Creating Contact: 300 Years of Colonial Manuscripts

June 18, 2013

"Creating Contact: 300 Years of Colonial Manuscripts," an exhibition using colonial era texts from the University Libraries' extensive Latin American collections, opens in the Herzstein Latin American Gallery on May 3 and runs through August 31, 2013.

Three UNM graduate students cooperated to create the exhibit. Pieces exhibited offer a sampling of mapping, illustrating and negotiating in pre-colonial and colonial Spanish America. All items are part of manuscript, microfilm, and digital collections available through the Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections (CSWR) and other University Libraries general and online collections.

Principal Curator: Jacobo Baca, PhD Candidate, History. Essay: "Systematic Negotiation: A Historical Perspective"

Contributor: Celina Cavalcanti-Bennett, Masters Candidate, Spanish and Portuguese. Essay: "Artifactual Evidence of Cultural Systems: A Literary Perspective"

Contributor: Molly Nelson, Masters Candidate, Latin American Studies/Art History Essay: "Mapping and Illustrating: An Art History Perspective"

Among the items featured are maps, illustrated manuscripts, petitions, testimonies, baptismal and census records, accounting logs and real estate and business transactions. Pieces from the Greenleaf, Scholes, Van de Velde, and Zacatecas manuscripts in the CSWR are featured. Digital images available through the NM Digital Collections, the World History Image Collection and World Scholar: Latin America & the Caribbean are also included. Books from the special and circulating collections and references from the Spanish Archives of New Mexico, The Archivo General de la Nación, Archivo General de las Indias, available in microfilm are part of the exhibit.

The exhibition is free and open to all. The Herzstein Latin American Gallery located on the second floor of Zimmerman Library and is open during regular library hours.

For information about any of these resources, please contact Suzanne M. Schadl (, Latin American Collections Curator.