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David Landers Peruvian Manuscripts Collection

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS458

Scope and Contents

The David Landers Peruvian Collection contains fifteen autographed legal documents, dated 1566 to 1626, in addition to a listing of hospital patients from 1776 and an Incan quipu. The documents are linked at times by a common witness, or notary public, along with other signatures from those involved in the particular exchange. The Peruvian documents demonstrate the importance placed by the Spaniards in maintaining a written record for a wide variety of transactions during the colonial era. The earliest document from 1566 grants two men the right to represent themselves before a Royal audience with the Viceroy. Other documents record the nature of business dealings: the costs of human labor, whether indigenous or African, servant or enslaved individual; local entrepreneurship; the dowry for an indigenous wife; the prices of mules and wheat; and a property dispute stemming from a convent. The last will and testament of an indigenous woman named Antonia Guacana is of particular interest due to the possibility of her being alive during the Conquest of Peru by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. The document highlights her religious conversion to Catholicism, as well as the need to produce a written testimonial demonstrating her identity as a subject of the Spanish Empire. Another document shows how indigenous labor entailed paying a certain fee, in addition to the teaching of the Catholic doctrine. The hospital listing from 1776 includes the names of eighteen sick patients furthermore indicating which ones died at a later time. Details range from their places of residence to descriptions of their clothing.

Materials on Slavery

Materials in this collection contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals.


  • 1566-1776
  • Majority of material found within 1566-1626

Conditions Governing Access

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.


1.4 Cubic Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Metadata Rights Declarations

Acquisition Information

Gift of David Landers, June 27, 2007.

David Landers Peruvian Manuscripts Collection
Patricia A. Soler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2023-09: Edited for DACS compliance by John Zarrillo
  • 2023-09: Language related to enslaved and indigenous individuals revised by John Zarrillo. Additionally, the Materials on Slavery content note was added to the finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057