Primeros Libros de las Américas

The Primeros Libros de las Américas: Impresos Americanos del Siglo XVI en las Bibliotecas del Mundo project is a digital collection of the first books printed in the Americas before 1601. These monographs are very important because they represent the first printing in the New World and provide primary sources for scholarly studies in a variety of academic fields. Of the 220 editions believed to have been produced in Mexico and 20 in Peru, approximately 155 are represented in institutions around the world.

In addition to building a digital collection of all first books held by the project participants, the initiative seeks to serve as a demonstration project for digital library technologies, metadata and scanning standards, and for the value of collaboration among libraries. There are currently 25 partner institutions participating in the project and they together account for a total of 360 exemplars.

The transcriptions were generated as part of the NEH-funded "Reading the First Books" project at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University. They were produced using Ocular, an open-source Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tool for the automatic transcription of multilingual, early modern printed books, through the Early Modern OCR Project's online interface, and have not been manually corrected. You can download Ocular through Github and the corpus of transcriptions through the Texas Data Repository.

If your institution wishes to participate in this collaborative project, please review the project agreement at the following link. The agreement provides detailed information about the standards used for scanning the books, processing of the subsequent image files, sharing of materials, etc.


We would like to thank all of those who played a role in helping to make the Primeros Libros de las Américas project a reality, including:

The University of Texas at Austin Libraries

Preservation and Digitization Services: Brittany Centeno, Ting-Benn Chang, Jennifer Lee, Wendy Martin, Eric Satrum, Ellen Tanner, Anna Lamphear, Karla Roig and Joshua Ortiz Baco

Metadata / Cataloging: Hugo Chapa-Guzman, Melanie Cofield, Jee Davis, Amy Rushing, Devon Murphy, and Luisana E. Lopez

Technology Integration Services: Jade Anderson, Aaron Choate, Matthew Villalobos, Steve Williams, and Theresa Polk

Library Systems: Erik Grostic, Ladd Hanson, Audrey Templeton, Nicole Currens, Saad Mecci, Larry Yang, Dustin Slater, Heather Langley, and Noah King

Administration: Robin Fradenburgh, Julianne Gilland, Catherine Hamer, Mark McFarland, Kent Norsworthy, and Craig Schroer

Texas A&M University Libraries

Digital Initiatives: Michael Bolton, Cody Green, Adam Mikeal, Tina Messinger, Luis Meneses, and Tessa Kerlin

Cushing Memorial Library & Archives: David Chapman, Stephanie Elmquist, Cadence King, Lyndsey Raney, and Sierra Laddusaw

Administration: John Leggett and Stephen Smith

José María Lafragua Historical Library

Administration: Manuel de Santiago Hernández

Palafoxiana Library

Sub-directorate of Preservation and Dissemination: Elvia Acosta, Elsa Arce, Teresita Diaz, Karla Siller, and Judith Fuentes Aguilar

The University of the Américas Puebla and Franciscana Library

Administration: Arturo Valentín Arrieta Audifred

CIRIA - Innovation and Information Services: Rafael Juárez Campos

Department of Computing, Electronics and Mechatronics: Alfredo Sánchez Huitrón

Administration of the Franciscana Library: Rocío Cázares Aguilar

Academic Advisors

Elvia Carreño Velázquez, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Marina Garone Gravier, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Guadalupe Rodríguez Domínguez, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí