• Recently Catalogued Music Archives and Fonds in Santiago, Chile: A Contribution to the Dissemination of Written Musical Heritage of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
English Abstract

In Chile in recent years, attempts to provide access to written musical repertoires of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has increased. This article shows the most important aspects of the generation, history, and organization of the music repositories existing in the Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios of Santiago, the Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica of Santiago, and the Archivo Central Andrés Bello of the Universidad de Chile. The cataloguing, conservation, and digitalisation of their materials has led to the dissemination and appreciation of this music, which is now openly accessible to the entire scholarly community. It should also be noted that much of this repertoire, mostly unknown but also undervalued, was not included in the discourses of twentieth century Chilean music historiography.

French Abstract

Ces dernières années au Chili ont vu une augmentation des initiatives visant à fournir un accès aux répertoires musicaux notés des XIXe et XXe siècles. Cet article présente les aspects les plus importants de la génération, de l’histoire et de l’organisation des répertoires musicaux conservés au Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios de Santiago, à la Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica de Santiago ainsi qu’à l’Archivo Central Andrés Bello de l’Université du Chili. Le catalogage, la conservation et la numérisation de leurs fonds ont conduit à la diffusion et à l’appréciation de cette musique qui est désormais ouvertement accessible à toute la communauté scientifique. Il convient également de noter qu’une grande partie de ce répertoire, pour la plupart inconnu et sous-évalué, n’a pas été inclus dans les discours de l’historiographie musicale chilienne du XXe siècle.

German Abstract

Im Chile der letzten Jahre hat es vermehrt Versuche gegeben, den Zugang zu gedruckter Musik aus dem 19. und 20. Jahrhundert zu ermöglichen. Der Artikel erläutert die wichtigsten Aspekte von Entstehung, Geschichte und Organisation der Musiksammlungen des Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios of Santiago, der Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica of Santiago, und des Archivo Central Andrés Bello of the Universidad de Chile. Durch Konservierung, Katalogisierung und Digitalisierung der Bestände konnte die Verbreitung und Wertschätzung der enthaltenen Musik gesteigert und der freie Zugang für die Forschung ermöglicht werden. Festzuhalten ist, dass ein Großteil der vielfach noch unbekannten und daher unterschätzten Bestände bisher keinen Eingang in die Betrachtungen der chilenischen Musikgeschichts schreibung des zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts gefunden hat.

Spanish Abstract

Los intentos por democratizar el acceso a repertorios musicales escritos de los siglos XIX y XX han aumentado en Chile en los últimos años. En el presente trabajo se muestran los aspectos más relevantes de la formación, historia y organización de los repositorios de música existentes en el Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios de Santiago, en la Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica de Santiago, y en el Archivo Central Andrés Bello de la Universidad de Chile. Mediante la elaboración de catálogos y la realización de tareas de conservación y digitalización se ha propiciado la difusión y puesta en valor de estas músicas, que hoy se encuentran disponibles para la comunidad gracias a que la consulta de las citadas colecciones es de libre acceso. Cabe destacar además que este repertorio había sido escasamente considerado, dado su general desconocimiento y su poca apreciación, por la historiografía musical del país.


The purpose of this article is to present three music repositories that have recently been subject to different systematization processes and whose access is now free to all. These processes include a register of holdings, an inventory, the initial conservation and final cataloguing of all materials, and an appraisal of total value of these collections. The archives and fonds under discussion are currently held at the Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios in Santiago, Chile, at the Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica in Santiago, Chile, and in the Sección Partituras (sheet music section) in the Archivo Central Andrés Bello at the Universidad de Chile. Although these are not the only music archives that have been catalogued in recent times, their selection for the purposes of this article refers to the unity of the collections in terms of type and character of their materials: all three are composed of printed and manuscript scores of religious and secular music, mainly from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The music material existing in these archives and fonds presents a comprehensive picture of the music that circulated and was played in different religious institutions of Santiago, as well as in less formal settings, that is, for recreational purposes. This distinction helps to establish concurrences between the types of repertoires in these repositories. Furthermore, the catalogues are open access resources, and the documents can be examined in situ or remotely (partially) by high quality digital images, unlike other repositories which require special permission for use. That is to say, they are freely open and available to the community.

The reality of the state of music archives in Latin America, with some exceptions, is full of uncertainties. There is no knowledge of the works of all composers from the nineteenth century, and even less from the previous centuries. This situation indicates that even with all the effort to make these collections accessible, this will always be “an incomplete project”1.

Overall, musicological work in Chile was not a priority until recently when the catalogues of the music repositories of the country began to follow international archival and [End Page 100] bibliographical standards. The creation of inventories and simple catalogues, therefore, responded to the interests of researchers who were faced with a large corpus of notated music which had to be organized for use in academic papers. These lists were made for private use, and as such, they were not usually available to other interested scholars.

