As of 22 April 2009 this website is 'frozen' in time — see the current IFLA websites

This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive – http://archive.ifla.org

IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsAnnual ConferenceSearchContacts

60th IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 21-27, 1994

Rare books in Latin American libraries

Laurence Hallewell


Western books, learned and popular, arrived with the conquistadors, within fifty years of the European development of printing. Mesoamerica already had its own indigenous books, although most of these were destroyed as part of the ideological aspect of the conquest. Printing came to the New World within fifty years of its discovery. The survival of these early books owes much to the religious ord ers, and the 18th century expulsion of the Jesuits and their fine libraries was a calamity. It was however but one aspect of the changes in society during the age of enlightenment which culminated in Latin American independence. Unfortunately the independence struggle was followed by internal factional conflicts, with Brazil and Chile the only countries achieving conditions stable enough for libr ary development to proceed. Elsewhere stability returned in the second half of the l9th century, often accompanied by the nationalization of the libraries of religious foundations. Special departments of rare books in national and other major libraries do not arrive until the present century. Lack of institutional continuity is a major obstacle: large private collections often end up in foreign l ibraries. That things are changing for the better is illustrated by recent Brazilian instances. Preservation of collections once formed is another matter: Latin American paper quality in the past has often been very poor; even now acid-free paper is very seldom used.


The modern world, as we know it, dawned in the later half of the fifteenth century in the lands of Catholic Europe, whose territorial limits were broadened in that Age of Discovery at the same time as its intelectual horizons were being vastly extended by the advent of the printed book. Ironically, not only were the inventions that made these developments possible--gunpowder, the marine compass, the lateen sail, paper, and printing from moveable type--all imported from the Far East, but the very expansion of Europe into the wider world was precisely contemporaneous with the voluntary abandonment by China of the fruits of its overseas explorations, and its retreat into the traditional bounds, territorial and cultural, of the Middle Kingdom. Meanwhile Islam, at the height of its secular po wer with the conquest of Constantinople and the Balkans, was passing over to the defensive. Not only was Spain allowed to conquer Granada, but, more significantly, Sulaiman the Magnificent went so far as to tear in half his admiral Piri's magnificent mappa mundi of 1513, discarding the part delineating the world west of Alexandria to be filed away as useless--so allowing it to survive and be redi scovered in 1927.

As the galleon, the horse and the musket secured to this new European imperialism its physical dominion over the American continent, the printed book and Western book-learning soon followed to ensure a complementary spiritual conquest. Where books already existed, in the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America, they were seized and destroyed as an inadmissible obstacle to the effective imposition of the invaders' ideology. The precious few that we still possess usually survived because they were sent back to Europe as curiosities. A famous instance is the Mendoza codex, which takes its name from the Viceroy who sought to send it back as a gift to his Emperor, Charles V. The ship was intercepted by a French corsair who delivered it to his own prince, Francis I. Thence it passed to the Geographer Royal André Thevet, whose heirs sold it to Sir Thomas Bodley, the founder of the university library in Oxford, England. There, three hundred years later it awoke the interest of an Irish nobleman's son, Edward King, viscount Kingsborough, who was inspired to devote his life and fortune to finding, preserving and copying such mesoamerican treasures. He died of gaol fever i n a Dublin debtor's prison, unable to pay the 30,000 he owed his printer, but he had aroused the interest of the learned world in the pre-Columbian book.

But by then the New World had long been secured for Western culture and for the western printed book, the product of an industry that at the time of Columbus' landfall was still barely a half-century old, but one which the Catholic monarchs were proud to foster and protect.1

The Crombergers of Seville, who accounted for a quarter of all Spanish publishing in the first half of the sixteenth century2, were particularly interested in America, both as an export market for their books and as a place for direct investment in other fields, such as silver mining. The extent to which even books of the most popular kind were soon reaching their new markets has been amply docum ented by Irving Leonard in his Books of the brave3. Nor did books come just from the rather limited industry in Spain itself. Ernesto de la Torre Villar has spoken of books from the more prosperous and more export oriented publishing industry of Flanders in the now Spanish Netherlands as "inundating America from the sixteenth century with precious and most handsome editions."4 The great center of European publishing in the sixteenth century was, however, Italy, which was soon supplying at least 10% of America's consumption of books.5

