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University of Texas at Austin

Gabriel García Márquez:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: García Márquez, Gabriel, 1927-2014
Title: Gabriel García Márquez Papers
Dates: 1930s-2014 (bulk 1966-2006)
Extent: 79 document boxes, 15 oversize boxes (osb) (33.18 linear feet), 3 oversize folders (osf), 67 computer disks
Abstract: The papers of Colombian-born Nobel Prize–winning author, journalist, screenwriter, and key figure in Latin American history and politics, Gabriel García Márquez, consist of manuscript drafts of published and unpublished works, research material, photograph albums, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, notebooks, screenplays, printed material, ephemera, and electronic files.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5353
Language: Predominately Spanish but also includes material in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Swedish
Access: Open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using archival materials. Photography or photocopying of unpublished material in the papers is not allowed.
Use Policies: Ransom Center collections may contain material with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law 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 Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin assume no responsibility.
Restrictions on Use: Certain restrictions apply to the use of electronic files. Researchers must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Original computer disks and forensic disk images are restricted. Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted. To request access to electronic files, please email Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchases, 2014-2016 (14-11-006-P, 15-05-028-P, 16-01-014-P)
Processed by: Daniela Lozano, 2016

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Gabriel José García Márquez, widely known and referred to as "Gabo," was born in Aracataca, Colombia, on March 6, 1927. He was the eldest of 11 children to Gabriel Eligio García and Luisa Santiaga Márquez Iguarán de García, though he was raised through his childhood years by his maternal grandparents, Colonel Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía and Tranquilina Iguarán Cotes de Márquez. He graduated from the National College for Boys in Zipaquirá, a small colonial city outside of Bogotá, in 1946 and then enrolled at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá to study law before transferring to the University of Cartagena.
García Márquez eventually abandoned his law studies to become a journalist and a writer. He wrote for several Colombian newspapers in the early 1950s including El Universal, El Heraldo, and El Espectador, and his first novel, La hojarasca (The Leaf Storm), was published in 1955. From 1955 to 1957, he lived abroad in Europe working as a foreign correspondent, then as a freelance journalist based in Paris. He also wrote two novels during that time, published several years later as El coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel) (1961), and La mala hora (In Evil Hour) (1962).
Soon after his return to Latin America in 1957, García Márquez married Mercedes Barcha Pardo whom he had proposed to before leaving Colombia for Europe. They were married on March 21, 1958. They had two sons, Rodrigo, born in 1959, and Gonzalo, born in 1962.
Throughout the early 1960s, García Márquez continued to work in journalism, including for the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina in Cuba and New York, and then writing for publishers and advertising agencies in Mexico City. He published what would become his most successful and well-known work Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) in 1967. This marked a life-changing time for him as he became primarily known for his fiction rather than for his journalism, and he achieved worldwide recognition as a gifted storyteller. His success as a writer also established him as a member of what became known as the "Latin American Literary Boom," along with Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and Mario Vargas Llosa. The success of One Hundred Years of Solitude would also contribute to his 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Following the 1960s, García Márquez continued to produce highly regarded works of fiction, including El otoño del patriarca (The Autumn of the Patriarch) (1975), Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) (1981), El amor en los tiempos del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera) (1985), El general en su laberinto (The General in His Labyrinth) (1989), and Del amor y otros demonios (Of Love and Other Demons) (1994). He also continued to produce nonfiction works, including La aventura de Miguel Littín, clandestino en Chile (Clandestine in Chile: The adventures of Miguel Littín) (1986) and Noticia de un secuestro (News of a kidnapping) (1996).
In addition to his writing, García Márquez involved himself with politics in Latin America and was a strong supporter of Fidel Castro of Cuba. He was consequently denied a visa to travel to the United States, but the travel ban was lifted by President Bill Clinton when he came into office.
In 1999, García Márquez was diagnosed with lymphoma and underwent treatment in Los Angeles after which the illness went into remission. The event prompted him to work on his memoirs, and the first volume of a projected three, Vivir para contarla (Living to Tell the Tale), was published in 2002. His last work of fiction, Memoria de mis putas tristes (Memories of My Melancholy Whores), was published in 2004. The remaining volumes of his memoir, as well as a novel, En agosto nos vemos, were never completed.
García Márquez died of pneumonia on April 17, 2014 in Mexico City, Mexico. He was 87 years old.


