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Visual Materials Relating to the Spanish Civil War

An Overview


Introduction

The Library of Congress holds resources in many media relating to the Spanish Civil War. This overview describes major holdings of the Prints & Photographs Division, as well as providing pointers to materials held elsewhere in the Library of Congress.

Tram workers reading "Regards", Madrid, Spain. Photo by David Seymour, 1936 April. © Estate of David Seymour (CHIM)/Magnum
Tram workers reading "Regards", Madrid, Spain. Photo by David Seymour, 1936 April. © Estate of David Seymour (CHIM)/Magnum
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.37939

Some Prints & Photographs Division pictures have been digitized, others can be viewed by making a visit to the Prints & Photographs Reading Room. Because of rights considerations, may Spanish Civil War items can only be shown in "thumbnail" size outside Library of Congress buildings. Larger digital images can be viewed inside Library of Congress buildings, and researchers who visit the Prints and Photographs Reading Room can request to see originals.

For information on viewing originals and obtaining copies, see our Information for Researchers page.

Photographs

David Seymour (CHIM) Photograph Collection

Photos from 1937 to 1939 cover many aspects of the Spanish Civil War as it led into World War II. Images of Mexico show where some of the Republicans emigrated after the Nationalist's victory. [view collection overview]

Madrid Batallon de choque. Photo by Ministerio de Propaganda, 1937 or 1938.
Madrid Batallon de choque. Photo by Ministerio de Propaganda, 1937 or 1938.
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c08329

Spanish Civil War News Photographs (Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1991:203)

579 news service photos and 75 Propaganda Ministry photographs showing military events, from autumn 1936 through the War’s end in March 1939.

Produced by the New York Times, Keystone, AP, Mondial, Voir, AGIP, and others, these images were used in contemporary newspaper accounts in many countries. Please note: Advance arrangements required to view this material. [view description]

New York World Telegram & Sun Newspaper Collection

Several subject and geographical categories (“SUBJ/GEOG”) in this collection cover the war, although each folder may contain only a few photos.

Weary refugees pour into France. Photo by Acme Newspictures, 1939
Weary refugees pour into France. Photo by Acme Newspictures, 1939 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c28346

--American Friends of Spanish Democracy (5 photos)
--France--Refugees--Spanish (14 photos) includes children from Bilbao, a Basque location
--Spain--Revolts--Civilian Refugees   (7 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Executions (4 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--German Troops--Condor Legion (5 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Italian Army & Volunteers (5 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Loyalist Army--Abraham Lincoln Brigade (10 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Loyalists Also called Leftists, Reds (11 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Madrid (23 photos) (SEE ALSO:  Spain--Madrid--War-Revolt-Ruins) (4 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Malaga Front (4 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Maps (2 photo maps of Barcelona area)
--Spain--Revolts--Rebels Also called Fascists, Insurgents (19 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--San Sebastian Front (7 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Santander Front (9 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Snipers (3 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Spies   (2 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Talavera Front (2 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Teruel Front (5 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Toledo Front (19 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Valencia (2 photos)
--Spain--Revolts--Women (6 photos)

In addition, portraits of people who made the news during the war can be found by looking for each person’s name. For example, “NYWTS - BIOG--Barsky, Edward K., Dr.,” head of the American ambulance unit.

For more information about this vast collection of more than one million items, view the collection overview.

Spain, during the Civil War: Moroccan soldiers in Madrid. Photo, 1936 or 1937.
Spain, during the Civil War: Moroccan soldiers in Madrid. Photo, 1936 or 1937
.http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3a43036

Kurzer Bildbericht von der Fahrt der 7. HJ.-Führer in das nationale Spanien (LOT 3929)

61 photographs. A photographic report compiled for Baldur von Schirach, Reichsjugendführer der Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth leader) about a visit to Spain ca. 1937. Includes many images of the war damaged buildings and structures in Asturias, Oviedo, Malaga and Toledo. [view description]

Additional Sources

References to the Spanish Civil War can also be found in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room FOREIGN GEOG FILE - Spain--History--Civil War, 1936-1939 and scattered in LOTs related to Germany and World War II.

