Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature and Creative Writing Nhora Lucía Serrano curated a book exhibition on “The Columbian Exchange” that displays rare materials from Burke Library’s Special Collections and four new recent acquisitions printed in Mexico. The exhibition is on display on the first floor of Burke Library through May.
Supported by the Special Collections Faculty Fellowship and research conducted during the summer 2016, the exhibition draws attention to an array of books that speak to how the European and the Native American sense of identity was transformed after Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the New World in 1492.
The exhibition draws its name from the term coined by historian Alfred W. Crosby in 1972 to explain the interchange of cultural and biological elements between the New and Old Worlds in the Age of Discovery.
Among the books on display are a facsimile of Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala’s 1615 El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, an illustrated letter in Spanish and Quechua that offers the Inca perspective on the Spanish conquest; a rare copy of Hiram Bingham’s 1930 Machu Picchu, A Citadel of the Incas, a richly illustrated report of the explorations and excavations of Machu Picchu; and a unique facsimile of Amerigo Vespucci’s 1505-6 The first four voyages of Amerigo Vespucci, in Italian, that includes the woodblock images from 1893.
The exhibition also features an album of late 19th century to early 20th century photographs and maps of the ruins at Mitla, Mexico, that was presented to the College by Elihu Root, Class of 1864.