In addition to material found in the Gabriel García Márquez Papers, the following sources were used:
"Gabriel García Márquez."  Contemporary Authors Online, (accessed September 2015).
Martin, Gerald. Gabriel García Márquez: A Life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Colombian-born Nobel Prize–winning author, journalist, screenwriter, and key figure in Latin American history and politics, Gabriel García Márquez, consist of manuscript drafts of published and unpublished works, research material, photograph albums, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, notebooks, screenplays, printed material, ephemera, and electronic files. They are organized into four series: I. Literary Activities, 1948-2009, undated; II. Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1930s-2011, undated; III. Correspondence, 1961-2013, undated; and IV. Personal and Career Related, 1952-2014, undated.
Series I. Literary Activities consists of materials associated with García Márquez’s writings. It is arranged into three subseries: A. Long Works, 1948-2008, undated; B. Short Works, 1952-2009, undated; and C. Film and Theater, 1963-1997, undated. Works in these subseries are arranged in alphabetical order by the original Spanish title. The English title is also listed for works that were translated into English. Within each title, the material generally follows the chronological order of literary production, from research notes, if any, to publication drafts. The Short Works subseries is further separated into three subgroups: Articles and Essays, Short Fiction, and Forewords and Introductions all arranged alphabetically by title except for the Forewords and Introductions, which are arranged by the last name of the author of the work.
Series II. Photographs and Scrapbooks is arranged into three subseries: A. Photograph Albums, 1930s-2011; B. Scrapbooks, 1950-2005; and C. Digital Images, 2001-2008. It includes 43 photograph albums, 22 scrapbooks, and 1,482 digital images that document García Márquez’s personal and professional life and writing career from the 1930s to 2011. Retaining the original title labels created by García Márquez, the photograph albums have either general titles such as "Amigos" or "Gabo" and are sometimes numbered, or in some cases bear more descriptive titles such as "Gabo in Los Pinos" or "Gabo visit to Caracas." The scrapbooks are similarly titled according to their contents. The albums and scrapbooks are arranged in alphabetical order by the title in Spanish, though most of the titles have been translated into English in this finding aid.
Series III. Correspondence contains personal and professional letters and is subdivided into two subseries: A. Incoming Correspondence, 1966-2013, undated; and B. Outgoing Correspondence, 1961-2008, undated. Groupings within these subseries reflect the original organization in which the correspondence arrived at the Ransom Center. The Letters, Invitations and Requests group makes up the bulk of the incoming correspondence and is arranged chronologically. Within this grouping, the most voluminous set is the letters received in 1982, the year García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize. Other incoming correspondence includes letters from his literary agency Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells, "letters from very important people," "special letters," faxes, telegrams congratulating him on his Nobel Prize, letters from his cousin Margot Policarpa Valdeblánquez, and other general correspondence. All groups are arranged chronologically except "letters from very important people," "special letters," and the Nobel Prize congratulatory telegrams, which are arranged alphabetically. The outgoing correspondence subseries is considerably smaller in volume than the incoming correspondence and is arranged alphabetically.
Series IV. Personal and Career Related contains García Márquez’s address book, clippings and publications containing articles about and interviews by and with García Márquez, awards, biographical information, material related to Cambio magazine, typescripts of articles written by Fidel Castro, contracts, currency, family papers, financial documents, material related to foundations with which García Márquez was involved, legal documents, photocopied correspondence from Jorge Masetti to his wife, documents and correspondence from the Museo Nacional de Colombia, material related to García Márquez’s Nobel Prize, notebooks, screenplays from his scriptwriting workshops, speeches, statements and letters, subject files, travel related material, visitors books, documents related to his visit to the White House, and works by other authors including essays about García Márquez or his works. The materials range from 1952 to 2014 and are in alphabetical order by folder title or topic.

Series Descriptions

Related Material

Additional García Márquez materials at the Ransom Center are located in the Gabriel García Márquez Collection and the Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza Collection of Gabriel García Márquez.

Separated Material

Bound volumes and commercial audio tapes were transferred to the Ransom Center Library. Unpublished cassette tapes were transferred to the Ransom Center Sound Recordings Collection. Moving image material including VHS tapes and DVDs were transferred to the Ransom Center Moving Image Collection. Computers and computer disks were transferred to the Ransom Center’s Digital Collections Services Department. Two typewriters and two buttons were transferred to the Ransom Center’s Personal Effects Collection.

Index Terms


Castro, Fidel, 1926- .
Cepeda Samudio, Alvaro.
Clinton, Bill, 1946- .
García, Rodrigo, 1959- .
Masetti, Jorge Ricardo, 1929-1964.
Vargas, Germán.


Authors, Colombian--20th century.
Colombian fiction--20th century.
Journalism--Latin America.
Latin American literature.
Novelists, Colombian--20th century.

Document Types

Digital images.
Electronic documents.

Spanish Language Finding Aid

A Spanish language finding aid is also available.

Container List