Posters

C.N.T.-F.A.I. 19 julio 1936 Poster by Toni Vidal, 1937.
C.N.T.-F.A.I. 19 julio 1936 Poster by Toni Vidal, 1937. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g06441

Spanish Civil War Posters

Approximately 120 posters created between 1936 and 1939. The violent conflict sparked the creation of posters by both the victorious Nationalists and the Republicans. Most posters in the collection support the Republican cause, but the Nationalists are also represented. [view collection overview and search]

Cartoons

Herblock Collection

More than 20 cartoon drawings created for publication in American newspapers, 1936-1943. Herblock protested the violence of the Spanish Civil War and warned the world about the consequences of a fascist victory in what he called “The War to Begin War.” [view Herblock cartoons relating to the Spanish Civil War]

The war to begin war. Drawing by Herblock, 1937 January.
The war to begin war. Drawing by Herblock, 1937 January. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/hlb.00143

Additional Sources

A few additional cartoon drawings exist in other cartoon drawing collections, indexed under "Spain--History--Civil War, 1936-1939" [view descriptions]

Related Resources in the Library of Congress

General Collections (Books)

Approximately 2,000 books cover the subject "Spain—History—Civil War, 1936-1939." [view descriptions]

Representative examples include:

  • Beevor, Antony. The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/2006045662
  • Bibliografía general sobre la Guerra de España (1936-1939) y sus antecedentes históricos; fuentes para la historia contemporánea de España. Madrid: Secretaría General Técnica del Ministerio de Información y Turismo, 1968. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/74235018
  • Bowers, Claude G. My Mission to Spain: Watching the Rehearsal for World War II New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/54006668
  • Cierva, Ricardo de la. Cien libros básicos sobre la guerra de España. Madrid, Publicaciones Españolas, 1966. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/79420395
  • ---.  Claves económicas de la Guerra Civil. Madrid: ARC Editores, 1997. Description:   http://lccn.loc.gov/00296361
  • Cortada, James W., ed. Historical Dictionary of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/81013424
  • Ealham, Chris and Michael Richards (ed.) The Splintering of Spain: Cultural History and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Description:
    http://lccn.loc.gov/2006295897
  • Feis, Herbert. The Spanish Story (1948) about Alexander Weddell’s Role as Ambassador to Spain, 1939-1942. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1948. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/48001881
  • García Durán, Juan.  Bibliography of the Spanish Civil War. Montevideo: Editorial El Siglo Ilustrado, 1964. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/65006255
  • ---.  La Guerra civil española, fuentes: archivos, bibliografía y filmografía. Barcelona: Crítica, 1985. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/86122592
  • Hayes, Carlton Joseph Huntley. Wartime Mission in Spain, 1942-1945. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1945. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/45009957
  • Jackson, Gabriel. Concise History of the Spanish Civil War.  New York: John Day Co., 1974. http://lccn.loc.gov/73016599
  • Lincoln Brigade Pamphlets. 1939-1941. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/87669629
  • Payne, Stanley G. The Spanish Civil War. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/2012012070
  • ---. Franco and Hitler: Spain, Germany, and World War II. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/2007033570
  • Report Submitted to the Honorable Claude G. Bowers, American Ambassador to Spain, for Consideration in the Negotiations for a Spanish American Commercial Treaty. Barcelona: American Chamber of Commerce in Spain, 1934. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/83239138
  • Ruiz, Franco. Franco's Justice: Repression in Madrid after the Spanish Civil War. New York : Oxford University Press, 2005. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/2005001540
  • Thomas, Hugh. Spanish Civil War. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1961. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/62000448

Geography & Map Division

A set of twelve informational maps support the study of the Spanish Civil War, mostly showing the same areas as the news photographs. The set is in the single title, uncataloged collection. Use these titles to ask for the maps:

  • Spain War, “Bilbao Area”, 193-, 1:50,000
  • Spain War, 1937, “War Map of Spain…” Bacon’s Geographical Establishment for Spanish Translation
  • Spain War, “March on Santander”, 1937
  • Spain War, “Fronts at Malaga, Vizcaya, Santander, Asturias, Madrid, Cordoba, Jaen, Granada…”, 1937, Ollacarizqueta
  • Spain War, 1937, “from ‘One Year at War 1936-1937’ “, Paulist Press
  • Spain War, 1937, 1” = 135 miles, from: Wash. Post Oct. 24, 1937
  • Spain War Civil, 1937,  Photostat from Wash. Post, Nov. 7, 1937
  • Spain War Civil, 1936-1938, Diario de la Marina
  • Spain War, 1936-38, Geopress
  • Spain War, “Taking of Barcelona”, 1938, 1 inch =25 miles, Geopress
  • Spain War, Civil War, 1939, Geopress, Feb. 1939
  • Spain War, 1938-39, Geopress (small maps with attached text)

Law Library

Herbert Brownell, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, petitioner, v. Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, respondent. United States. Subversive Activities Control Board. [Washington, 1955]. Description:  http://lccn.loc.gov/56060440

Manuscript Division

Documentos de la guerra española: records, 1936-1939

Letters, telegrams, declarations, military orders, and other papers relating to the Republican Army and the Spanish Civil War. The bulk of the material is by, to, or relating to General José Miaja Menant and his various roles with the Junta de Defensa de Madrid, the Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, and the Ejército del Centro. Other individuals include Toribio Martínez Cabrero, Francisco Largo Caballero, Sebastian Pozas, and Juan Negrín. Also includes "Actas de la Junta de Defensa de Madrid," 1936 Nov. 8-1937 Apr. 15. This is an excellent collection centering on 184 items regarding the defense of Madrid. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/mm83085142.

