THE British Library's Department of Manuscripts possesses a wealth of material relating to the history and culture of Spain and its colonies. This includes one of the largest collections of maps and official papers on colonial Latin America outside the Iberian Peninsula (now Add. MSS. 17556-676). Commonly known as the 'Bauza Collection', itsstory before December 1848, when it was acquired by the British Museum, throws light on some of the motives for map collecting and on the hazards to which collections of political and geographical papers were exposed in the last century.
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