Digital Archive of Colonial Latin America

Alex Borucki
UC Irvine

Juan Cobo Betancourt
UC Santa Barbara

Building on the University of California’s long trajectory of research and teaching on colonial and pre-Hispanic Latin America, and on the results of a large-scale effort to digitize the records of endangered archives in Colombia led by a UC Santa Barbara faculty member, this project proposes to take the first steps towards creating an interactive and collaborative digital archive of Latin America to consolidate the UC as the leading centre worldwide for the study, dissemination, and safeguarding of this material in the digital age. It will adapt and deploy the revolutionary digital platform BIA, created and made available to us by the Medici Archive Project, in Florence, Italy, to host and publish materials concerning the indigenous and African population of two key centers in early-modern Colombia and their interaction, treatment, and agency within colonial society. It will harness the extraordinary opportunities for the collaborative and interdisciplinary study of these materials provided by this platform and emerging technologies, alongside pedagogical tools to make them more accessible and relevant to researchers, students, and others. It will serve as the launchpad for new efforts to incorporate and study materials from other regions of Latin America of interest to UC faculty.