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Collection of original manuscripts and transcriptions of manuscripts from Central America, particularly southern Mexico and Guatemala, collected and written by C. Hermann Berendt in the third quarter of the 19th century and acquired and expanded by Daniel Garrison Brinton in the fourth quarter of the 19th century
The collection focuses on the indigenous peoples of the region, particularly their languages, the majority of which are in the family of Mayan languages. Most of the manuscripts are explicitly linguistic works such as grammars, vocabularies, and dictionaries, but the collection also includes religious and historical works and ethnographic notes about Indian communities.
The Library focuses on the history of the Catholic Church with a special interest in the institutional, legal, and ecclesiastical bases of Church organization and governance during these periods and, most especially, the Inquisition in Europe and Spanish America.
The Sydney S. Keil Collection of Latin Americana contains broadsides and other printed material from Latin America dating from the 17th to 19th centuries with the majority dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries.
The majority of these items were printed in Mexico, but the collection also includes material printed in Spain, Peru, and Colombia. The collection is particularly strong in printed novenas and other devotional work, as well as government decrees and laws.