As a historian I have had the privilege of working in many different archives and libraries across North and South America and Europe. My research concentrates primarily on colonial New Spain (Mexico), so the major repositories I have visited are located in Mexico and the United States. The experiences I have had with these collections have always been as a researcher, but come this January (2018) I will be starting my Master of Library and Information Science at Western University with the goal of becoming an academic librarian. I am moving to the other side of the reference desk, so as I make this transition I want to reflect upon where I have been. The following library and archival aids and tips – what I am calling biblioteca – are an opportunity for me to share about my experiences with rare books and manuscripts, which I hope will be useful to new scholars in the making. In Spanish biblioteca has several related meanings, the two most common being a library (a place where books are housed) and a bibliographic catalogue (a list of works by writers on a given subject or from a particular region). My online biblioteca here provides viewers with a visual display of archives and libraries in bibliomochila, some advice on library fellowships, a few notes about the work of transcription, and several links to important archives, libraries, and other databases for those interested in the early modern Spanish world.


Card Catalogue

Engaging with Technology (Card Catalogues), Archivo General de Centro América, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2008. Photo by Cynthia Luz Manzo Guerrero.


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