Guide to the Ralph Lowell Hancock papers

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Hancock, Ralph Lowell
Title: Ralph Lowell Hancock papers
Dates: 1941-1973 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 14.0 linear feet (9 containers, 1 package)
Collection Number: Ax 708
Summary: Ralph Lowell Hancock was an author, a reporter and foreign correspondent who became an expert on Latin America and served as a senior analyst on the Board of Economic Warfare during WWII. The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, project files, research material, photographs, scrapbooks, and publications.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for production of this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Historical Note

Ralph Lowell Hancock was born in Plainville, Indiana and attended Springfield Business College (Missouri) and Washington University in St. Louis.

In 1929 Hancock worked as a reporter in Los Angeles and later worked as a foreign correspondent with the New York Times, where he became a recognized expert on Latin America. He covered a variety of events in Latin America, including the political revolution that brought Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Sr. to power in 1937. During the 1940s, Hancock served as Latin America editor for the Encyclopedia Americana. He later co-wrote a series of textbooks for young people, including "Our Southern Neighbors," "Exploring American Neighbors" and "Mexico & Central America." The texts were widely used in schools in California and New York.

During World War II Hancock worked as a senior analyst on the Board of Economic Warfare. He also collaborated with people in the entertainment industry including comedian Joe E. Brown and songwriters Hoagy Carmichael and Henry Tobias. Hancock wrote a book about Douglas Fairbanks in collaboration with Fairbank's niece. Hancock was a ghostwriter of over thirty manuscripts in addition to books published under his own name.

Hancock and his wife Frances had two children and since 1960, they lived in San Diego.

Content Description

The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, projects, research material, photographs, scrapbooks, and publications and a 1974 Addenda.

The correspondence series is separated into outgoing (1946 only) and incoming letters, organized by title of author.

The manuscripts series contains drafts, notes, outlines, research material and is separated into book length, television series, and article length manuscripts, as well as books authored and edited by Hancock, and other projects. Each section is organized by title of work.

The research files include information on Latin America and California.

Also included in the collection are scrapbooks, photographs, maps, and a collection of nudist publications.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Ralph Lowell Hancock papers, Ax 708, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

Administrative Information

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by staff, 1973.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection may have received a basic level of processing including some organization and rehousing. The initial accession(s) were processed and arranged as a whole and are reflected in the series arrangement. Subsequent accession(s) for the collection have not been merged or organized as a whole. Each subsequent accession is described separately.

Description information is drawn in part from information supplied with the collection and initial surveys of the contents. Folder titles are based on those created by the creators or previous custodians. Titles have not all been verified against the contents of the folders. In some cases, staff supplied folder titles during initial processing.

Additional Reference Guides :  

Paper finding aid with additional information is available in Special Collections & University Archives.


  • Personal Names :
  • Hancock, Ralph Lowell
  • Subject Terms :
  • Reporters and reporting--United States
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Correspondence
    • Manuscripts for publication

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