Hans P. Kraus Collection
Documents relating to colonial Spanish America
In 1969 Hans P. Kraus, New York publisher and rare book dealer,
presented to the Library of Congress a collection of 162 manuscripts
relating to the history of Spanish America during the colonial
period, 1492 to 1819. Focusing on colonial Mexico, the Kraus Collection
brings together material on exploration, government, activities
of the Inquisition, taxation and economic conditions, relations
with the Indians and the French, and the impending loss of land
to Anglo-American settlers. From the archives begun by Juan de
Zumárraga, first bishop of Mexico, there are royal decrees
and related papers dating from 1527 to 1660 that include the signatures
of Emperor Charles V, his wife Isabella of Portugal, their children
King Philip II and Juana, and Cardinal García de Loaysa.
Another set of documents pertains to the sixteenth-century civil
administration of the Spanish Indies and throws light on the preparation
of the New Laws of 1542 and the career of Bartolomé de Las
Casas. The Kraus Collection also contains material on various aspects
of the viceregal administration, items concerning the history of
Spanish Florida, Tezozomoc's chronicle on the history of the Aztecs,
and manuscripts describing the explorations of Amerigo Vespucci,
Giovanni da Verrazzano, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca,
Pedro de Ursúa, and Lope de Aguirre. A published catalog
complete with name, place, and chronological indexes describes
and summarizes documents in the collection. The Kraus Collection
has been microfilmed and is available for researchers to consult
in the Manuscript Reading Room. Additional reference
information may also be found in the Hispanic Reading Room.
The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections,
70-955, Washington, Library of Congress.
U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, "Acquisition Notes," U.S.
Library of Congress Information Bulletin, v. 29, January
22, 1970: 29-31.
U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Hans P. Kraus
Collection of Hispanic American Manuscripts: A Guide (Washington:
Library of Congress, 1974. 187 p. Z6621.U58K7), by J. Benedict
U.S. Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, "Recent Acquisitions
of the Manuscript Division: Private Papers of Public Men," U.S.
Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, v. 27, October 1970: