A new collection of Spanish history books for the UL

Cambridge University Library is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of several hundred books on Spain’s early modern history. The collection was generously donated by Dr. I.A.A. Thompson, historian of early-modern Spain and author of Crown and cortes: government, institutions and representation in early-modern Castile (582:4.c.95.76), The Castilian crisis of the seventeenth century (582:56.c.95.81) and War and society in Habsburg Spain (582:4.c.95.74), amongst other bestselling titles.


A selection of the donated books

The collection features an extensive range of historical resources, including many printed primary sources, personal correspondence, government documents, diaries, biographies, material on the Spanish empire, and archives of particular regions. Most titles are in Spanish, with a small selection of books in French, Italian or Portuguese. This donation is especially welcome as it constitutes an important addition to the Library’s already strong holdings on Spanish history of the period.

Particularly interesting are a number titles containing the personal correspondence of kings and rulers. Two examples are Cartas del Emperador Carlos I a la ciudad de Barcelona (2015.9.2509) and Don Francés de Alava y Beamonte: correspondencia inédita de Felipe II con su embajador en París (1564-1570) (2015.9.2639).

Titles on Monarch Philip II, ruler of the Spanish Empire in the sixteenth century, also feature prominently. Philip II had control over Sardinia, Naples, The Netherlands, and the Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and in North and South America. In 1580, following the death of his grandfather King Manuel I of Portugal, he inherited his kingdom. Some representative titles include the three-volume set Historia de Felipe II, Rey de España (582:5.b.95.3(1-3)), Notas para una periodización del reinado de Felipe II (2015.7.996) and La monarquía de Felipe II a debate (582:5.c.200.27).

However, the collection is strongest for material on local and regional history of Spain for the period spanning from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. The enormous diversity of the country is reflected in the wide range of Spanish regions featuring amongst the material, notably Aragón, Catalonia, Castile and Galicia. Many smaller towns across Spain are equally well represented.

Below is a random selection of titles with a strong local or regional focus:

La “invasión” de Aragón en 1591, by Manuel Gracia Rivas (9002.b.1529)

Juntas del Reino de Galicia by E. Fernández-Villamil (2015.9.2555-2557)

Historia de Tordesillas by Eleuterio Fernández Torres (2015.9.2511)

San Sebastián y la provincia de Guipúzcoa durante la guerra de las Comunidades (1520-1521) (2015.9.2507).

El Condado de Benavente en el siglo XV, by Isabel Beceiro Pita (2015.9.2508)

Las alteraciones de Teruel, Albarracín y sus comunidades en defensa de sus fueros durante el siglo XVI, by Martín Almagro Basch (2015.9.2597)

A provenance note has been added to each record so that the collection can be easily traced on the Library’s catalogue. A keyword search for “library” and “I.A.A. Thompson” will bring up all records processed so far. Cataloguing is in progress and should be completed by the end of 2016.

Sonia Morcillo.

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