Accordingly, systematisation and cataloguing have not been the main tasks to make the contents of the music archives visible, which should have preceded the dissemination of the repertoires. This situation was made more difficult given, until recently, the problem of obtaining funding and training professionals to handle the musical documents in a proper manner. However, the growing concern in Latin America about the conservation of its written musical heritage2 has attracted a group of researchers in Chile, who are interested in streamlining access to these fonds and collections beyond that of individual users.

On Chilean Musical Heritage and Music Cataloguing

The first initiatives to catalogue the musical documents in Chile developed in the second half of the twentieth century, following the organization of music collections of all kinds and formats under the auspices of institutions such as the Biblioteca Nacional, the Universidad de Chile, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile3. The first music catalogue to appear after this organization of the collections belongs to Samuel Claro Valdés, Catálogo del Archivo Musical de la Catedral de Santiago de Chile4. From 1990 to the present, thanks to the availability of competitive funding financed by the state, a variety of projects which aim to discover music collections have emerged5, along with the [End Page 101] understanding that these collections are part of our musical heritage. However, there is no clear definition in Chile of what is considered part of its musical heritage, and the discussion of this issue is far from over6. Gembero Ustárroz addresses this situation, suggesting that the need to define musical heritage in a more specific way is an issue that concerns many Euro pean scholars7. In addition, Juan Pablo González refers to the importance of studying Latin American musics from their own specific characteristics, considering the oral and written musical traditions as well as popular music8. Therefore, the definition of musical heritage must always be accomplished using the broadest approach based on local practices.

The legislation on musical heritage in Chile is directly related to the possibilities of accessing the different music repositories. The three cultural institutions that promote the management and conservation of musical heritage are: the Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos (DIBAM), founded in 1929; the Consejo de Monumentos Nacionales (CMN), created in 1925, and the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (CNCA), established in 2003. The CNCA has been mainly responsible for the financing of music cataloguing and disseminating projects of musical heritage in Chile.

DIBAM is a public organisation which interfaces with the government through the Ministry of Education. Its objectives include the rescue, conservation, research, and dissemination of the national heritage, understanding “heritage” in its broadest sense9. DIBAM does not specifically mention musical heritage, but it can be assumed as part of this broad definition.

On the other hand, the CMN is the institution responsible for declaring historic and national monuments, and other typical heritage sites. Among its various activities, the CMN works to ensure compliance with the UNESCO World Heritage Convention10. The law No. 17.288 (1970), which legislates on national monuments, declares as such all kinds of ruins, archeological objects, historic or artistic objects—among others—whose conservation is in the interest of history, art, or science11.

As can be seen, there is no specific mention of documents as a category that would include a large proportion of musical works. In other words, there is a legal issue that has been partially addressed by declaring certain materials and document collections located in libraries and in public and private archives as national monuments, defining them as historic monuments. They are registered as movable tangible property, and their subcategory according to the national monuments list is “archives/documents”12. Unfortunately, Chile does not have an archival law which considers the “documentary heritage” in its entirety, and therefore, it is not protected nor recognised by law. Paradoxically, the valuation [End Page 102] and conservation of public and private documentary heritage is one of DIBAM’s main tasks13.

As a result, many of the music archives and fonds in Chile are unprotected and outside the legal framework, since it is the responsibility of the institutions themselves to propose to the CMN to consider their collections as “archives/documents”. Of the three case studies addressed in this article, it can be said that although the church and convent of the Recoleta Dominica is considered a national monument in the building category, there is no indication of such for the documents the building safeguards. In the same way, the Archivo Central Andrés Bello of the Universidad de Chile has declared some of its collections as national monuments, however not the Sección Partituras (sheet music section). As for the Seminario Pontificio, it is not found on this list14. Consequently, the conservation and cataloguing work done on these three repositories is of utmost importance, to the extent that it has rescued and made available to the public musical documents that are part of the “unprotected” written musical heritage of Chile.

Regarding the people behind these initiatives, the musicologist and historian Víctor Rondón deserves special mention for his central role in the gathering of music cataloguing staff. His interest in democratising access to diverse music fonds and archives has resulted in the training of specialised professionals in cataloguing, conservation, and analysis of music repertoires, as well as the resultant valuing of this documentary heritage.

The Music Fond of the Seminario Pontificio Mayor de los Ángeles Custodios in Santiago, Chile

The music fond held in the library of the Seminario Pontificio Mayor in Santiago is privately owned, and has experienced three accessibility projects since 2010, favoring open access for interested people and scholars. This private collection of music materials is comprised of a wide variety of sources dating from the end of the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. Due to its volume—over 2,600 items and sub-items—it is the largest known music collection in Chile today. Many pieces in this repository were unknown to Chilean musical historiography, and it also holds unique works of composers of which little more than their name was known.

The work with this music fond, which has had the total support of the Seminario’s administration, started with the creation of a preliminary register as well as the primary conservation of the materials by placing them in acid-free folders and boxes. Subsequent publication of a brief catalogue which included a detailed description of the works with their assessed value, and an inventory of the rest of the collection separated by category. This first phase was executed through funds from the CNCA15.

