Digitizing Guaman Poma's Nueva corónica y buen gobierno
About the project
When the Royal Library of Denmark, in May 1997, nominated the
autograph manuscript of Guaman Poma’s Nueva
corónica y buen gobierno (Gl. kgl. S. 2232, 4º) for
inclusion in UNESCO's "Memory of the World" list, it was stated
that, due to the delicate physical condition of this unique
historical document and the need for its preservation, "any kind
of use or display etc. is prohibited." Since none of the existing
facsimile editions, beginning with the Paris facsimile of 1936,
complied with modern standards of reproduction, it was likewise
stated that "digitization is under consideration."
The Department of Manuscript and Rare Books initiated a
digitization program in 1998. After two years of experiments,
resulting in the publication on the Internet of approximately 35 digital
facsimiles (ca. 5000 pages) of manuscripts of varying age and
complexity, it was decided, in September 2000, to go forward with
the present project.
The autograph manuscript of Guaman Poma consists of nearly 1200
pages, including 398 full-page drawings. It was determined that
the text pages should be made readable and that it should be
possible to view (and print) the drawings in two sizes. Navigation
aids, indexes, and a list of drawings should make it possible to
browse through the manuscript or easily find particular pages or
drawings. Furthermore, the presentation throughout should be in
Spanish and in English.
Finally, it was decided that high-resolution colour
diapositives of the drawings of Guaman Poma should be made ready
for purchase simultaneously with the opening of the website,
scheduled for May 2001.
The resulting website is the result of international cooperation:
Professor of Latin American Literature at Yale University,
agreed to act as scholarly consultant to the project. She
has, together with her research assistants John Charles and
Fernanda Macchi, as the project progressed, contributed to
the website with a number of very important enhancements: an
introductory Essay that includes a review of recent
scholarship about the author and his manuscript, a new Table
of contents of the whole manuscript, and a descriptive Table
of the 398 drawings.
Guadalupe Ortiz Elguea, General Manager of the publishing
, Mexico City, has agreed to allow the Indexes
of the critical edition of
Guaman Poma's work (Mexico City, 1980), to be reproduced in
the present Internet edition.
At the Royal Library, the digitization, design, and
implementation of the Internet edition has been carried out by
Bruno Svindborg, research librarian in the Manuscript
Department. Image control, enhancement, and storage was done by
Jørgen Byberg Hansen, assistant in the Department of
Digitization and Web Publishing, and Peter Nyboe Rasmussen,
IT-consultant in the same department, has been responsible for
the enhancements that had to be implemented for the present
project in the ORACLE application that was originally set up to
run the display of digital facsimiles of manuscripts on the
website of the Royal Library.
Ivan Boserup, Head of the Department of Manuscripts and Rare
Books, conceived the project and has been responsible for all
aspects of its direction and coordination.
In connection with the opening of the present website, the
Royal Library has published (in book-form) a bilingual
introduction to Guaman Poma and his work that includes a survey of
and His Illustrated Chronicle from Colonial Peru
Professor Rolena Adorno (Museum Tusculanum Press. University of
Copenhagen). It consists of Professor Adorno’s Essay
written for the present Internet edition, her transcription and
translation of Guaman Poma's letter to King Philip III of Spain
announcing the completion of his work, maps of Peru, and 15 colour
plates of selected drawings.
The Internet edition has been designed for a 17" monitor with
resolution 1024 x 768.
For comments on the project,
suggestions and criticism, please e-mail Svindborg (email@example.com)
Please note that
texts and images of this edition are copyrighted. Images may be
downloaded for personal use. Any professional or public use
requires prior permission of the publisher. Inquiries about
use and orders of the high quality images should be sent to:
Department of Manuscripts & Rare Books
1016 Copenhagen K