In Mexico and Peru, the conquistadors had usurped the political control of two developed civilizations, and needed to buttress that power through sophisticated proselytizing of the élite of their sovereign's new subjects. For this, textbooks were needed in the native languages, and manuals to tell their European teachers about these languages and the indigenous cultures. They were commissi oned from printers in Spain such as the Crombergers. The latter quickly realized the efficacy of having such works produced on the spot, and in 1539 they sent out a printer to establish a branch of their business in Mexico City, so creating the first New World publishing house of which we have clear evidence.6 A quarter of a century later a press was established in Lima; the seventeenth century s aw others established at Puebla, Antigua Guatemala and in the mission territory of Paraguay, and seventeen other places acquired presses during the rest of the colonial period. Their production, for local use, was, with a few notable exceptions, outstanding in neither quantity nor quality, but naturally the few that have survived have an honoured place in the typographical and publishing historie s of their respective countries and so constitute an important category of book rarity in Latin American libraries.

Most of the imported books of the type described by Leonard were rapidly worn out with use, and have mostly vanished. The same goes for textbooks and catechisms. But some, and many of the more learned works that crossed the Atlantic in these early years, have survived to provide Latin America with a treasure of book rareties from almost the beginning of European printing. Brazil's National Librar y, for instance, has 185 incunabula, Chile's has 87, Mexico's also has impressive holdings.

Some of Latin America's rare books were preserved by the efforts of the individual learned. When the creole Archbishop Hernando Arias de Ugarte died in Lima in 1614, for instance, his 417 books were professionally valued at 30,598 reales.7 It is unfortunately the general fate of the libraries of individuals to be dispersed at their deaths, and survive only in the tantalizing form of notaries' inv entories. Much more important were the efforts of institutional collecting. The institutions most notable for book collecting were the Catholic Church's great missionary orders, particularly the Dominicans and Franciscans, who accompanied the very first expeditions. Even more important in library building, although they did not arrive until almost a century later, were the Jesuits. The Church was also responsible for staffing and running the universities, the first of which, in Mexico City, Lima and Santo Domingo, were decreed in 1551.8 In some instances, such as that of the University of Saint Mark in Lima, the university has kept its colonial library. In others, such as that of the University of Mexico, its colonial books now form part of the bookstock of the National Library.

Habsburg Spain was almost continually at war with its great dynastic rival, Valois, and later Bourbon, France. The successful revolt of the Protestant Netherlands led to a war with the Dutch only temporarily ended by the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The Reformation also ended England's traditional alliance with Castile and led to intermittent hostilities between them from the second half of the sixteenth century. These conflicts forced Spanish ships to sail always in armed convoys across the Atlantic. The cumbersome and costly nature of this system made it harder and harder to keep the colonies supplied, with books or anything else. It is probably this, rather than the black legend of oppressive censorship which explains why contraband becomes a significant source for books, as for so m any other trade goods, from early in the seventeenth century, although some authorities would disagree.9 But the economic depression that lasted for most of that century made it difficult for the American colonies to buy much of anything, including contraband books. During the closing decades of the century, actions by enemy privateers against Spanish shipping and harbours in wartime had degenera ted into outright piracy by outlaws of every nationality, unrestrained by the niceties of diplomatic relations. Books were inevitably among the treasures destroyed or carried off when coastal towns such as Panama were sacked and burnt.

The 1643 battle of Rocroi marked the beginning of nearly two centuries of French military, and hence, political and cultural, domination of Europe. The 18th century, the siècle des lumières, highpoint of this French domination began with the imposition on Spain, through the war of the Spanish Succession, of a junior branch of the French royal house as its new dynasty. A more system atized approach to learning brought about a reform of Spanish orthography, increased publishing, and the beginnings of systematic bibliography with Barbosa Machado's compilation of Portuguese language imprints, the Biblioteca lusitana of 1751-1759, and Nicolau Antonio's Biblioteca Hispana Nova of 1783-1788.

But the development of a more secular, "scientific", approach to government allowed the Marquis of Pombal to see in the Society of Jesus not just a political obstacle to his own autocracy, but also an enemy of modern, "progressive" ideas and practices in education and economics. Not only did he expel the order from all Portuguese territory, but he also persuaded the ministers of Charles III of S pain, envious of the supposed wealth of the missions in Paraguay, to drive them out of Spanish America, too. For Latin America this was an almost unmitigated cultural disaster. It has even been said that the departure of the fathers and their message of obedience and loyalty to the throne removed the most potent obstacle to the development, among both the creole élite and the common people , of a desire for their political independence from Spain and Portugal. Be that as it may, the expulsion of the Jesuits from Brazil in 1759 and from Spanish America in 1767 destroyed the finest libraries then existing in the Western Hemisphere. Sometimes these libraries were given intact to other religious orders.