In 2012, a second stage produced a high resolution digitisation of the material of the highest value, in order to avoid excessive handling, and to facilitate ease of access. The funding for this project was obtained from the Program for Latin American Libraries and [End Page 103] Archives (PLALA) of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. The acquisition of professional digitisation supplies, in addition to the equipment owned by the Seminario itself, enabled the complete digitising of 212 items in the collection, which are now freely accessible to interested parties16.

Since 2014, musicologists have been working on the third and final phase of cataloguing the music fond, which envisions a complete and detailed catalogue employing RISM international standards and musical incipits for all the sacred and secular music manuscripts, whether complete or incomplete. This final catalogue also includes music books (music theory manuals, plainchant and musical instrument manuals, and text books, among others), as well as a section of albums made of vocal and instrumental parts. This initiative is being financed by the CNCA funds, and the result of the work is the editing and making available a complete catalogue divided into three volumes which document the three main series and their subseries17.

The Historical Background of the Collection

The institution which oversees this music collection has, since 1584, been the educational center of the clergy in Chile, and also the oldest educational institution in the country. In 1843, at the request of Rafael Valentín Valdivieso, the Archbishop of Santiago, an educational reform of the Seminario Conciliar took place18. With this reform, the teaching of singing was for the first time considered as a formal and specific subject. This meant that future priests had to study and pass the course in order to continue their careers. In the beginning, this subject had no fixed place in the curriculum19, and its purpose was the correct teaching of plainchant, a central element of religious worship at the time, as well as the delivery of a means of healthy recreation, “honest and analogue to the habits of churchman”20. The main leaders of the institution, Archbishop Rafael Valentín Valdivieso and Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas, rector of the reformed Seminario, personally undertook the acquisition of the music materials to support this study. Evidence of this can be seen in the use of their own personal stamps in many of the documents.

This enterprise relates to the faith that authorities of the Catholic Church in Chile had in the excellent results that a painstaking clerical training would bring: improvements in the Catholic Church on the level of the priests and enhancements of the sacred music during religious services. This would distinguish the Catholic Church members from the rising secularism overtaking the population, and it was in line with edicts being issued in Rome, as well as those which emanated from the dioceses. This resulted in the purchase of a pipe organ, commissioned by Larraín himself, and dedicated to one of the famous brothers, Lambillote21. [End Page 104]

For the sake of description, the collection can be divided roughly into sacred and secular music, and contains materials of different character, style, and origins. The collection is further divided by printed and manuscript music, and finally, by complete and incomplete pieces. Although the materials could be separated in other ways, the organisation of the fond is related to the use of materials according to formal music education within the institution: first, the music education in the training of future diocesan clergy or as a skill for professional life, and second, music education as a form of recreation according to ecclesiastical thought.

Music Education in the Training of Future Diocesan Clergy

Referring primarily to sacred-liturgical repertoire, this section can be subdivided according to the different lines of change within the institution. From the moment of the educational reform, plainchant teaching manuals, harmony and composition manuals, choir-books, antiphonaries, music theory teaching manuals, musical instrument teaching manuals, and other objects were purchased and became part of the music inventory. Most of this material is in printed form. Many of the pieces were also donated by Archbishop Rafael Valentín Valdivieso and Rector Joaquín Larraín Gandarillas. Among the teachers of the subject of music and plainchant were Friar Lorenzo Betolaza (1845), from the regular clergy, who served as organist and sometimes replaced Henry Lanza in his tasks22, Bernardo Alzedo (1847), and Adolfo Desjardins (1854–1858). Besides the printed music, there is a series of music manuscripts which were copied by the music teachers for use within the institution: full orchestral scores of sacred music and several pieces of secular music which were composed and dedicated to the institution. These were used at different times and in celebrations at the Seminario.

After the reform, a second period characterised by the influence of Italian lyrical style can be traced in the repertoire of the Seminario Conciliar, mainly after 1860. The interest of the music teachers in the current fashion, and the influences of society at the time are reflected in the predominance of sacred and secular, printed and manuscript music in this style. This is a relevant feature that this music fond shares with the music archive of the Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica. The turn from a repertoire proper for plainchant teaching to a repertoire that followed the current fashion trends meant that the music interpreted by the students also changed. Some of the music teachers that followed this style, and whose works can be found in the collection are the Italian priest Miguel Angel Quaggliottini (1860–1864)23 and Tulio Hempel (1864–1877). The latter figure was very active in the work in the institution: besides teaching, he orchestrated many pieces for the Seminario orchestra. The only two works known to be by Hempel are in this collection (Pangue lingua and In suprema)24. Note that these teachers adhered to the concept of “musician” in the nineteenth century, that is, musicians with great technical expertise devoted to teaching, composition, and performance. As a result, their creations, arrangements, and adaptations are held by the Seminario.

