The incidence of XVth and XVIth centuries Italian printed books in libraries of colonial Mexico. A case of international book circulation and trade
César Manrique is a researcher in the field of book history in the early modern period at the Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas, a research center focusing on bibliographic studies at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). He holds a PhD from the University of Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven). His research focuses on the cultural exchanges established between the Low Countries and the Hispanic world between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as on the transatlantic book trade in the Spanish Atlantic, particularly, the European book circulation and consumption in colonial Mexico. His book on Flemish book circulation in New Spain is in the final stage of the editorial process and is forthcoming in Spanish.
The aim of this project is to gain an understanding of the early book trade circuits connecting the Italian urban centers with the Hispanic Monarchy. Particularly significant in this trade was the port of Seville, whence European books could be dispatched to Hispanic America. In fact, there are still hundreds of surviving materials published in the Italian city-states during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries which belonged to old colonial libraries in Mexico. These books were published in Venice, but also in other typographic centers such as Florence, Rome, Parma, Milan, Pavia, Cremona, Brescia, Mantua or Padua. This presence of Italian materials in colonial Mexican libraries reflects the vitality of the international book circulation during the early modern period and the global diffusion of Italian published materials. Thus, a central approach of this research is to determine the routes and the commercial agents and booksellers involved in the book trade established between cities like Venice, Genoa, Milano, Naples or Rome with Seville during the sixteenth century. This commercial configuration allowed for the transport of hundreds of Italian editions to New Spain using the so-called trade with the Indies or “Carrera de Indias.”