At Córdoba in the Plate and Mérida in Venezuela, the Jesuit colleges were taken over by the Dominicans, to become, ultimately the present day Universidad de Córdoba and Universidad de los Andes, respectively. In Santiago de Chile the Jesuits' books were given to the recently founded Universidad de San Tomás and so, eventually, to the National Library of Chile. The Jesu it libraries in Santa Fe de Bogotá were allowed to languish for ten years and were then used to constitute the basis for a new Royal Library, the antecedent of Colombia's National Library. But all too often the contents of the Jesuits' libraries were destroyed, dispersed, stolen or just allowed to rot. The great Brazilian librarian and bibliophile Rubens Borba de Moraes has described the f ate of many in Brazil.10 That of the Jesuit college in Rio de Janeiro languished in neglect for sixteen years before the desembargador (high court judge) Manuel Francisco da Silva e Veiga drew the Viceroy's attention to its deplorable condition. An inventory was made of some 4,701 volumes. The viceroy found 66 titles to be on the official list of banned works and had them sent back to Lisbon, to gether with 118 works directly related to the Society of Jesus itself. Several dozen books, the works of Plato among them, were considered worthless and thrown away. The bishop of Rio de Janeiro was given all the books on theology and church discipline. The rest were entrusted to various private citizens deemed likely to take care of them.

French influence soon extended way beyond government circles. French élite opinion too was advancing beyond mere advocacy of reform and beginning to cast doubt on all traditional values and assumptions. Around mid-century a notable increase in the concern of the colonial authorities in the Americas to control book imports suggests that readers here were now becoming interested in these new intellectual currents, an interest soon to be stirred by the sucessful challenge by Britain's North American colonists to the very basis of European rule. However it is not until 1779 that a complacent Madrid decides to ban the Abbé Raynal's highly subversive Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (Amsterdam: 1 770). From then on the authorities' alarm at the growing popularity of the new ideas becomes increasingly evident. The thunderclap of the French Revolution confirms their worst fears. Godoy's government became so frightened that it tried to ban any discussion whatever of the events in France, even works detailing the crimes of the Jacobins. But by then it was clearly too late. The creole intellig entsia had managed to contaminate itself pretty thoroughly with the new ideas. Inventories of property seized from the 1789 republican rebels in Ouro Preto, in Brazil's mining district, revealed substantial private libraries of radical political thought. A few years later we have the case of the Bogotá botanist José Celestino Mutis whose library of modern scientific works was of a s ize and quality to impress the visiting Alexander baron von Humboldt.

In 1805 Admiral Nelson destroyed the combined French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar, and with it any real chance of a successful invasion of England. Napoleon Bonaparte turned instead to an economic blockade enforcing which led him to invade Portugal. The Portuguese government fled to Brazil, carrying with them the entire apparatus of imperial administration, including the Portuguese Royal Libra ry. This was only a half century old, having been formed to replace an earlier library lost in the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Nevertheless, the Braganzas' wealth, largely derived from the gold and diamond mines of Minas Gerais, had been sufficient to amass a fine new collection, including many medieval manuscripts and incunabula. Reestablished in Rio de Janeiro, and opened to the public in 1810, this became the National Library of Brazil, its retention being one of the terms of the 1825 treaty whereby Portugal recognized the independence of her erstwhile colony.

Meanwhile, Napoleon, having occupied Portugal, bullied the king and crown prince of Spain into signing away their rights in favor of his brother Joseph. Soon Spain was engulfed in a civil war as nationalists revolted against the new puppet regime, while the collapse of the old order in Spain eroded Spanish authority in the New World. Fear of a conservative-ruled Spain provoked liberal revolts in the River Plate, Chile and New Grenada, then a brief liberal triumph in Spain provoked conservative revolts in Mexico and Central America. Soon these struggles for independence were replaced by struggles within the new republics between their own liberal and conservative factions. Initial success went to excesssively idealistic liberals who sought, with little regard to Latin American realities, to foster education, free trade and representative government. French-style secular national and municipal libraries were projected, along with schools and universities. Two of the embryonic national libraries, those of Chile and Uruguay were destroyed during the long struggle for independence. One is reminded of the contemporaneous tit-for-tat destruction of the library of the future University of Toronto and of the Library of Congress by the U.S. and British combatants in North America.

