This volume forms part of the excellent series of documentary publications initiated by Germán Carrera Damas. Although the series and volume numbers are a bit confusing, this is the fourth volume in the series, but the first on mano de obra.

The format of this volume is similar to that of the previous items in the series. It begins with an excellent monographic study by Antonieta Camacho, based to a large degree on the material collected and published in the volume itself. This study focuses on the formal institution of slavery and the process of its abolition during the period 1810-65, and especially on the role of slaves, peons, and immigrant labor in the first half century of republican rule. It is well done, carefully documented, and clearly presented.

The documents, some 361 of them, cover the same period from 1810 to 1865 and focus almost entirely on the question of slavery, manumission, and abolition. The collection is well chosen and carefully presented. All the important pieces are included, most of them published here for the first time. All the documents identify the archive, publication, or similar source. Although the documents are not heavily annotated, occasional notes clarify obscure references or refer the reader to other relevant documents in the collection. The indexes are outstandingly complete.

In sum, this is an excellent documentary collection.