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This collection provides firsthand documentation on the social, political, and economic conditions in Latin America from the 17th to the early 20th century. The pamphlets offer a vivid picture of life in Latin America for 300 years. These turbulent times come alive in original reports and personal accounts, government records, economic reports, histories, biographies, political broadsides, scholarly theses, speeches by religious and civic leaders, and even playbills. The pamphlets were acquired from such diverse sources as auctions, antiquarian collectors, and individual donors. Mexico is the topic of the largest portion of pamphlets-6,060 titles, most of them acquired from Henry R. Wagner early in the 1900s. Many focus on the independence movements of the years 1810 to 1821. Peru is the focus of 1,936 titles, many of them now unique since a fire at the turn of the century destroyed the similar set belonging to the Peruvian government. This collection was donated in 1920 by Hiram Bingham, discoverer of the Incan cities Vitcos and Machu Picchu. The third segment of the collection includes many other Central and South American countries, with Chile (425 titles), Bolivia (226), Venezuela (188), Colombia (169), and Brazil (123) among the countries represented.

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