The passport of writer Victoria Ocampo

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Passport Argentinian Victoria Ocampo

Passport Argentinian Victoria OcampoVictoria Ocampo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1890. She published close to twenty books, mostly collected essays, including Testimonios (Testimonies) (1935-1977), which is a ten-volume series that is in equal parts political commentary, literary criticism, and autobiography. She is best known for founding the prestigious literary magazine Sur(South) (1931) and a publishing company by the same name (1933). Editorial Sur was the first to publish several Argentine writers, including Jorge Luis Borges. In its forty-five-year run, the journal introduced readers to new Latin American, North American, and European authors. She translated many works herself, including some by William Faulkner, DH Lawrence, and Albert Camus. She was an avid supporter of women’s rights and co-founded the Argentine Women’s Union. Ocampo was awarded the Argentine Society of Writers’ Honorable Grand prize, the Alberti and Sarmiento prize, and was inducted into the Argentine Academy of Letters. She died in 1979 in Buenos Aires. Passport Argentinian Victoria Ocampo

Passport Argentinian Victoria OcampoAfter 1936, when P.E.N., the International Association of Poets, Editors, Essayists, and Novelists, held its convention in Buenos Aires, new “international” names appeared in the journal, including many of Miss Ocampo’s worldwide circle of intimate friends: Albert Camus, Virginia Woolf, with whom she exchanged feminist views through a lively correspondence; T. S. Eliot, Stefan Zweig, Marcel Proust, and George Bernard Shaw, as well as William Faulkner, Erskine Caldwell, E. E. Cummings, Archibald MacLeish, and others.

Accustomed to extravagant impulses, Miss Ocampo drew public criticism from the British House of Commons for lavish spending during a 1940 “good‐will” tour. As a guest of the British Government, she reportedly spent $2,652 in eight weeks for hotel costs alone. In 1966. Miss Ocampo complained in an article in The New York Times:


“Our peso does not buy what it used to. And perhaps for that reason, I am not getting the same kind of cooperation I used to get from the young. Instead, they attack me, saying I publish too many foreigners. Of course, I do not publish people who do not write well. I never have, I never will.”

Passport Argentinian Victoria Ocampo


FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...