“Mapping Pliegos” : a collaborative project of Spanish chapbooks

A new online resource for the study of Spanish chapbooks has been made available to researchers. The recently launched Mapping Pliegos portal provides access to 7,000 Spanish chapbooks from the 19th and 20th centuries held in major collections in Spain and in the UK.

Mapping Pliegos” started in 2014 as a Digital Humanities interdisciplinary project with the aim of creating a union catalogue of Spanish chapbooks held in Spain and abroad. Catalogue records have been linked to digitized images of the chapbooks from participant institutions. The portal provides direct links to digitized collections of chapbooks in several Spanish libraries (including Biblioteca de Castilla y León, Biblioteca Valenciana, Biblioteca Tomás Navarro y Tomás (CCHS-CSIC) and Biblioteca de Catalunya) as well as Cambridge University Library and The British Library.

The portal also contains a section of academic studies, links to digital libraries of cordel literature worldwide, a specialized bibliography, a Pinterest image gallery and an introduction and a description of the project. Work on the portal is ongoing.

Cambridge University Library holds an important collection of Spanish chapbooks. A number of these have been catalogued and digitized and are available via the Cambridge Digital Library. The Library also holds a collection of some 1,850 Spanish comedias (plays). The cataloguing of these is currently under way. Click here to view items processed to date.

The Hisp collection of Spanish books also contains an important number of Spanish plays, as described by A.J.C. Bainton in Comedias sueltas in Cambridge University Library: a descriptive catalogue (1977) and in The Edward M. Wilson collection of comedias sueltas in Cambridge University Library (1987; supplementary volume; books not in Hisp).

At the University Library we continue to strengthen our collections of Spanish chapbooks with the acquisition of major works of research and, subject to available funds, individual chapbooks. Some research titles acquired in recent years include:

Palabras para el pueblo (2000-2001) edited by Luis Díaz G. Viana. 2 vols.

Romances con acento andaluz (2012) by Inmaculada Casas Delgado

Pliegos de cordel y romances de ciego durante el Romanticismo (2011) by Montserrat Contreras Íñiguez

Historia de la edición y de la lectura en España, 1472-1914 (2003) edited by Víctor Infantes, Francisco López and Jean-François Botrel

Menudencias de imprenta (2015) by Juan Gomis Coloma

El libro español en Londres (2016) edited by Nicolás Bas Martín and Barry Taylor

Panorama de la literatura de cordel española (2000) by Francisco Mendoza Díaz-Maroto

Numerous interdisciplinary studies of popular literature and culture have been published since the turn of the 20th century. The following titles provide interesting insights into the study of popular Spanish literature and culture within a European context (all are available electronically to registered Cambridge users):

Popular culture in Early Modern Europe (1978) by Peter Burke (available electronically via ACLS Humanities E-Book)

News networks in early modern Europe (2016), edited by Joad Raymond and Noah Moxham (available electronically via Brillonline Open Access Books and DOAB)

Spain in the nineteenth century (2018) edited by Andrew Ginger & Geraldine Lawless (available electronically via JSTOR Books)

Crossing borders crossing cultures: popular print in Europe (1450-1900) (2019), edited by Massimo Rospocher, Jeroen Salman and Hannu Salmi (available electronically via de Gruyter Ebooks Complete)

Sonia Morcillo

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