Woodcut, chap-books, sueltos, pliegos, metadata, collaboration
Usually referred to in English as chap-books, and in Spanish as sueltos, or pliegos sueltos (loose leaves or folded loose leaves), these predecessors of the yellow press provide a fascinating bird's eye view of popular culture from the eighteenth century onwards. Cambridge University Library provided some 2,000 sueltos, including nearly 200 poster-sized aleluyas, which typically have 48 illustrations and accompanying text in couplets, and some 2,500 19 and late 18 century sueltos from the British Library.
The collection was catalogued and digitised for the AHRC-funded project 'Wrongdoing in Spain 1800-1936: Realities, Representations, Reactions' (2011-2014). The project focused on particular aspects of the cultural representation of wrongdoing and its relation (or lack of it) to historical realities at the time of production. The material in this collection provides a unique base for tracking such interests within the field of popular literature, and in addition will enable the exploration of other themes, not just that of 'Wrongdoing'.
Cambridge University Library, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages, British Library
Huw Jones, Sonia Morcillo García, Professor Alison Sinclair, Grant Young