Fine γ-Fe2O3particles produced by a process which involves hydrothermal conversion of iron hydroxides to α-Fe2O3have been investigated. Such particles appear to lack pores or dentrites which cause internal magnetic poles, and exhibit superior properties for magnetic recording. Mössbauer spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and transmission electron-microscopy were used. The particles were of length 250-500 nm and width 35-50 nm; some samples had cobalt adsorbed onto the surface. Mössbauer spectra were collected at temperatures from 4.2 to 300 K, and in zero and 5 T applied magnetic fields. In general the patterns are typical of bulk γ-Fe2O3. The 300 K spectra of Co-doped samples show sub-patterns of weak intensity associated with at least two distinct additional components with reduced splitting. One of these has Bhf= 45.2(2) T; its origin is suggested to be iron-atoms lying in or close to the cobalt-modified surface. In a 5 T field, the iron-atom moments deviate from the applied field direction by average angles in the range 13-15°. Because the angle for conventional similarly sized γ-Fe2O3is , it is concluded that the improved particle morphology does not lead to an improvement in the high-field alignment.