The Library of Congress has the largest collection of Hispanic materials in the world, including rare items of Mexican origin. Next Thursday and Friday, the institution is hosting a special “Celebration of Mexico” to take a look at some of these items and to also honor Hispanic and Mexican heritage. As part of the celebration, several of the institution’s curators have highlighted a few of the Library’s most treasured artifacts in a series of brief webcasts.
Bartolomé de Las Casas is known throughout history for his stand on the rights of native Americans. The Library holds several of his writings in his collections, including this book to inform the Spanish Crown that officials and landowners in the New World were behaving cruelly toward their indigenous subjects and to plead for redress. His book had an enormous impact, prompting Emperor Charles V to recognize the humanity of indigenous peoples and to issue the New Laws of the Indies in 1542, ending the absolute power of individual Spaniards.
Library of Congress Hispanic Division specialist Barbara Tenenbaum shares insights into the history of the early Americas and Dominican priest and social reformer Bartolomé de las Casas.
“A Celebration of Mexico,” a two-day conference and accompanying display at the Library of Congress, will open on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a popular national holiday in Mexico. For more information and more videos, visit the website.