This important compilation of primary documents shines light upon the neglected early colonial period in Panama and vastly increases the raw data available to library-bound researchers regarding the experiences of Africans and Indians on the isthmus. The text’s markers, which coordinate with the relevant sections of the AGN in Seville, will prove invaluable for those planning a trip to this archive to explore the ethnohistory of Panama’s indigenous peoples or the interactions between Africans and Spaniards. Jopling’s volume could readily serve as a primary source base for research seminars dealing with the Spanish empire, the Central American region, or the issue of race in the early modern Spanish world.

Jopling’s collection deserves a place on the shelf beside Irene Wright’s Documents Concerning English Voyages to the Spanish Main, 1569–1580 (London: Hakluyt Society, 1932). Her chronological span, however, is greater than Wright’s, and more...

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