We can identify a third stage in the repository constitution that is related with the Latin American Colegio Pío and the Schola Cantorum. The continuing guidelines that aimed at controlling sacred music and various sociopolitical processes that were occurring in the [End Page 105] country were among the elements that induced a change in the repertoire performed at the Seminario. This stage shows the existence of sacred repertoire created by the last plainchant teachers from the preconciliar period. These teachers were trained at the Seminario Menor and then continued their music studies at the Latin American Colegio Pío in Rome. This institution had a high level Schola Cantorum that carefully followed the directives of the Holy See. The Chilean teachers formed there, all diocesan priests, influenced the last contributions that the sacred music series contains, and they all can be described as the nineteenth century musicians we characterized above. Pedro Valencia Courbis and Jorge Azócar Yávar form part of this group. During this time, Father Larraín Engelbach also made important contributions to the music fond.

Fig. 1. José Bernardo Alzedo (1788–1878), Villancico de Navidad, one of two pieces by this composer held by the Seminario. The work has been performed in concerts over the last few years. It belongs to the Italian melodic style and it is clear that it was copied by the composer.
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Fig. 1.

José Bernardo Alzedo (1788–1878), Villancico de Navidad, one of two pieces by this composer held by the Seminario. The work has been performed in concerts over the last few years. It belongs to the Italian melodic style and it is clear that it was copied by the composer.

Music Education as a Form of Recreation

The secular repertoire was formed from ca. 1840 to ca. 1950, and it also contains materials that are not necessarily connected with the institutional life of the students. According to their origin, we can divide this series into four main types. First, those pieces [End Page 106] produced for institutional use that have a recreational character (some of them exclusively composed for the Seminario): Boguemos contentos, Buenas Vacaciones (both of unknown authorship), Cantata para la repartición de premios, Himno para el día del Señor Rector, and the Colección de Himnos y Composiciones del Seminario (bound volume which contains works by Francisco Doberti, Miguel Ángel Quagliottini, and Joaquín Capdevila).

Fig. 2. Giovanni Bajetti, ‘Amor, onor, vendetta’ from the opera Gonsalvo. Bajetti was the first lyrical singing teacher in Chile. This is a representative piece from the valuable opera collection that exists in the Seminario, and it shows the beginnings of lyrical singing in the country.
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Fig. 2.

Giovanni Bajetti, ‘Amor, onor, vendetta’ from the opera Gonsalvo. Bajetti was the first lyrical singing teacher in Chile. This is a representative piece from the valuable opera collection that exists in the Seminario, and it shows the beginnings of lyrical singing in the country.

Secondly, we have salon music (música de salón) and opera repertoire related to Amalia Tagle and her family. This section of the fond is very valuable because it is the first and oldest collection of operatic repertoire as well as of popular songs from the mid-nineteenth century. Third, we also have popular music repertoire from the beginning to mid-twentieth century. It contains over 300 pieces of sheet music. Most of the material is signed by Elena de Norambuena (probably its former owner); the style or the use that the materials had make it easy to relate the music to the rest of the fond. The immense majority of the works are two-page editions from Casa Amarilla or Casa Calvetty (both Chilean music publishing houses). And lastly, we have some teaching materials purchased by the institution: music instrumental and vocal manuals, textbooks, and music [End Page 107]

Fig. 3. The Himno para el día del señor Rector (Anthem for the Rector’s day) is one example of the music composed especially for the Seminario. It shows the central role of music in the daily life of the institution during the nineteenth century.
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Fig. 3.

The Himno para el día del señor Rector (Anthem for the Rector’s day) is one example of the music composed especially for the Seminario. It shows the central role of music in the daily life of the institution during the nineteenth century.

[End Page 108]

theory manuals. Among them we can note the Método práctico de canto by Daniel Antonietti (an Italian teacher residing in Chile), the complete collection of the Principes de composition des ecoles d’Italia by Alexandre Choron (ca. 1830), and the ABC Musical by Augusto Panseron (ca. 1844).

Treasures and Curiosities

If we had to break down the fond according to the national value of some of the works, we could do it in three main categories: treasures, curiosities, and representative samples of the collection25. To mention but a few secular treasures we could point out the work A Chile y sus héroes, the only musical composition that remains from the time of the Pacific War, complete with original instrumentation and featuring Italian melodicism; the Cantata para la Repartición de Premios, composed especially for the institution’s annual awards ceremony; El Ferrocarril, a musical work for the institution’s orchestra composed for amusement purposes that clearly reflects a train in motion, and the aforementioned Álbum de canciones españolas y chilenas, which contains much of what could be the first pieces of popular music repertoire. As for sacred treasures, we must mention the Himno Encomiástico dedicado a la Clase de Canto llano by José Bernardo Alzedo; a compilation volume with works of the late-nineteenth century from the Cathedral of Santiago, entitled Colección Selecta de Cánticos Sagrados, by Moisés Lara; volume twelve of Cánticos Sagrados, which contains works by Tulio Hempel and Neukomm; Dos himnos para los Santos Ángeles Custodios by Miguel Ángel Quagliottini, and a compilation volume titled Álbum con transcripción de 127 piezas para voces (ca. 1850), containing varied repertoire including works by Mozart, Monteverdi, Tomás Luis de Victoria, and others, all copied by Clodoveo Montero.

Outline of the Fonds Content

Series: Sacred

Subseries: printed complete; printed incomplete; manuscript complete; manuscript incomplete.

