TheGuía de fuentes para la historia de Ibero-América is already proving an excellent tool for students of colonial Hispanic America.1 This note calls attention to some additional colonial American materials found in one of the archives the guide describes so well: the Archivo del Duque del Infantado (ADI) in Madrid.2

The ADI contains over 30 folio-size, vellum-bound volumes of papers of Juan de Mendoza y Luna, Marqués de Montesclaros. Over half of these relate to America; almost all the documents are manuscript, and mainly cover the period from 1590 to 1630. They are notable for the geographic variety of their subject matter and the quality of many individual pieces. Rather than Montesclaros’ own correspondence, such as might be found in the Archivo General de las Indias (AGI), Lima 35-36, they are the sources the viceroy probably used in writing such letters.

The documents relating to New Spain, where Montesclaros was viceroy from 1603 to 1607, have no particular focus. Among them are viceregal and audiencia ordinances and descriptions of Sinaloa and San Juan de Ulloa. There are quite a few documents from the Far East, some detailing early missionary activities.

Peruvian materials constitute the greatest volume of American papers in the collection and are fullest for the years 1607 to 1615, when Montesclaros was viceroy there. Notable is an account of the inhabitants in Concepción and other central Chilean towns, recording for these places the names of all vecinos and moradores. Many, if not all, vecinos of Santiago de Chile are named in a letter dealing with personal service. Some maps of Chile and Arica are included. A 1598 levy for the construction of Lima’s cathedral lists about 1,000 contributors and their occupations, and a series of notarized documents indicates this archbishopric had over 9,000 Negroes.

Peruvian mining is well-represented, including a complete volume on Huancavelica and considerable material on the mita, mines, and financial accounts of Potosí. Unusual are the weekly production figures for Huancavelica (1609 and 1610). The bulk of information on Potosí comes from García de Llanos and Phillipe de Godoy, whose accounts contain a fair amount of biographical data.

Several documents relate to Peruvian repartimientos; one describes those in Paucarcolla in 1609, listing revenue in silver and cloth and amounts to be paid various recipients. Perhaps the most significant such document is the Resumen general del valor y distribución de las tasas que mandó hacer el virrey Toledo, 1575. It indicates for each repartimiento in ten provinces from Guayaquil to La Plata the total value of the tasa and the portion which was assigned to doctrinas, justicias, and caciques. There is another similar document based on a general repartimiento made by Enríquez. These two items can be examined in conjunction with AGI, Contaduría 1786 and A/66 in the Muñoz Collection of the Real Academia de la Historia in Madrid. Several of these documents are evidently copies from a common source.3

The volume numbers and the spotty character of the documents indicate that the ADI contains probably only a small portion of all Montesclaros’ papers. The location of remaining volumes, if extant, is unknown.


Spain. Dirección general de archivos y bibliotecas. Guía de fuentes para la historia de Ibero-Americana conservadas en España. (2 vols., Madrid, 1966, 1969)


I should like to thank the Duque del Infantado, and his sisters, Madre Cristina of the Jeronimite Sisters, and the Marquesa de Távara, for permission to work in this archive and the hospitality extended to me while doing so.


On the other hand, some discrepancies must be resolved. The very detailed Toledo repartimiento in Contaduría 1786 seems totally reliable, but the Resumen general in the ADI indicates different values for the same repartimientos and agrees completely with A/66 in the Muñoz Collection. Additional study may explain the differences.

Author notes


The author, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, University of Michigan, is conducting research in Spain and South America on a Fulbright-Hays Foreign Area Fellowship.