ProQuest Launches Central American Archives
Microform combined with digital guide speeds access and searching
ANN ARBOR, Mich., February 14, 2006 - ProQuest Information and Learning published Central American Archives, making the most comprehensive collection of archival colonial materials on Spanish rule of Central America available in the United States for the first time. The collection is published in microfilm and accompanied by a unique web-based index and the innovative ST200 digital viewer/scanner, a computer peripheral that makes it possible to view microfilm directly on a PC workstation. The technology speeds searches and allows researchers to store and share documents electronically.
Central American Archives encompasses six million pages of original primary source documents (many of which are the only existing copy) spanning more than three centuries from 1519 to 1898 -- and document Spanish rule in the New World from the capital city of Antigua, Guatemala. In addition to Guatemala, the collection documents all aspects of commerce, politics, and development throughout El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Yucatan and Chiapas regions of Mexico. Central American Archives is a rich resource for Latin American, Central American, and Spanish studies. Researchers will find a unique view of the colonial history of the region as well as the framework underlying the political, economic, and social history of contemporary Central America. Original legal documents, diplomatic dispatches, confidential communiqués, invoices, confidential letters, criminal records, edicts of the central government and other previously unavailable material are preserved on microform, and searchable through the online guide. The guide allows online searching of the collection’s entire contents using keywords, search parameters such as date ranges, geographic specifications, or more than 500 subject search terms in both English and Spanish. Search results direct users to further information about queried documents, including their reel location. With the ST200 digital microfilm viewer, researchers can share images from the microfilm, e-mail them over the internet or save them to a hard drive or LAN.
Central American Archives is published by ProQuest’s UMI® unit in cooperation with the Archivo General de Centro América (General Archive of Central America), under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports in Guatemala City, and with McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. It documents the conquest, colonization and governance of Central America and draws from the riches of the Archivo General in Guatemala City -- the Guatemalan equivalent of the National Archives of Washington D.C.
"Central American Archives represents a valuable, unique testament to Spanish rule in the captaincy-general of Central America," said Graham R. Hill, University Librarian at McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario. "The preservation of these documents and increased access to them is an important step for scholars of Latin American history."
For more information about Central American Archives visit on the Web at http://www.il.proquest.com/promos/product/feature05_umi.shtml or call 800-521-0600, ext. 2793.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.