Series: Secular

Subseries: printed complete; printed incomplete; manuscript complete; manuscript incomplete.

Series: Books

Subseries: textbooks; plainchant books; music theory manuals; music instrumental manuals; music parts albums (instrumental; vocal) [End Page 109]

Fig. 4. Ramón Carnicer, Himno Patriótico de Chile (Chile’s patriotic anthem). Edited in London ca. 1925, this is a first edition of the national anthem of which only two complete copies are known today, one in the Biblioteca Nacional of Chile and one in the Sección Partituras of the Archivo Central Andrés Bello. This copy from the Seminario is missing a section.
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Fig. 4.

Ramón Carnicer, Himno Patriótico de Chile (Chile’s patriotic anthem). Edited in London ca. 1925, this is a first edition of the national anthem of which only two complete copies are known today, one in the Biblioteca Nacional of Chile and one in the Sección Partituras of the Archivo Central Andrés Bello. This copy from the Seminario is missing a section.

[End Page 110]

Fig. 5. La Paloma Blanca y el Jaleo de Jerez. This work is a sample of the thorough art of copying in the second half of nineteenth century in Santiago, Chile. It is a dance genre that had great popularity at the time.
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Fig. 5.

La Paloma Blanca y el Jaleo de Jerez. This work is a sample of the thorough art of copying in the second half of nineteenth century in Santiago, Chile. It is a dance genre that had great popularity at the time.

[End Page 111]

The Music Archive of the Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica in Santiago, Chile

In 1999, the musicologist and historian Víctor Rondón published a paper that presented the outcome of ongoing musicological research that recovered part of the existing repertoire in the library and archive of the convent of the Recoleta Dominica of Santiago26. This first approach resulted in the preliminary order of the material and the devising of a provisional inventory, because, as the author explains, at that time he was allowed to study, document, and contextualise the history of the formation of the repository, based mainly on payment record books of the convent between 1815 and 185327. The Catálogo provisorio de compositores y obras en el Archivo de la Recoleta Dominica (Provisional Catalogue of the Composers and Works in the Recoleta Dominica’s Archive) described in summary form not over two hundred pieces. In 2000, five additional documentary groups were added to this inventory: instrumental parts notebooks, collections and anthologies, books of ecclesiastical chant, methods and treatises, and secular music28.

The most important systematic study of this repository began in 2012, using public funds from the CNCA. It considered the cataloguing, conservation, and the establishment of the Archivo de Música de la Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica de Santiago de Chile29. Today, the repository is a fully-operational music archive that has the institutional support of the DIBAM. This implies open access—a rarity in ecclesiastical archives—which ensures that the material can be consulted by academics, researchers, as well as the general public, without exception. This helps to strengthen the process of making these music archives and fonds readily available, as the concept was understood by the researchers involved in the project: Fernanda Vera, Jose Manuel Izquierdo, and Víctor Rondón. One of the goals of the project was to develop a catalogue where the needs of an average user were taken into account, achieving a “balanced compromise” in the embodiment of the description30. In this sense, and in the same way as in the Seminario Pontificio, the nature of the materials always guided the cataloguing criteria, which was divided into two major areas: religious (liturgical or sacred) and profane (lay or secular). The completeness of the works and their nature, printed or manuscript, was also considered. As for the distinction of content, format, and musical aspects, sets and subsets were created, which will be discussed later.

Historical Background: The Convent of Observance of the Recoleta Dominica

This convent was established long after the arrival of the Order to the territory—which occurred in the mid-sixteenth century—in the context of the creation of convents of strict [End Page 112] observance in Latin America. In 1750, the Provincial of the Order, Friar Manuel Acuña, decided to settle the convent in a land north from the Mapocho River, in the old plain of Santo Domingo, in an area known as “la chimba”. In 1753, the building was started, but was only completed in 179431. The whole of the Recoleta Dominica consisted of the church, the convent, a special area for novices or students, and a school for children of the area. It also had a cemetery, gardens located around the cloisters, a bowling alley, an orchard, a vineyard, a game room, kitchens, warehouses, dining halls, and, of course, a library32.

According to Rondón, during the first half of nineteenth century the ancient convent— as it is known—had constant musical activity, which increased significantly over time. This would have coincided with the tenure of Father Francisco Álvarez as prior, who was a promoter of cultural and artistic practices in the institution. The musical practice not only considered liturgical function, but it was part of the music teaching for the convent students, those of the order as well as to boys from the outside who frequented the school. The convent began to appear as an alternative performance space for musicians and composers linked to the musical chapel of the Cathedral of Santiago: the archive keeps the works of some of these musicians in its holdings. Music composition, transcription, and adaptation of works from other national and international centers also took place in the convent, where they were performed in addition to the Gregorian hymnal, anthems, trisagios, villancicos, and Masses. The salonización of the sacred space, linked to the presence of the piano in the church, demonstrates the impact of the Romantic aesthetic on sacred music. In the second half of the nineteenth century, this secularisation would lead to lyricism. This period also brought the building of new facilities—known, consequently, as the “new” church and convent—which housed the community until the end of the twentieth century. The materials kept in this archive are a reflection of the musical practices, the repertoires, and the significant changes that occurred in this space33.

