Event—Center for Renaissance Studies

New Spain at the Newberry Library: Demystifying Colonial Documents from the Ayer Collection

The Edward E. Ayer Collection of rare books and manuscripts contained 4,000 rare colonial documents from New Spain when it was given to the Newberry Library in 1911. The rich materials represented the early contacts between American Indians and Europeans, including sermons and dictionaries in indigenous languages handwritten by priests and pictorial court documents created by indigenous artists that contested land holdings in the Valley of Mexico. This one-day workshop will use the Ayer Collection and its history to discuss the historical migration of books in the global market. The workshop will also allow graduate students an opportunity to consult rare documents in the collection by learning how to read, contextualize, and interpret them.

Learn more about the instructors, Claudia Brittenham and Seonaid Valiant.