Benson Latin American Collection
Rare Books and
Alan & Lillie M. Probert Collection
Prepared by the Mexican Archives Project
April - June 1995
The Alan and Lillie M. Probert Collection was donated by the Proberts to
the Benson Latin American Collection between the years 1964 and 1989.
The collection contains original research materials acquired by the
Proberts (dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries), as
well as materials generated during the Proberts' lives and careers. The
collection was described by the Benson's Mexican Archives Project between
April and June 1995.
The physical extent of the collection comprises 22 linear feet. Its
materials are in English and Spanish; their inclusive dates are
1687-1987. Subgroup I, Series 1 (original documents concerning the Real
del Monte) is also available on microfilm.
The suggested citation for the collection is "Alan and Lillie M. Probert
Collection, 1687-1987, Benson Latin American Collection, General
Libraries, University of Texas at Austin."
Scope and Contents Note
List of Subgroups and Series
Folder List, Subgroup I
Folder List, Subgroup II
Alan Probert was a mining engineer and author. He was born in 1901 in
London, England, and died March 18, 1985, in Laguna Hills, California.
His wife, Lillie May Walker Probert, died in 1989. Alan Probert received
a B.S. degree with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in
1925. In the same year he went to Nome, Alaska, to work as an engineer
for Hammon Consolidated Goldfields. He went on to work in a number of
mines and mining camps in California, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho before
beginning a 23-year association with the United States Smelting Refining
and Mining Company, for which he worked in Colorado, Utah, Alaska, and
then for thirteen years with the Compañía de Real del Monte y
Pachuca in Mexico. He later spent five years (1950-1955) with the U.S.
Bureau of Mines in Mexico and Washington, D.C. From 1955-1961 he served
as vice-president and general manager of the Compañía Minera
de Guatemala, S.A. From 1961 until his retirement, Probert was a
consulting engineer, employed exclusively in Latin America, for such
firms as the International Nickel Company, Monsanto, and United Fruit
While employed in Mexico, Probert developed an intense interest in
Mexican mining history, particularly that of the state of Hidalgo. He
researched and collected materials on mining in Mineral del Monte,
focusing on the period of early British involvement in the years
1824-1829. His research interests included British technical expertise
and mining history. He wrote on diverse subjects, most related to either
mining or Mexico. Lillie Probert assisted her husband in his research,
and was the author of at least one published article.
Correspondence, legal and business documents, transcripts, literary
manuscripts, notes, photographs, printed material and maps relative to
the Proberts' research interests. Subgroup I consists of materials
collected by Probert related to mining in Mexico, particularly in Mineral
del Monte. It contains original manuscript materials operation of the
mines during their ownership by the Romero de Terreros family, Counts of
Regla (1687-1824), and from the English-owned Compañía de
Real del Monte (1823-1910). The latter group contains many letters and
reports from principal officers James Vetch and John Rule, and employees
such as John Hitchcock Buchan. Subgroup I also contains research notes
and materials, which includes transcripts and reproductions of materials
from various archives, correspondence related to Probert's research on
mining in Mexico and on the Compañía de Real del Monte, maps
on and pamphlets (mostly twentieth century) of concerning Mexico and
England, and assorted material.
Subgroup II, the Proberts' personal papers, contains literary productions
(one by Lillie, the rest by Alan) and related material, including
correspondence related to their publications. Probert was a contributor
and editorial advisor to The Journal of the West. His
correspondence with editors and contributors is found throughout this
subgroup. Subgroup II also contains correspondence pertinent to the
Proberts' varied research interests; assorted research materials,
including some items related to mining in Guatemala; and assorted lists,
notes, correspondence, maps, and journals and other printed material.
The Alan and Lillie M. Probert Collection was arranged into subgroups and
series by the staff of the Benson Latin American Collection's Mexican
Archives Project, which completed the processing of the collection in
June 1995. The subgroups and series are:
I. Subgroup, Documents Collected by the Proberts Concerning Mining in
- Series, Original manuscript materials, 1687-1910, 6 linear ft.
|a.||Subseries, Colonial period, 1687-1824, 1
linear ft. Original documents from the colonial period concerning the
operation of mines and related activities in Real del Monte under the
ownership of the Romero de Terreros family, the Condes de Regla.
Includes letters and drafts of letters, inventories of tiendas and
haciendas, legal and technical documents, and reports.|
|b. ||Subseries, Compañía de Real
del Monte, 1824-1910, 5 linear ft. Original documents concerning the
operation of the mines and related activities in Real del Monte under the
ownership of the English Compañía de Real del Monte.
Includes correspondence (much contained in letter books), legal
documents, and technical and managerial reports. Also includes documents
relating to the sale of Real del Monte by the Conde de Regla to the
English, and colonial-period documents translated into English.|
- Series, Research notes and references relating to Mexican Mining, 8.6
|a. ||Subseries, British and American
technical and economic participation, 2.3 linear ft. Consists of 17
bound volumes of notes, typescripts, abstracts, reproductions and
photographs collected by Probert. Volume 2 contains a typescript of
Probert's "Historical Sketch. Pachuca Mining District."|
|b. ||Subseries, Preceding British and
American technical and economic participation, 4 linear ft. Consists of
34 bound volumes of photocopies, reproductions, and typescripts of
original documents from the Archivo General de la Nación, the
Archivo General de Indias, Washington State University and other
institutions, pertaining to mining in Mexico before 1824. Also contains
Pierre A. D. Strouse's thesis, A Study of Land Settlement
Patterns; and photocopies of assorted Mexican newspapers.|
|c. ||Subseries, Fact book, 1 inch.