The Constitution of the Collection

At present, there is no certainty on how the collection of music materials of the Recoleta Dominica was formed, but it is clear that it was a process which took two centuries, from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, with the special importance of the nineteenth century. This enables us to identify diverse music spaces that had their own repertoire. For example, the music chapel—mentioned as the orchestra— tried to become musically self-sustaining, and that is why members of the convent were trained to perform and compose the music. This repertoire is the largest in the collection, and it contains scores of local creation as well as pieces brought from Europe. Among the first pieces are those from the libraries of José Bernardo Alzedo and Enrique or Henry Lanza; the latter contains a great deal of Italian and French composers, either well known (like the Jesuit Louis Lambillote), or unknown. Works by composers and organists from Catalan and Valencian origins can be found in albums and as separate pieces from the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, which are probably unique copies by these composers. The presence of many music theory treatises and music instrumental [End Page 113] manuals for the education of the churchmen also formed part of the effort to be self-sustaining.

Further, the choir had at its disposal a repertoire of Gregorian plainchant in choirbooks and plainchant manuals. The age of this material, dating from the early-eighteenth century, is of great importance, in that the Recoleta Dominica was one of the few institutions in the country that preserved a significant number of music books prior to the nineteenth century. A curious element is to be found in the sacred works: the presence of stamps that prove they belonged to the institution, and also the censorship and/or approval for their liturgical use. In many instances, the stamps represent the dissolution of a previous ruling, which raises serious doubts over the real intentions of the censors. These stamps are not characteristic of other institutions, like the Cathedral or the Seminario.

The secular repertoire, mainly for piano, is in the form of albums, and reveals an aesthetically varied practice that took place in the convent. Albums include pieces that reflect the musical taste of a segment of late-nineteenth-century society, and each album contains unique material which deepens our knowledge about salon music of the time.

About the Catalogue

The catalogue contains 454 pieces grouped into fourteen subsets:

1. Sacred Printed Complete (SIC). 2. Sacred Manuscript Complete (SMC). 3. Sacred Manuscript Incomplete (SMI). 4. Sacred Printed Incomplete (SII). 5. Plainchant Printed Manuals (MCI). 6. Plainchant Printed Books (LCI). 7. Plainchant Manuscript Books (LCM). 8. Printed Piano Albums (PAI). 9. Profane Printed Complete (PIC). 10. Profane Printed Incomplete (PII). 11. Profane Manuscript Incomplete (PMI). 12. Printed Theory Manuals (MTI). 13. Printed Instrument Manuals (MII). 14. Printed Books (LTI).

Most of the works belong to the first subset, Sacred Printed Complete (135 items), while that with the fewest items is Printed Book (7 items). The fields used for the description of each work are: Item Number; Catalogue Number; Composer or Author; Title; Front Page Data; Edition Data/Year; Integrity (completeness and state of conservation); Document Type; Dimensions; Pages; Format; Literary Incipit; Musical Incipit; Observations.

The abbreviations used for cataloguing are consistent with those used by the music fond of the Seminario Pontificio Mayor. This correspondence is due to the similar character of both repositories: they belong to educational institutions engaged in religious training. For this reason, the first distinction is made between the sacred and secular materials, which defines their function. Then comes the distinction between manuscript and printed, and finally, between complete and incomplete. Moreover, there is also some matching criteria in that the same cataloguing teams participated in both projects.

The “Title” field is the uniform title, and the “Front Page Data” is equivalent to the title statement. The “Type of Document” specifies the format in relation to content (book, album, sheet music). The “Musical Incipit” has been incorporated only for the groups SIC and SMC, because of the large number of items. These are complete works, reflecting the fundamental nature of the space that created them, in order to allow the identification of the works, in addition to providing information regarding tonality and meter.

At the end of the catalogue there are brief biographical notes on the composers and authors of the works. There is also an index of personal names mentioned in the music materials, identifying their quality, the type of inscription, the field in which the words appear, and the abbreviation of the item(s) which contain the inscription. [End Page 114]

This catalogue is free and open access, and it can be downloaded from http://www.museodominico.cl/620/articles-9841_archivo_01.pdf (accessed 11 March 2016).

