This exhibition draws on the John Carter Brown Library's unparalleled collection of Spanish American imprints to celebrate the 475th anniversary of the introduction of printing to the Americas. The subject is vast, and there are many opportunities for original research that have yet to be explored. The progress of the press from Mexico City in 1539, to Lima in 1584, and then elsewhere throughout Spanish America, is represented in the MacMillan Reading Room simply by two early examples from these cities. Instead, the exhibition addresses topics such as the printing houses and printing presses; paper, ink, and type; the often-anonymous apprentices and journeymen; bookbinding, and more. Illustrated with examples drawn from the John Carter Brown collection, these are supplemented by materials on loan from the Providence Public Library, and surrogates of materials from the Nettie Lee Benson Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, and Mexico's National Archive. The generosity of these institutions is warmly acknowledged.


This exhibition was curated by Kenneth C. Ward.