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Iberian, Latin American and Latino Resources
Special Collections

   John Hay Library

The John Hay Library houses materials requiring special handling and preservation, as well as large subject-oriented collections that are maintained as discrete units. The following collections pertain to Iberia, Latin America, and Latino literature. Click on the name of the collection to access more information.
  • Church Collection
    Consists of the personal library of Colonel George Earl Church, an engineer and explorer who worked throughout his life in Latin America. Acquired in 1912, it contains 3,500 volumes of economic, historical, geographic, and descriptive studies of Mexico, Central and South America. Perhaps the most important item in the collection is the 18th century manuscript history of Potosi, a Bolivian mining town, once the largest city in the New World. Materials on anthropology and Native American languages are also well represented.
  • Latin American Imprints before 1800, Selected from Bibliographies of Jose Toribio Medina, Microfilmed by Brown University
    A collection of 2,339 titles on 250 microfilm reels. The idea of acquiring film copies of selected titles in the collections of the Biblioteca Nacional de Santiago de Chile, the Biblioteca Nacional de Peru, and other South American libraries was developed during 1939 by Lawrence C. Wroth and Henry B. Van Hoesen. In 1940 a grant was obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation to carry out the program. Originally scheduled for three years, it was extended to five. That part of the plan calling for the filming of books in the Chilean library was accomplished. The filming of books in the Biblioteca Nacional de Peru had to be given up because of the unfortunate destruction of that library by fire. Preliminary arrangements had been made for carrying on the work in Mexico, but due to the scarcity of film and the difficulties of transportation brought about by World War II, this part of the project was finally given up in 1943. Cataloging of individual titles by the Library of Congress, in exchange for a positive copy of the films, was completed in 1945.
  • Paul R. Dupee Mexican History Collection
    With but one exception, the Dupee Collection's more than 340 books, broadsides, pamphlets, and periodicals were published after the Mexican republic secured its independence in 1821. Most are Spanish-language sources written by Mexican citizens and published in Mexico. The bulk of the materials falls into the period 1821-50, covering the first decades of Mexican independence and that nation's war with the United States. The collection's nearly 200 broadsides chronicle Mexican partisan politics, religious and anti-clerical debates, popular literature and drama, domestic revolutions and armed conflict with the United States.
  • Schirmer Collection on Anti-Imperialism
    The collection now numbers almost 950 titles dealing with the Anti-Imperialist movement of 1898 and its repercussions in United States, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Filipino history.
  • Thomas E. Skidmore Collection
    The collection consists of approximately 5,000 items donated to Brown University Library by Thomas E. Skidmore in April 2006 and it reflects over thirty years of collecting materials on Brazil and other areas of Latin America. Originally Skidmore's private library, the collection contains many rare Brazilian books on subjects related to race, nationalism, politics, economics, and Brazilian history.
  • Positivist Church of Brazil Pamphlet Collection
    The collection consists of 19th and early 20th century publications by the Positivist Church of Brazil (Igreja e Apostolado Pozitivista do Brasil) and contains approximately 265 items (mostly pamphlets and the Church’s newsletter – Boletim do Apostolado pozitivista do Brazil). Most items are in Portuguese, some are in French.
  • José Rodrigues Miguéis Archives
    The archives contain the personal papers and selected volumes from the private library of the late Portuguese writer. The collection includes drafts and typescripts of his writings, personal and professional correspondence, notebooks, postcards, diplomas, calendars, diaries, photographs, legal and medical documents, drawings, newspaper clippings, book reviews, and monographs.
  • Portuguese Angola and Cape Verde Islands Collection, 1690-1941
    This collection is comprised of Portuguese language manuscript materials documenting the settlement and colonization of Angola (1690-1790 and 1828-1941), and includes correspondence between the Bank of Lisbon and the Azores from 1930-1931 and documents from the Cape Verde Islands in the first half of the 19th century. Topics covered by the materials in the collection include governance and administration, population, public education, finances, history, agriculture, navigation and commerce, military affairs and related topics.
  • John Hay Manuscript Collection
    Contains papers, books, manuscripts related to United States political and economic involvement in Latin America during John Hay's tenure as Secretary of State.
  • Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection
    Contains works on the military history of each country in Latin America. The printed material is supplemented by many original watercolors depicting military events and regimented costume.
  • The Marsh Collection of Sheet Music
    Includes music from Cuba and other Latin American countries.
  • Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays
    Prior to 1945, Mexican and Latin American poetry, drama, and music were acquired regularly by the Harris Collection. At that time, Latin American and Mexican acquisitions were effectively curtailed, although some titles were sporadically added. In 1975, formal acquisitions by purchase for Latin American and Mexican materials for the Harris Collection ceased. Chicana/o and Puerto Rican poetry, drama, and music are still actively collected. Since many authors may move between regions and cultures, acquisitions decisions are based primarily on an evaluation of the writer's identification, rather than legal citizenship or residence. There are approximately 3,500 titles of Latin American, Chicana/o, and Puerto Rican literature in the Harris Collection.
  • The Incunabula Collection
    Housed at the John Hay Library, the Incunabula Collection belongs to the Annmary Brown Memorial and contains two works published by Juan Pablos, the first printer in the New World.

Top left: Original watercolor of an Inca (possibly Manco Capac) found in vol. 2 of Borrones: un recuerdo para la historia del Alto Perú. Undated. Church Collection. John Hay Library.

Bottom left: detail of "Masques de Tecunas. Scène de mascarade" from Brésil by M. Ferdinand Denis. Series L'univers: histoire et description de tous les peuples [D. Amérique, t. 1]. Paris: Firmin Didot frères, fils et cie., 1863. Church Collection. John Hay Library.

Bottom right: illustration by José Rodrigues Miguéis. José Rodrigues Miguéis Archives. John Hay Library.

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