The Treasures and Curiosities of the Archive

According to the national value of this archive, it is important to note that, besides the music archive of the Cathedral, this repository is the only one known in Chile that contains a considerable amount of materials from the eighteenth century. Treasures from this fond include works by José Bernardo Alzedo, especially his Trisagio Solemne for grand orchestra and chorus (SMC_10). This piece is an autograph manuscript copy in perfect condition, in which the skills of the composer are evident. Among the printed music is found the first choral edition of Joseph Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross (Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze), commissioned by the city of Cádiz, which is the revision by the composer from the orchestral version he composed34. This beautiful 1801 edition was issued by Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig (SIC_062), and it is an example of the importance and circulation that the work of Haydn had in Latin America in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Finally, the 1717 edition of Theatrum Doloris et Amoris (SII_10), and from the same year, the Theatrum Affectum Humanorum (SII_09). Both pieces are in the same volume, and in addition to being a treasure, they are also quite rare. It is to be presumed that this volume arrived at the Recoleta from the library of the Colegio San Miguel, which belonged to the Society of Jesus, after its expulsion in 1767. This is a collection of dramatic pieces for educational purposes to be staged at the school. Both contain the bass lines; the rest of the orchestral parts are missing. The Theatrum Doloris et Amoris by the composer Franciscus Mathias Delaman, with texts from the Jesuit Franz Lang, who was also the editor of the collection. Furthermore, the Theatrum Affectum Humanorum, also with texts by Franz Lang, contains works by different composers that were close to the Jesuit circle, for example, Floridus Ott, Josephus Antonius Bernabei, and Joannes Andreas Rascher, to name but a few.

Within these curiosities stands the collection of educational materials, mostly unique copies in Chile, which demonstrate the interest in music theory and music instrument teaching. Among the materials to mention are the Nouvelle Méthode de Violon of Bornet (Paris, 1786; MII_06), the Arte, ó compendio General del Canto- Llano, Figurado y Organo, en Método Fácil by Francisco Marcos y Navas (ca. 1777; MCI_4). Finally, the peculiar anonymous manuscript edition of the Reglas Particulares de Canto Eclesiástico Regular (ca. 1850; MCI_6). This book in small format contains a series of rules for teaching plain-chant, demonstrating the importance of this within the convent.

The Sección Partituras (Sheet Music Section) of the Archivo Central Andrés Bello, Universidad de Chile

This section of musical materials, unlike the other two repositories that have been discussed, has special distinguishing characteristics. The vast majority of the musical documents that make up this section can be classified under the category of salon music, composed and performed during the first century of republican life in Chile. In addition, its three collections were formed from the donations of private collections from three [End Page 115] individuals, members of the Chilean Bibliophiles Society: Domingo Edwards Matte, Eugenio Pereira Salas, and José Zamudio Zamora. These three men shared a common and understanding interest that led them to collect these materials and to consider their future preservation and conservation. They were able to appreciate the documents as a testimony of the musical life of the past, and valued the central role that music played in Chilean culture and society of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries35.

Responsible for this section is the Archivo Central Andrés Bello of the Universidad de Chile. This archive has among its duties the maintaining of the corporate memory of the country through its bibliographical, documentary, and iconographical collections36. Created in 1994, it integrates the Central Library of the Universidad de Chile, the Photography Unit (known today as the Photography Archive), the Printing and Binding Workshop, and the Paper Conservation and Restauration Laboratory. The origins of the Central Library date back to 1952 with the founding of the Reading Cabinet by Ignacio Domeyko. Until then, the fond was formed from donations by members of the university community. Thereafter, several notable people contributed to the growth of the collection—Amanda Labarca, Armando Braun Menéndez, Desiderio Papp, Domingo Edwards Matte, Julio Escudero, Pablo Neruda, Pedro Montt, and Yolando Pino Saavedra, among others—and later some of their donations constitute its special collections. The heterogeneity of the various collections of the Archivo Central Andrés Bello makes it excel when compared to other private institutions. Guided by its administrators, the Archive has initiated many projects which enhance the value of its collections.

The Collections and Contents of the Sección Partituras

As previously mentioned, this section was formed by the donations of the collections of Eugenio Pereira Salas, Domingo Edwards Matte, and José Zamudio Zamora, which are, consequently, named after them. There is little knowledge about the relationship between these three men, but we can note that Pereira Salas did some writing with Zamudio, and that he was aware of the donation made by the Edwards family to the Library, as he requested the administrators to consider it for its Biobibliografia37. Edwards Matte was an architect who collected over 40,000 books during his lifetime. His collection was arbitrarily sold by his family in a series of auctions, but part of it, that which contained the first Chilean printings, was donated to the Universidad de Chile. Within this legacy we have musical documents, formed by significant pieces considered as treasures by the institution. On the other hand, the Pereira Salas collection is a reflection of its owner’s eagerness to document the musical heritage of the country. He devoted his life and work as an historian to research on different Chilean manifestations of art. His remarkable contributions to the history of daily life, art, and culture still remain valid. His entire collection of working materials, notes, books, and sheet music was donated after his death to the Universidad de Chile, where he held various positions during his career. [End Page 116]

The Sección Partituras has been available to the community since the end of 2012, when its cataloguing process was completed. The project behind this work—“Puesta en valor, catalogación y difusión de la colección partituras del Archivo AB de la Universidad de Chile”, financed by the CNCA—considered the inventory and detailed cataloguing of the materials in each collection, a selective digitisation of the pieces with the most national value, and the creation and printing of a catalogue raisonné which contains a selection of the material. It also encompassed the design and upload of a Web site for the section, including download links from the catalogue and of the digitised works, along with a register of the complete database of the three collections in the Catálogo Bello of the Universidad de Chile38. The catalogue is open access and can be downloaded from http://archivobello.uchile.cl/partituras/pdf/partituras.pdf (accessed 11 March 2016).