Contains information extracted by Probert from various sources on topics
such as the Conde de Regla, English and Mexican mines, Real del Monte
directors, politics, military campaigns, travel routes, and commerce
concerning the early years of the Cía. de Real del Monte
(ca.1822-ca.1829). Arranged by subject.|
|d. ||Subseries, Biographical data, 3
inches. Contains information gathered by Probert about various
participants involved in the early years of Cía. de Real del Monte
(ca.1822-ca.1829), such as James Vetch, James Colquhoun, Charles Tindal,
John Rule, and the Conde de Regla.|
|e. ||Subseries, Chronological data, 1
inch. Contains facts and biographical information collected by Probert,
arranged chronologically, concerning the Cía. de Real del Monte
between the years 1822 and 1828. |
|f. ||Subseries, Research
correspondence and assorted research materials, 1941-1968, 1 linear ft.
Correspondence between Alan Probert and researchers in England, the U.S.
and Mexico, and notes and articles collected by Probert concerning mining
|g.||Subseries, Printed material, 1
foot. Pamphlets, articles, travel brochures and maps collected by
Probert relating to Mexico and England (mostly Cornwall), and a few on
II. Subgroup, Alan and Lillie M. Probert Papers.
- Series, Literary productions and related materials, 1938-1987, 2.5
linear ft. One article is by Lillie M., the rest are by Alan. Includes
typescripts of published and unpublished materials, research materials
and correspondence related to literary productions.
- Alan Probert's works include Spanish translations of a selection of
his articles which were published posthumously as En Pos de la Plata;
materials relating to a biography of Thomas Coulter authored by Probert
and E. Charles Nelson; other articles, published and unpublished, on a
variety of subjects; and book reviews. Also present are many photographs
used as illustrations for publications.
- Lillie M. Probert's article "Don't overlook the little things" was
published in American Collector, August 1982; it is accompanied by
original photographs and slides used for illustrations.
- Series, Correspondence, 1 linear ft. Correspondence related to
Probert's research interests and publications. Includes correspondence
with researchers and institutions concerning research interests other
than mining in Mexico.
- Series, Assorted Research Materials, 1.5 linear ft. Includes various
items related to mining in Guatemala; typescripts and photocopies of
various eighteenth and nineteenth century documents, maps and plans; and
- Series, Assorted Material, 2 linear ft. Includes correspondence,
notes and other materials removed from books donated by the Proberts,
photographs, printed material, maps and plans, and the following
- Arte de Cantollano; y breve resumen de sus principales reglas, para
contones de choro (1779). [manuscript]
- Castelazo's manifiestos on the condition of Veta Vizcaina mines in
the year 1801. 1820 edition, with conditions... Conde de Regla and 1823
edition,... English translations by Lillie M. Probert and Alan Probert
(Guatemala: 1960). [2 copies]
- Report of the Real del Monte Company by the Director, March 1955.
Report of the Pachuca and Real del Monte Company, by the Directors, 1959.
- Henry English. A General Guide to the Companies formed for
working foriegn mines with their prospectuses, amount of capital, number
of shares, names of directors, &c. (London: 1825).
- Alan Probert. "Pachuca Papers: Real del Monte Partido Riots,
1766." Offprint from The Journal of The West (no date).
- A.R. Gayne et al. Geology and Mineral Deposits of the Pachuca -
Real del Monte District, State of Hidalgo, Mexico: With a Section on
Historical Background by Alan Probert (Mexico City: 1963).
- "Silver Quest: Nine readings by Alan Probert, index by Lillie M.
Probert." The Journal of the West 14(2), April 1975. [2 copies]
- Descripci ón de las Minas de Pachuca (Mexico City: 1951).
- George Irving Finlay. Geology of the San Pedro District, San Luis
Potos í, Mexico (1903).
- Collection of: 1) Los destarrados italianos en Mexico, en el
siglo pasado, 2) "Business Trends & Progress" [chart], 3. Estudio
geologico sobre el mineral de Pachuca por el ingeniero Manuel Santillan,
4) Las aguas subtgerraneas en las minas de Pachuca y Real del Monte, 5)
"When Cowhides Were Dollars in California," 6.) "Stage Coach Days in
California," 7.) "Market and Business Survey."
- Manuel Romero de Terreros. Paisajistas Mexicanos del Siglo XIX
- Isidro Gil. El Solo Marino (Mexico: 1848). [manuscript]
- George Cameron Stone. A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration
and Use of Arms and Armor (New York: 1961).
- Geology and Mineral Wealth of the California Transverse Ranges
(1982). Includes Alan Probert, "Mining History, Santa Catalina Island,
Los Angeles County, California," pp.485-493.
- Journal of the West 22(2), April 1983. Includes Alan Probert, "In
Memoriam: Lorrin L. Morrison." [2 copies]
- World Conference on Records: Preserving Our Heritage, August
12-15, 1980. Volume 9: Latin-Amercan and Iberian Family and Local
- Margaret Swett Henson. Juan Davis Bradburn (College Station, TX:
- A. Guenyveau. Principos Generales de Metalurgia (Paris: 1825).
- Carolyn Jean Holeski & Marlene Corger Holeski. In Search of Gold
- Western States Jewish Historical Society 1(3-4) & 2(1-2), 1969-70.
(For subgroup and series names please see List of Subgroups and Series.)
|I||1||1-2||Documents from the
de Real del Monte|
1-11||Compañía de Real del Monte|
|I||2||v. 1-17||British and
American technical and economic participation|
and American technical and economic participation|
|I||2||11||Fact book, Biographical
data, and Chronological data|
and materials; Printed material|
Assorted research materials|
materials; Assorted material|
removed from various series for separate housing (see also map
removed from various series for separate housing |
negatives removed from various series for separate housing |
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