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The aim of the Bicentennial Latin American Independence Website is to accomplish one of the basic pillars of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte), which is to make accessible to the public the Historical Spanish Documentary Heritage as well as from the Spanish American countries.

The Spanish Archives Website (Portal de Archivos Españoles: PARES) of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports is an archival informative system from the states archives used as platform to develop diffusion projects. It is access-free to anyone interested in the descriptions and digital images of certain documents.

The Bicentennial Latin American Independence Website is a project held by the Archive Documentary Information Center (Centro de Información Documental de Archivos: CIDA) made with the purpose to honor the 200 years of the emancipation processes of the American countries that were once part of the Spanish Monarchy.

The emancipation process of the Latin American colonies and there constitution as independent republics, gave as a result a radical change in the Map of the New World. The Spanish Monarchy lost along the 19th Century the power over one of the biggest and richest empires of the world. In the first quarter of the century, a lot of territories were lost: Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Paraguay, Uruguay and La Florida. Saint-Domingue was lost in the mid century and at the end of it, the last overseas possessions: Cuba, Puerto Rico and Philippines.

To have a better understanding of the American colonies´ emancipation processes, the website has been made as it follows:

  • In order to find testimonial documents in relation to the process, we have selected those according to the following topics: immediate previous background of the independence, the institutional crisis that started the Peninsular War, the lost of the overseas territories due to the Spanish American independent movements, cession or sell. Some examples: La Florida and La Luisiana cases, the fight between Liberals and Absolutists, the acknowledgement of the New Nations and the Celebration of the First Centenary.

Progressively, new incorporations will be done once the process of selection, description and digitalization of documents about the independence movements of the Latin American Republics advances. Some of them are kept in other archives and public centers as well as private, but this process will enrich considerably the website.

The document browser is divided into three modules of advanced and simple research, as well as a digital inventory.

  • Along the HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, you will find a historical tour of the Latin American reality that starts from the Spanish settlement into the Continent until the different independent movements of the Latin American Republics. Since the purpose of the expository speech is to allow a better understanding of the events that took place, it is supported with digital documents from those events that are guarded at the States Archives. The historical tour is complemented with a chronology and a gallery as well as the biographies of the main leaders.
  • With the purpose to bring closer the archives to the society and specially, to a non-research public, a lot of EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES are presented so that the users can get to know the documents through study-aid units and games.
  • The DOCUMENT BROWSER contains descriptions about the American Independence processes that are kept at the Peninsular and Spanish American archives. The selected documentation that frames the browser, has been done based on the consultation of three data bases managed by the Cultural Department: Portal de Archivos Españoles PARES, Guide-Census of the Peninsular and Latin American Archives and the Sources Guide of the History of the Americas (Guía de Fuentes para la Historia de América: HAME).
  • Through the Simple Search browser the user can display all the documents that contain what is requested about texts, subjects as well as sorting by dates.
  • At the Advanced Search browser, you can adjust even more your research, allowing you to sort out by country, file and the other topics of the main categories from the documents descriptions.
  • The Digital Inventory allows you to surf along the multilevel structure of the holdings grid.

In the section MORE RESOURCES you will find a bibliography on this process that the CIDA´s Libraries Network and States Archives hold. There are also the catalogs that Pedro Torres Lanzas (Indies Archive Chief) made to commemorate the First Centenary, as well as other links and online resources related to the Independence.

CIDA is a member of the European Network for Information and Documentation in Latin America REDIAL (Red Europea de Información y Documentación sobre América Latina). With this website it fulfills a diffusion aim on Documentary Heritage of the two Atlantic banks, as well as it delivers a better knowledge of the Spanish common social and cultural roots with the Latin American countries