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Hans P. Kraus Collection

Documents relating to colonial Spanish America

In 1969 Hans P. Kraus, New York publisher and rare book dealer, presented to the Library of Congress a collection of 162 manuscripts relating to the history of Spanish America during the colonial period, 1492 to 1819. Focusing on colonial Mexico, the Kraus Collection brings together material on exploration, government, activities of the Inquisition, taxation and economic conditions, relations with the Indians and the French, and the impending loss of land to Anglo-American settlers. From the archives begun by Juan de Zumárraga, first bishop of Mexico, there are royal decrees and related papers dating from 1527 to 1660 that include the signatures of Emperor Charles V, his wife Isabella of Portugal, their children King Philip II and Juana, and Cardinal García de Loaysa. Another set of documents pertains to the sixteenth-century civil administration of the Spanish Indies and throws light on the preparation of the New Laws of 1542 and the career of Bartolomé de Las Casas. The Kraus Collection also contains material on various aspects of the viceregal administration, items concerning the history of Spanish Florida, Tezozomoc's chronicle on the history of the Aztecs, and manuscripts describing the explorations of Amerigo Vespucci, Giovanni da Verrazzano, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Pedro de Ursúa, and Lope de Aguirre. A published catalog complete with name, place, and chronological indexes describes and summarizes documents in the collection. The Kraus Collection has been microfilmed and is available for researchers to consult in the Manuscript Reading Room. Additional reference information may also be found in the Hispanic Reading Room.

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, 70-955, Washington, Library of Congress.

U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, "Acquisition Notes," U.S. Library of Congress Information Bulletin, v. 29, January 22, 1970: 29-31.

U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Hans P. Kraus Collection of Hispanic American Manuscripts: A Guide (Washington: Library of Congress, 1974. 187 p. Z6621.U58K7), by J. Benedict Warren.

U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, "Recent Acquisitions of the Manuscript Division: Private Papers of Public Men," U.S. Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, v. 27, October 1970: 349-352.

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  October 14, 2010
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