Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Latin American mss. Ecuador, 1546-1866, are especially strong in the period of the wars of independence, 1809-1830. Materials relating to this include reports and records of both the Spanish and the patriot armies, involving Ecuadorians, Venezuelans, and Colombians. Of the several Simon Bolivar items in the collection, the most interesting is his letter to Jose de San Martin, written the day before their famous meeting at Guayaquil in 1822. There is also extensive correspondence from the patriot leaders Antonio Jose de Sucre, Francisco de Paula Santander, and Jose Joaquin de Olmedo y Maruri.

Two nineteenth century accounting books; Francisco Jose de Caldas y Tenorio's Relacion de un viaje...containing information on the natural history of Ecuador; correspondence to and from Manuela Saenz; the 1861 constitution of Ecuador by Gabriel Garcia Moreno; and powers of attorney ranging from 1546 to 1815 are all in the collection.

Of major importance are the archives of the archbishopric of Quito. These are contained in twenty-three volumes bound in vellum and one oversize folder, comprising in excess of 8,000 leaves from the seventeenth century to the Independence period. Much of the material is correspondence from the viceroys at Lima, and later the viceroys at Bogota. In addition to the manuscripts, the volumes also contain about 800 pieces of printed material, chiefly royal cedulas and papal bulls, among them some unknown and undescribed early Lima and Bogota imprints.

In the volume lettered Cedulario del Illmo. Sr. Don Blas Sobrino y Minayo del ano de 1770-1779, there is a broadside beginning "El Rey. Don Pedro de Ureta Oficial Primero de la contaduria principal ..." (Cartagena), March 11, 1772. This almost certainly establishes the fact of printing in Cartagena in that year, a fact long suspected but never proven.

In the volume number 14 is the "Acta de Federacion de las Provincias Unidas de la Nueva Granada ..." Bogota, 1812. This is perhaps the most important single printed piece in the entire archives, as it has the first real declaration of independence from Spain by the Spanish colonists in South America. There is no other known copy in the United States. This has been described by Eduardo Posada in his Bibliografia bogotana, Bogota, Imprenta Nacional, 1917-1925, in Volume II, item 1281 (Lilly Z1754 .B7 P8).

Correspondents in the collection are Manuel de Arredondo; Melchor de Aymerich; Simon Bolivar; Bartolome Cucalon y Villamayor Vera y Garzes; Cuenca, Ecuador (City) Cabildo; Juan Jose Flores; Jose Garcia de Leon y Pizarro; Jose Garcia Moreno; Jacobo Gomez; Tomas de Heres; Jose de Lamar y Cortazar; Jose Maria de Landa y Ramirez; Jose Modesto Larrea; Juan Larrea; Jose Antonio de Lavalle y Cortes, conde de Premio Real; Alexandro Lucena; Juan Manuel Mendiburu y Medrano; Bernardo Monteagudo; Jose Joaquin de Olmedo y Maruri; Santiago Orejuela; Mariano Osorio; Fernando de Paredes y Casarola; Joaquin de la Pezuela y Sanchez Munoz de Velasco; Vicente Rocafuerte; Manuela Saenz; Andres Santa Cruz; Francisco de Paula Santander; Pedro Sanz; and Antonio Jose de Sucre.

An Inventory is available

Collection size: 209 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.