The Liberals stayed in power as long as they could continue to borrow money on a London money market which itself took a while to come around to a more realistic appraisal of the new republics' limited economic potential. The liberals were then replaced by pragmatic conservatives, fearful of the threat their opponents' idealist notions could pose for firm government and traditional authority. The clash took its most extreme form, perhaps, in Argentina, where the liberal Domingo Sarmiento's dream of a United States-style democracy to replace the anti-intellectual dictatorship of Juan Manuel Rosas found expression in the classic Facundo: civilización y barbarie. But the savage wars that the conflict provoked gave little opportunity for the production, reading or preservation of such books, or any others. Conversely however, the various wars and political persecutions that accompanied them, from the independence struggle onwards, forced innumerable indidivuals into exile, in Europe, or in other countries of the Western Hemisphere. Andrés Bello, the grammarian who went to London to represent the rebel government in Caracas and then spent the rest of his life in Chile, is an example.. The more successful among the exiles enjoyed the chance to add to their private book collections. Conversely some of the others sold valuable books and documents in their efforts to support themselves.

Brazil had the inestimable advantage of administrative continuity, independence having come to it largely by the decision of the heir to the Portuguese throne to stay in America after his father's return to a liberated Portugal, and rule the monster colony as an independent empire. Brazilian pragmatism and a growing prosperity from coffee cultivation caused the two political parties there to mode rate their differences until one observer could opine that there was no one more like a Brazilian conservative than a Brazilian liberal enjoying the fruits of office. Within the limitations of a small dependent economy, Brazilian authorship, publishing and libraries prospered. And from 1873 to 1903 the National Library had a really outstanding director in the person of Benjamin Franklin de Ramiz Galvão.

Another country that early achieved political stability was Chile, thanks largely to the enlightened conservatism of such statesmen as Diego Portales Palazuelos and Manuel Montt Torres. Its national library, reestablished by Bernardo O'Higgins in 1818, was remodelled on the latest French lines by Ramón Briseño Calderón (director 1864-1886). It also benefitted from the Nitrate War (Guerra del Pacífico) of 1879-1883. When the Chilean army took Lima in 1881, what had been the largest national library in Spanish America with over 150,000 volumes was sacked, 8,790 of the choicest items being carried back by the victors and added to their own national library in Santiago. Peru, incidentally, made valient efforts to create a new national library after the war, only to see it destroyed in the disastrous fire of May 10th, 1943.

Nineteenth century Chile was also notable for producing, in the person of José Toribio Medina, Latin America's greatest bibliogapher, a large part of whose life was spent travelling the Hispanic world to trace and record the extant productions of America's colonial presses.

Elsewhere the outlook for libraries and the preservation of their contents, rare and other, changed only toward the end of the century when political power was seized by a new generation of liberals. Firm, progessive government produced political stability and a modicum of economic prosperity. But these were a very different breed of liberals, putting Comtian order before Paynite liberty. Their anticlericalism encouraged them to imitate the Spain of the 1830s (and revolutionary France of a half-century earlier) in expropriating the wealth of the remaining religious orders, transferring their libraries to new or existing public institutions. The Mexican liberals who had confiscated the convent libraries in 1833, took over the other church libraries on their return to power in 1867. New G ranada (modern Colombia) closed its religious communities in l861. Venezuela expropriated its convent libraries in 1874. Costa Rica's "Liberal Laws" closed its convents in 1884. Countries like the Central American republics which had had no national libraries during the years of conservative ascendancy, instituted them as one of the first actions of the new liberal regimes. Typical was Marco Aure lio Soto's government in tiny, impoverished Honduras, which had achieved power in 1876. In 1880 he moved the national capital from traditionally conservative Comayagua to more progressive Tegucigalpa where he set up a national library, assigning it a thousand pesetas a year for its upkeep ("conservación y ensanche").

A hundred years later President Soto's enthusiasm was being contrasted with the current "calamitous state"11 of the same institution, an extreme illustration of the enormous importance of personalism in Latin American politics and the consequent inadequacy of institutional continuity, although it should be pointed out in mitigation that Honduras was then suffering both the economic depression of the early 1980s, and the turmoil resulting from its involvement in the United States' undeclared war with Nicaragua. This lack of institutional continuity applies to some extent even to the major countries of the region. In the 1960s President Illia secured the passage of legislation to give Argentina's National Library a badly needed new building, but subsequent administrations put the mandated construction at the bottom of their priorities and not until the advent of another President equally interested in the institution, Menem, was the project completed: in 1992, after almost thirty years. Brazil's National Library was moved into a magnificent new building in 1910, but, although never totally neglected, had so declined by 1981 that education minister Rubem Ludwig made its complete ph ysical reform one of the glories of his administration. Ten years later disinterest in all things cultural on the part of President Collor was temporarily starving it of staff and funds. In Chile, although the military junta who came to power in 1973 took immediate action to bring back Director Scarpa who had been forced to leave in May 1971 under political pressure from the Salvador Allende gove rnment, they so curtailed the library's funding that even the fabric of the building had to be allowed to deteriorate, with consequent rain damage to the bookstock.

