Published in Collaboration with the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of ArtPrior to the arrival of Europeans in the first half of the sixteenth century, Andean peoples had no tradition of writing. For this reason, texts written by early modern European chroniclers and later Andean authors are a critical source of information on the Andes. This landmark three-volume reference work inventories the principal sources useful for the study of the region—particularly its Prehispanic and vice-regal cultures—covering relevant texts from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. With written contributions by 122 scholars from nineteen countries and amply illustrated with drawings, engravings, photographs, and maps, the Guide offers new perspectives on key works and reflects substantial changes in historical and cultural studies of the past fifty years.
The first volume contains twenty-nine essays about the origin and nature of the sources, focusing on recent research and interpretations. The subjects covered range from Andean knotted-string records and colonial bookmaking to legal affairs and natural history. The essays also address topics relatively new to Andean studies, such as popular drama, travel accounts, and the influence of the classical tradition in the Andes.
Volumes 2 and 3 list specific authors alphabetically and discuss their texts. The entries contain such information as biographical data, locations of manuscripts, publication history, translations, and references to secondary literature.
The Guide is an indispensable research tool for scholars and students of pre-Columbian and colonial Andean studies, particularly in anthropology, archaeology, religious studies, history, and art history. It underscores the cultural complexities of the European presence in the Andean region and helps readers gain a deeper understanding of the varied purposes and perspectives of these records.