-82 no longer exist in this collection. Please refer to the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers for a complete listing.

Arrangement of the Collection

Secretarial notes (Boxes 10-17) are arranged first by type (memos, letters, then daybooks) and within that chronologically. Writings (Boxes 18-20) are arranged alphabetically by type and Properties (Boxes 21-27) alphabetically by name of the property. Legal and financial papers (Boxes 28-36) are arranged chronologically. Ledgers (Volumes 1-139) are ordered by type and within that chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Personal correspondence of Archer Milton Huntington (Boxes 1 through 9) and General correspondence (formerly in Volumes 45-82 of Ledgers) has been entirely merged into the Correspondence-subject filesof the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers (see "Related Material" below). Boxes 1-9 and Volumes 45-82 no longer exist in this collection. Please refer to the Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers for a complete listing.

See also the following:

Anna Hyatt Huntington Papers
Arabella Huntington Papers
Collis P. Huntington Papers
Huntington Estate Papers

Subject Headings


Huntington, Archer M. (Archer Milton), 1870-1955.

Corporate Bodies

Academy of American Poets.
American Academy of Arts and Letters.
American Geographical Society of New York.
American Museum of Natural History.
American Numismatic Society.
Brookgreen Gardens.
California Palace of the Legion of Honor.
Federal Art Project.
Hispanic Society of America.
Mariners' Museum (Newport News, Va.)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
National Academy of Design (U.S.)
National Arts Club (New York, N.Y.)
National Sculpture Society (U.S.)
New York Zoological Society.
New-York Historical Society.


Animal sculptors -- United States.
Animals in art.
Art -- Collectors and collecting.
Art museums.
Art patronage.
Art, American -- 20th century.
Art, American.
Bronze sculpture, American.
Hispanists -- United States.
Philanthropists -- United States.
Public art.
Public sculpture.
Sculptors -- United States.
Sculpture gardens.
Sculpture, American -- 20th centur.y
Sculpture, American.
Upper class -- United States.


United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.

Genres and Forms

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Bank statements.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Archer Milton Huntington Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files

Secretarial notes



Legal and financial papers