An unfortunate consequence of this instability of Latin American libraries has been that the chance to acquire valuable private collections has often been lost. Not only have public institutions often lacked the funds to buy up private libraries on the deaths of their owners, even when sometimes offered the chance to acquire them well under market value, but those collectors wealthy enough to be able to donate their libraries have all too often chosen to give them to institutions in the developed world for their greater security. The splendid Oliveira Lima library, now at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, is a case in point. As recently as four years ago when I was visiting an impressive private library in a large South American city, the owner confessed to worry abou t its fate after his death. He feared donating it to any public institution precisely because of this lack of any guarantee of instituional continuity.

Even the concept of a special department for rare books is comparatively recent. The earliest instance may perhaps be the special Sala de Medina included when the National Library in Santiago de Chile was moved to its new building in 1925, to house the 60,000 volumes given it by the great bibliographer and bibliophile José Toribio Medina, despite tempting ($50,000 plus12) offers to buy the m (as a collection) from the Huntington, Harvard College, the Hispanic Society of America and the John Carter Brown Library. The Seção de Obras Raras in the Brazilian National Library was only opened in 1946. It now has eight catalogues to its credit, an excellently equipped conservation department and an on-going programme in cooperation with the Library of Congress to microfilm ba ckruns of all important Brazilian newspapers. In 1989 the National Library was able to issue a pamphlet Catálogos brasileiros de obras raras publicados por bibliotecas e instituições brasileiros listing 43 modern catalogues of rare books (plus a supplement of 21 library catalogues issued before 1900 and so of likely interest to the rare book researcher). That for the Má ;rio de Andrade Public Library of the City of São Paulo runs to 537 pages in its 1969 edition, and a 124 page supplement was issued in 1980. That of the state library of Rio Grande do Sul, issued in 1972, is 210 pages long.

Even better evidence of how things are changing is offered by the Department of Special Collections in the library of UNICAMP, the state university of Campinas, an institution located in a medium sized city two hours' drive from São Paulo with an emphasis on graduate programmes and research that has made it, in the mere quarter century since its foundation, one of the country's outstanding centers of higher education. The Department practically began with the purchase of the 10,000 volume private library of the historian Sérgio Buarque de Holanda in 1982, who had just died, and the appointment of a special curator, Sonia T. G. Dias da Silva. This acquisition was at the time the subject of heated debate, with many objectors arguing that it would be better to sell it to some North American institution, precisely because it would be safer and better cared for there.13 UNICAMP has subsequently acquired the libraries of the physician Aristides Cândido de Mello e Souza, the expatriate American historian Peter Eisenberg, the essayist and professor of Portuguese Alexandre Eurlalio Pimenta da Cunha and the sociologist José Albertino Rodrigues, and in 1989 the university library moved into new five-story premises of 12,000 m2 (130,000 square feet), "worthy of the Developed World," with an entire floor set aside for the Diretoria de Coleções Especiais. More importantly, the publicity attendant upon the original acquisition of the Sérgio Buarque de Holanda library made the nation aware of the need to keep such collections in Brazil and make them available to Brazilian researchers and the public generally. Since then universities, municipalities, banks, and private institutions have acquired and opened to the public libraries such as those of the sociologist Gilberto Freyre, writer and physician Pedro Nava, novelist Orígenes Lessa, critic and diplomat José Guilherme Merquior, publisher José Olympio Perei ra Filho and journalist-politician Carlos Lacerda.

