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portrait of Echegaray
José Echegaray

LC Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-106754 (b&w film copy neg.)

Collection of Spanish Plays

Dramatic works published in Spain from 1812 through the early 1930s

The Collection of Spanish Plays and its supplement consist of more than 8,100 dramatic works published in Spain in the late 19th and early 20th century. It was given to the Library of Congress in 1938 by the Hispanic Society of America. Of high importance to researchers in the field of Hispanic literature, the collection provides a broad representation of dramatic works, primarily in Spanish (653 are in Catalan), written and performed between 1812 and the early 1930s. It contains works published principally in Madrid and Barcelona after 1850 and includes those by lesser-known Spanish authors and regional pieces in Catalan and Galician. Drama, comedy, and zarzuela (musicals) are well represented in the collection. The collection contains examples of the varied literary movements experienced in 19th century Spain from Romanticism to Social Realism. Among noteworthy authors strongly represented in the collection are the 1904 Nobel Prize recipient José Echegaray (1832-1916), Carlos Arniches y Barrera (1866-1943), Joaquin Dicenta Benedicto (1863-1917), Antonio García Gutiérrez (1813-1884), Antonio Gil y Zárate (1793-1861), Manuel Bretón de los Herreros (1796-1873), and the distinguished género chico writer Ricardo de la Vega (1839-1910). Plays by noteworthy foreign writers, such as Victor Hugo, George Bernard Shaw, and William Shakespeare, appear in Spanish translations in the collection.

The microfilm of the collection was a cooperative effort of the Library of Congress Hispanic Division and the Library of Congress Preservation Microfilming Office. The staff of the Preservation Microfilming Office prepared the descriptive cards for each title and all guides that appear on the microfilm.

The 8179 plays are arranged in alphabetical order by author and are sequentially numbered. The entire collection consists of 164 reels of 35mm microfilm. Bibliographic citations on descriptive cards precede each play and provide the following information: author, title, publisher, date of publication and collation. Author/title information from these cards was used to compile the Author Index to the collection, which appears on reel 1. The alphabetical and numerical order of the plays is retained in the Author Index. However, there are two alphabetical sequences, one including numbers 1-7894 and a supplementary section from numbers 7895 to 8179.

A separate file of the descriptive cards, arranged by author, date of publication, and title is found in the Hispanic Reading Room and is available to those who wish to consult portions of the collection in the Library of Congress. The microfilm collection is in the custody of the Library of Congress Microform Reading Room and is classed under the Library of Congress Microform Shelf Number, Microfilm 80000 (P).

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  July 15, 2010
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