GKS 2232 4º: Guaman Poma, Nueva corónica y buen gobierno (1615)

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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in UNESCO's "Memory of the World" list, it was stated that, due to the delicate physical condition of this unique historical document and the need for its preservation, "any kind of use or display etc.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:

  • Rolena Adorno, 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 house Siglo Veintiuno Editores , 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 recent scholarship: Guaman Poma and His Illustrated Chronicle from Colonial Peru , by 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 kb@kb.dk

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
The Royal Library
Box 2149
1016 Copenhagen K

May 2001 (e-mail changes in April 2023)