Donors of personal libraries are eager that the receiving libray should keep them together as an entity. Those who offer such libraries for sale seek the simplicity of a single transaction. Libraries that would prefer to build their collections more gradually and systematically are hampered by the limitations of the antiquarian booktrade within Latin America, and by the monetary and other obstacl es to purchasing in the international market.14

There remains yet one other aspect of collecting rare Latin-americana that makes it expensive for any library: the cost of preservation. In the 1820s one of Brazil's two new law schools was located in São Paulo instead of the then capital, Rio de Janeiro, because (it was said) being above the coastal escarpment provided a climate more suited to books: cooler, drier and with less insect lif e. Air conditioning can now modify a library's internal climate wherever it be situated, but the introduction of machine-made paper in the early 19th century has introduced a more insidious obstacle to preservation. As long as Latin American publishers used imported paper this problem, although by no means one to be ignored, was no worse than that of books published elsewhere. But various reasons , notably a lack of foreign exchange at different periods (during the depression of the 1930s for example), have often obliged publishers to print their books on very poor quality paper indeed. That quality nowadays is generally much improved, but it cannot be considered satisfactory for works that libraries will want to retain permanently until it becomes commercially feasible for the Latin Amer ican booktrade to adopt acid free paper for such works. Most important of all, Latin America cannot rely on the developed world's libraries to preserve their cultural heritage for them, precisely because, although aware of the problem, librarians in Europe and North America do not, in my opinion, have the resources to treat retrospectively all but a small proportion of their holdings of Latin Ame rican imprints on brittle paper.14


1 Alamiro de Ávila Martel, "Los libros y la imprenta en la Castilla de Isabel la Católica, 1474 1504", Boletín de la Academia Chilena de la Historia 96:155-166 1985.

2 Clive Griffin, The Crombergers of Seville: the history of a printing and merchant dynasty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.

3 Irving Leonard, Books of the brave, being an account of books and men in the Spanish conquest and settlement of the sixteenth century New World. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949.

4 Ernesto de la Torre Villar, "El libro belga en México," Boletín del Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas 10:9-15 July/December 1973.

5 See, for instance:

Alfredo de Micheli, "Corrientes de cultura entre Italia y la Nueva España", Revista de la Universidad de México 314/5:89-93 December 1976/January 1977;
Antonio Peconi, "Libri e stampatori italiani nella Nuova Spagna nel secolo XVI", Quaderni iberoamericani 751/52:164-170 June/December 197.8

6 The Cromberger's Mexican printer, Brescia native Giovanni Paoli Juan Pablos, may have been preceeded by one Esteban Martín, see: Guadalupe Curiel and Arturo Gómez Camacho, "450 años de imprenta en México", Universidad de México 45467:36-42 December 1989.

7 Teodoro Hampe Martínez, "La biblioteca del arzobispo Hernando Arias de Ugarte: bagaje intelectual de un prelado criollo, 1614", Thesaurus 422:337-361 Bogotá, May/August 1987. See also his "La discusión de libros e ideas en el Perú colonial: análisis de bibliotecas particulares siglo XVI", Bulletin hispanique 891/4:55-84 January/December 1987.

8 A 188-item bibliography on libraries and the book trade in colonial Spanish America is contained in:

Agustín Millares Carlo, "Bibliotecas y difusión del libro en Hispanoamérica colonial: intento bibliográfico," Boletín histórico 822:25-72 Caracas: January 1970.

9 For a different view, maintaining that the suppression of contraband was largely effective, see:

Stephen C. Mohler, "Publishing in colonial Spanish America: an overview," Inter-American review of bibliography 283:259-273 1978.

10 Rubens Borba de Moraes, Livros e bibliotecas no Brasil colonial. Rio de Janeiro: Livros Técnicos e Científicos, 1979.

11 Seisfredo Infante, "Nuestra Biblioteca Nacional es un lamento" in his El libro en Honduras. Tegucigalpa: Editorial Universitaria, 1993.

12 1925 dollars, with a purchasing power at least ten times as much in 1994 money!

13 Vera Cristina Neumann, "Bibliotecas particulares de intelectuais brasileiros: um tesouro desconhecido", paper presented at the 39th Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials SALALM, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 29th-June 2nd, 1994.

14 See:

Sonia T. Dias Gonçalves da Silva and Sandra Lane, "Uma política de serviços para livros raros em bibliotecas universitárias" in Anais do Sexto Seminário Nacional de Bibliotecas Universitárias, Belém PA, 1990: vol.1, 119-127; and, Alfredo Breitfeld, "The Antiquarian book market in Latin America," AB: Antiquarian bookman September 8, 1986:799.

15 For a discussion of the acidity of Latin American book papers, see:

Mary Noonan, "Book preservation and conservation in the Latin American collection" in Caribbean collections: recession management strategies for libraries; papers of the 32nd annual meeting of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials.../18th conference of the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries, Miami, May 1987. Mina Jane Grothey, ed itor. Madison: SALALM Secretariat, 1988 143 156.