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Women’s Magazines and Fashion in 19th Century Spain – A Snapshot of the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers Collection

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In 2009 I wrote my first Item of the Month regarding our holdings of Spanish women fashion magazines and our intention to digitize a selection of the collection to increase its access. Two years later we have completed this project successfully. Today many researchers from Spain have been downloading these unique titles. In the last two years some titles have been downloaded over 1,000 times! This numbers showcases the great popularity that this project have generated. We are proud to have made accessible this cultural heritage of the people of Spain and open up the opportunity to many other users (such as Spanish language teachers, women studies scholars, etc.) to experience these outstanding titles.

Below I am re-posting the information I wrote in 2009 with update information regarding where to find these digitized titles. Enjoy!

Marisol Ramos
Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections

Archival collections are fascinating not only for their content but for the context of their creation and acquisition. The Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers is no exception. This unique collection of Spanish magazines and newspapers is just a tiny part of the huge book and periodical collection that was assembled by renowned Spanish bibliophile Juan Perez de Guzman y Boza, Duque de T’ Serclaes. Born in 1852 in the town of Jerez de los Caballeros, the Duke was well known by antiquarian booksellers in Spain for his exquisite taste and voracious appetite for all types of Spanish books and publications. His ability to find and acquire unique and rare materials was legendary and it was not uncommon to find specialized bibliographies of Spanish materials citing that the only copy available was in the hands of the Duke*. Toward the end of his life, the Duke collection was in deposit at the National Library in Spain, but after his death in 1934, his collection was sold in lots by his heirs. In the 1970s the Special Collections Department at the Wilbur Cross Library (the predecessor to Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center) acquired this collection of periodicals and newspaper through H.P. Kraus Periodicals.

Today, this collection is housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. The variety of magazines and newspapers amassed by the Duke of T’ Serclaes include a great variety of literary magazines, general interest magazines (literature, sciences, and politics), religion, women and fashion magazines, and other subjects. The collection spans three centuries (18th to early 20th century) of Spanish life, culture and politics. The bulk of the collection falls between the 1800-1840, which reflects major events in history of Spain (the Napoleonic period and the Wars of Independence in Spain).

Of great interest is the wide selection of women magazines written by men to appeal to a female elite audience. Ranging from literary and general interest magazines, full of short historical stories, poems, and good advice for both men and women about the proper behavior of ladies at any age, to beautiful colored and engraved fashion magazines with the latest news of Paris fashion, with music sheets of polkas and other music specifically composed for the magazines and patterns for needlework, these magazines are a window to understand the Romantic Period in Spain.

A selection of these women magazines (20 titles) were digitized in 2010 and now available through the Internet Archives. To see the complete listing of title digitized visit, http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/collections/spanwomen.htm

For more information regarding the Spanish Periodicals and Newspaper Collection, contact Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.

*See Hartzenbusch, D. Eugenio. Apuntes para un catalogo de periódicos madrilenos desde el año 1661 al 1870 and Gomez Imaz, Manuel. Los periódicos durante la Guerra de la Independencia (1808-1814).

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Las Hijas de Eva, Puerto Rican women magazine

An issue of Las Hijas de Eva, Semanario consagrado al bello sexo: Literatura, Música, Teatro, Noticias, Modas y Anuncios.

The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center through the years has developed  a very unique collection of Latin American and Caribbean materials that support the research of the Latin American and Caribbean studies program on campus. One of the collecting areas has been on Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rican Collection consists of two different acquisitions– the Geigel family library and the Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents. The Geigel family library, which is the core of the Puerto Rican Collection,  includes over 2,000 volumes of books, pamphlets, government documents (mainly from the US government) and some periodicals, that document the social, economic, political and literary history of Puerto Rico during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

The collection was acquired from the Geigel Family from Puerto Rico in the early 1980s by the recommendation of the then UConn history professor Dr. Francisco Scarano. Owed privately by Doña Luisa Geigel de Gandía, resident of Santurce (San Juan, Puerto Rico), this library represents the collecting efforts of three generations of Geigel family members.

Geroglífico

A pictorial riddle

The collections time span covers from 1800 – 1977 but the bulk of the collection is from 1850-1950. The collection includes many first editions of literary books and rare printing of newspapers and magazines from the late 19th century.

For the item of the month, I am showcasing a very unique title, the periodical Las Hijas de Eva (1880), a late 19th century women magazine edited by many well-known Puerto Rican writers and intellectuals, both men and women, such as Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Lola Rodríguez de Tío, Manuel Tavárez, etc… The magazine followed the same stylistic format found in 19th century Spanish women magazines  and it was digitized as part of a bigger project, the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers: Women’s Magazine Digital Collection. What make this magazine unique is the fact that it had many women contributors writing articles and poetry which was unusual in late 19th century Puerto Rican society. This weekly magazine includes articles (written by men and women authors), poems, travel accounts and word games and puzzles.

Salto de Caballo--crossword game

Another type of word game, Salto de Caballo.

To find the books and periodicals in the Puerto Rican Collection, you can search for individual titles using the UConn Library catalog HOMER.

For further information about these materials, contact Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.   More information about the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and using the archival collections can be found here.

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