External id:

Manager Email: dsears@illinois.edu

Owner Email: dsears@illinois.edu

Start Date: 2016-02-26

Status: completed


1.Description of the Project and its Significance

The University of Illinois Library requests one year’s funding of $XXX,XXX for a project that will make accessible an important collection of eighteenth century Peruvian letters and develop a research portal to support further research on the Andean region. This project consists of two interrelated digitization works, one to create and provide digital access to a collection of Spanish-American letters, and the other the development of comprehensive virtual research reference portal to extend the library’s International Reference Service to Latin America. The first part of the project intends to digitize a collection of letters belonging to the family of the Count of Montemar, Diego José Carrillo de Albornoz y Bravo de Lagunas. The letters, of which we have approximately 300, were written between 1761 and 1799, mainly by one of the Count’s brother Pedro Carrillo de Albornoz y Bravo de Lagunas, but some by another brother, Fernando Carrillo de Albornoz y Bravo de Lagunas, and their brother-in-law Francisco Manrique de Lara. This family was one of the wealthiest and most prestigious in all of the Viceroyalty of Peru, and in the Royal Court in Madrid, Spain. Therefore, the letters present an invaluable treasure to study one of the leading noble families of the Spanish Empire of the late eighteen century. The importance of the letters relies in that they provide a close and unfiltered look in to the life and politics of the elite classes of a declining Spanish Empire. The letters’ topics include the intimate communication of familial matters, vice-royal politics, the church, Indian affairs, and economic activity. In a time of integral changes and reforms at the core of Spanish imperial and colonial systems, the letters, largely unused, represent a fresh source to study the dawn of the once mighty Spanish Empire. Due to the variety of topics covered in the letters, we foresee they could be useful to a wide number of researchers including several sub-disciplines of history such as political, culture, economic, and social, in to addition of being of interest to scholars in the different humanistic disciplines with interest in colonial times.

The second part of the project will comprise the development of comprehensive online research resources and guides related to the region of the Andes, which we will call the Virtual Andean Resources Portal (VARP). The VARP will not only list different resources, archives, and/or collections, but they will also be annotated, describing their content, how to access them, and any other useful information for researchers. This VARP will be developed simultaneously to the digitization project, and will organize the primary and secondary material from the superb collection of Andes material at the Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Following the established model of international reference materials at Illinois, VARP will be global in scope, and will include resources on the Andes available at other research institutions, private and public archives, museums, and governmental and non-governmental agencies, including the Peruvian Archives. VARP will be organized and made public in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies library collection website. Such guides will vary in the way the present material, having guides by topic (economy, politics, culture, gender, race, ethnicity, etc), sub-region (Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, etc.), and chronology (1760s, 1770s, 1780s, 1790s).