The brief collection summaries below offer overviews of Spencer's Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American print collections as well as tips for browsing their records in the online catalog.
You will also find short narrative descriptions of several of these collections on Spencer's website at http://spencer.lib.ku.edu/collections/special-collections/latin-america.
Acquired in 1982, the William J. Griffith Collection of Guatemala and Central America is the fruit of some forty years of collecting by the KU Professor Emeritus of Central American history. The collection consists of books, newspapers, broadsheets, printed ephemera and manuscripts, primarily from Guatemala and other Central American countries, with particular emphasis on the period from the late 1700s to the 1920s.
The collection is particularly strong for:
Image: Contestacion al Folleto Titulado: Manifiesto, Fundado en Derecho, que en 21 de Noviembre Ha Publicado el Licenciado Antonio Ortiz Urruela, Guatemala: Imprenta de la Universidad, 1840 Call Number: Griffith B384
The George C. A. Boehrer collection, acquired in 1968 and named in honor of the late professor of Luso-Brazilian history, is devoted to the Liberal period of Portuguese history, a time of great turbulence in Portugal and its overseas empire, especially Brazil. The printed material, which dates primarily from the 18th and 19th century includes some 800 volumes of:
Based upon the collection of well-known nineteenth-century art historian, bibliophile, and Hispanist, Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878), the Cervantes Collection is notable particularly for the number of editions of Don Quixote which it contains.
Some highlights include:
Images: Left: 1605 Lisbon piracy of Don Quixote. Call number: Cervantes Y1; Right: Second edition of Don Quixote (Madrid, 1605). Call number: Cervantes Y2
Also present are a host of editions, including chapbook versions, versifications, scholarly editions, and dramatizations, and volumes illustrated by Johannot, Cruickshank, Vierge, Dore and Dali.
The Novelas Ejemplares and Cervantes' other less known works are almost equally well represented by both Spanish and foreign editions, including the first French and the first English editions of the Novelas.
Information regarding the manuscript “Don Quixote el Castellano Viejo," also collected by William Stirling-Maxwell is available under "Spain" in the "Finding Manuscripts by Country" portion of this guide.
The Summerfield Collection of Renaissance and Early Modern Books includes volumes printed in continental Europe prior to 1701, including Spain and Portugal. For an overview of the Summerfield Collection more generally, please see the page on the Spencer Research Library website for Renaissance and Early Modern Imprints.
Volumes in the Summerfield collection pertinent to Spain, Portugal, and Latin America include 16th and 17th century Spanish chronicles, Spanish city and town histories, Spanish literature, including early editions of such authors as Juan de Mena and Jorge Manrique, and accounts of those areas of the Americas explored and colonized by Spain and Portugal.
Some examples of items in the Summerfield Collection include:
(Note, this will not return results for items that do not have subject indexing that includes the terms "Spain" or "Portugal").
Spencer Research Library holds many print resources related to Spain, Portugal, and Latin America in its general rare books stacks (as opposed to named collections like the Griffith Collection or the Cervantes Collection).
These materials may be accessed by searching KU's Online catalog. Some examples of holdings include:
Spencer holds over 50 handmade books and artists' books by the Cuban publishing collective Ediciones Vigía, which began production in 1985. These volumes make use of a wide range of materials--from corrugated cardboard, to recycled and found paper, to yarn, sponges, and mesh.
A collection of over 7000 Spanish plays (ca. 18th century -20th century) bound together in 466 volumes are housed at the call number C16344. The collection includes both Spanish and Latin American editions, as well as a small number of non-Spanish language plays translated into Spanish. Writers represented range from well-known playwrights, such as Lope de Vega and Eusebio Blasco, to more obscure dramatists.
Spencer Research Library holds over 400 examples of "Literatura de Cordel," inexpensively made pamphlets and chapbooks containing popular literature sold by street vendors in Brazil. The chapbooks would often be hung from string for display purposes, thus their name, Literatura de Cordel ("string literature"). The majority of the titles in Spencer's collections were published between the 1970s and the 1990s.