Case files of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade v. Subversive Activities Control Board are in the papers of William J. Brennan, Emanuel Celler, William O. Douglas, Arthur J. Goldberg, and Byron R. White.

Microform & Electronic Resources Center

The Library of Congress subscribes to many electronic databases that can provide information and source material for the study of the Spanish Civil War. Microform sets also include relevant resources, especially:

  • Blodgett collection of Spanish Civil War pamphlets.  This collection, filmed from the holdings of Harvard College Library, consists of nearly 700 pamphlets and newsletters published during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Each item has a separate call number.
  • Confidential U.S. State Department central files. Spain [microform]: foreign affairs, 1930-1939 / edited by Michael C. Davis. Filmed from holdings of the National Archives. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/87010622
    Includes selections dealing with Spain’s foreign affairs including correspondence, reports on meetings with foreign officials, notes on negotiations, texts of treaties, newspaper and magazine clippings, etc.  Covers events leading up to and including the Spanish Civil War.
  • The Gibbs archive [microform]: the papers of Antony Gibbs & Sons, 1744-1953.
    London, England: World Microfilms, 1984-1988. Description:1-296 microfilm reels; 35 mm. Microfilm 85/248 (H). Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/85891330
    The company was involved in providing coverage for businesses in civil war-torn Spain.
  • Spanish Civil War: FO 849, Foreign Office, International Committee For The Application Of The Agreement Regarding Non-Intervention In Spain 1936-1939 Collection (twenty-four reels of microfilm). Nendeln, Liechtenstein: Kraus-Thomson Organization, [1972]. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/85891328
    Contains the British Foreign Office's File 849, comprising the stenographic notes of the committee meetings and memoranda, and other bodies formed to deal with intervention at the time of the Spanish Civil War.

Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound Division

The Motion Picture & Television Reading Room has a reference file about films, television programs, news reels, videocassettes and tapes related to the Spanish Civil War. The moving images date from 1936 and represent work done in Spain, Italy, Canada, Germany, the United States, and Britain. They are in a variety of languages.

16-mm prints of newsreels and documentaries, constituting part of an extensive collection of German films cited in the Library of Congress Hispanic and Portuguese Collections: An Illustrated Guide. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/95018095

  • Alkazar (German-language version, 1939)
  • Bethune (Canada, 1964)
  • Between the Wars, no. 12: The Spanish Civil War (U.S., 1978)
  • Los Canadienses (Canada, 1976)
  • Deutsche Freiwillige in Spanien (Germany, 1939)
  • The Good Fight (U.S., 1984)
  • Heart of Spain (U.S., 1937)
  • Helden in Spanien (Germany, 1938)
  • Im Kampf gegen den Weltfeind (Germany, 1939)
  • Madrid: Tumba del Fascio: Segunda Jornada (Spain, 1936)
  • Sierra de Teruel (France/Spain, 1938)
  • The Spanish Civil War, Granada TV (England, 1983)
  • The Spanish Earth (U.S., 1937)
  • The Twentieth Century: War in Spain, CBS-TV (U.S., 1960).

The Recorded Sound Reference Center has 10 sound recordings, some of them copies of originals held elsewhere.

Rare Book Division

Neruda, Pablo. España en el corazón: Himno a las glorias del pueblo en la guerra [Spain]: Ejército del Este, Ediciones literarias del Comisariado, 1938. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/77456046
Printed near Gerona by Spanish Republican soldiers.

Serial and Government Publications Division

Ejército de tierra español. Madrid : Ministerio de Defensa, Secretaría General Técnica. Description: http://lccn.loc.gov/2002206517
Originals and later reprints. A monthly periodical of papers relating to the Republican Army and the Spanish Civil War. The bulk of the material is by, to, or relating to General José Miaja Menant and his various roles with the Junta de Defensa de Madrid, the Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, and the Ejército del Centro. Other individuals include Toribio Martínez Cabrero, Francisco Largo Caballero, Sebastian Pozas, and Juan Negrín. Also includes "Actas de la Junta de Defensa de Madrid," 1936 Nov. 8-1937 Apr. 15.


Compiled by: Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography, 2014.
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  August 18, 2014
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