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.