News & Updates
University of North CarolinaDateFebruary 7, 2021CategoryCollection update
Among academic libraries, the University of North Carolina has the largest holdings of comedias sueltas: more than 2,000 items. UNC’s collection of comedias sueltas was acquired over several decades with the last major addition occurring in 1949. These comedias sueltas are part of a larger grouping of Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan drama that includes the Teatro Español collection and the Tomás Borrás collection. In 1965, McKnight and Jones published A Catalogue of Comedias Sueltas in the Library of the University of North Carolina reflecting the pre-1834 holdings. This carefully prepared catalog, one of the first in the field, has served as a basic resource and a model for subsequent catalogs for many scholars and librarians.
The first iteration of our database listed just under 1,400 items, but in the last two years UNC has made a concerted effort to catalog their previously uncatalogued volumes, thereby adding circa 600 items. The collection is being digitized in its entirety and made available to Hispanists due to the many requests Wilson Library receives from scholars around the world.
Claudia Funke, former Curator of Rare Books at the Wilson Library, was first to arrange for the export of the original collection to us. Elizabeth Ott, her successor, continued to have a keen interest in this collection. During the summer of 2018, cataloguer Sarah Hoover, with the assistance of Mack Zalin, who was working towards his MLS degree at UNC and had a part-time position at Duke University, remediated many of the records to bring them up to current standards. We appreciate their invaluable support.
Two other collections that first appeared as printed catalogs are University of Texas at Austin and Smith College. We are grateful that the libraries saw to it that the paper volumes were converted to online versions. Both libraries exported XML reports to us that we were able to convert to Excel spreadsheets and upload with some modifications to our database.
Search StrategyDateFebruary 6, 2021CategoryBuilding the database
The briefest explanation of how we found comedias sueltas in academic libraries and independent research libraries around the country is that we executed FirstSearch searches in WorldCat. To expand on that a little more fully: Wikipedia defines WorldCat as “a union catalog that itemizes the collections of 17,900 libraries in 123 countries and territories.”
We took advantage of its FirstSearch function that allows for combining keywords (found in the caption titles of these plays—such as comedia, auto, loa, entremés, etc.), limited searches to Spanish language works, sought publications within the time period 1650 to 1833, and added the unique OCLC symbol of the library in question.
BibliographyDateFebruary 6, 2021CategoryBibliography update
The aim of the Bibliography within RESOURCES is to include all references pertinent to the larger subject of the website. These comprise the disciplines of literature and history of books and printing as they relate to comedias sueltas. Barbara Fuchs and Rhonda Sharrah of UCLA helped us enormously in gathering and preparing entries.
Cervantes VirtualDateFebruary 6, 2021CategoryBibliography update
The Catalogue of Comedias Sueltas in The New York Public Library, published by Bergman and Szmuk in 1980/81 (listed in Bibliography) has been fully digitized and is available on Cervantes Virtual:
Comedias Sueltas in The New York Public Library: Volume 1
Comedias Sueltas in The New York Public Library: Volume 2
A Fascinating Find at Biblioteca Nacional de España!DateFebruary 2, 2021Category
Scholars at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca and Universidad de Valladolid have discovered a hitherto unknown pirated edition of Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin venganza. What makes this one-of-a-kind so interesting is the ending, a first draft that was discarded by Lope de Vega in his manuscript of the work.
Click the link below for more information on this amazing find!
(In Spanish) Hallada una edición ilegal con un texto temprano de El castigo sin venganza