The working team that developed the project consisted of the same musicologists that were involved in the cataloguing of the Seminario Pontificio and the Recoleta Dominica: José Contreras, José Manuel Izquierdo, and Fernanda Vera, who were joined by other professionals such as designers, librarians, specialised photographers, and paper restorers, among others. The project had the full support of the institution, represented by the Archive’s director, the historian Alejandra Araya.

Unlike the other two repositories, the Sección Partituras holds works that are mostly creations of Chileans or foreigners that lived for a significant time in the country, dating from the first half of the nineteenth century to the first half of the twentieth century. These editions are representative of the publishing houses existing in Chile at the time, of local dissemination, and centered on the nineteenth-century salon. The topics covered by the compositions are mainly characteristic of our country, like Brisas del Malleco, El temporal del Cabo de Hornos, Glorias a Pedro León Gallo, and La luz Eléctrica, among others. There are also many editions, including the first, of the Chilean national anthem.

As treasures we can point out first editions of popular zamacuecas, which later evolved into the cuecas and marineras genres which are to be found today. However, the whole set is constituted by many rarities, novelties, unique copies, and bibliographical treasures unknown to academics and music students. Sadly, these works are not usually performed and they do not belong to any specific concert repertoire. Most of the pieces are in excellent condition and are housed following the highest preservation standards, a clear difference from other institutions in the country: they are kept in acid-free folders encased in mylar to avoid excessive handling; beautifully restored pieces from the archive’s conservation laboratory.

The database has 690 bibliographic records, of which 197 belong to the Domingo Edwards Collection (DE), 436 to the Eugenio Pereira Collection (EP), and 57 to the José Zamudio Collection (JZ). The cataloguing used fields are: A. Section – Collection / Inventory Number. B. Pages / Illustration / Lamination. C. Dimensions (height x width in cm). D. Conservation State. E. Author (Surname, Given Name). F. Author’s Nationality. G. Complete Front Cover Data. H. Title. I. Publishing House / Place / Lithographic House. J. Date. K. Instrumental Ensemble. L. Genre. M. Lyrics. N. Author of the Lyrics. O. Observations. P. Comments.

The selected pieces that exist in the catalogue are considered to have the most historic and musical value. As treasures we can mention the Himno Patriótico de Chile by Ramón Carnicer, edited in London, ca. 1925 (EP_089). This is a first edition of the national anthem [End Page 117] of which only two complete copies are known, the present one and the one held by the Biblioteca Nacional of Chile (the Seminario Pontificio holds an incomplete copy). In its time, this anthem caused quite a stir because it replaced the first national song created by Manuel Robles. Nevertheless, the anthem was undisputably embraced, and today its symbolic value our national song is undeniable. Also worth mentioning is José Zapiola’s Himno Marcial del Triunfo de Yungai (1839), for voice and piano (DE_193). This is the first sheet music edited in Chile and it was printed quickly so it would be available when the Chilean Army went to Peru. Over time, this anthem turned into a second national song, and this is the only known copy. Lastly, we note the Colección de Bailes y Cantos Populares by Claudio Rebagliati from 1870 (DE_152). This album contains twenty-two pieces of salon music, based on Latin American folk dances of different genres, transcribed for piano. The music reflects the composer’s desire to represent the local sounds of the guitar and cajón. It is also a unique copy, due to the fire in Rebagliati’s house in 1881, and also the fire in the Sonzogno Publishing House in Milan during World War II.

Within the curiosities we note Arturo Hügel’s Samacueca Sentimental, ca. 1885 (EP_200). This is a unique copy, beautifully edited in two colors. The author, a virtuous German resident of Chile, was instrumental in the establishment of the Sociedad Cuarteto, cradle of chamber music in Chile. The front cover of the work shows the image of a salon zamacueca where its three main instruments can be seen: the piano, the harp, and the guitar. However, the music is actually a German lied inspired by the zamacueca; the lyrics are in German and Spanish. Another relevant piece is Ernest Lübeck’s La Zambacueca. Danse Nationale du Chili pour le piano (EP_225), a unique copy on lithographed paper. This Dutch performer was on tour in Chile in the mid-nineteenth century, and his zamacueca enables us to see the genre through the eyes of a foreign professional pianist who provides different instructions on how this music must be interpreted, including tempo and dynamics. It also contains guidelines for the guitar and the harp.


The accessibility of repertoires, the correction of historiographical myths, and the circulation of unknown repertories are due chiefly to the access provided to the different music archives, fonds, and collections of the country, and also to the descriptive elements provided, and consequently, to the study of the musical documents. The materials existing in the three described repositories have not yet been considered by the traditional historical and musical discourses, and further research will probably change many aspects of our music history, which continues to be written on a daily basis.

The creation of inventories and catalogues raises the matter of our urgent need in Latin America to undertake in a serious manner the task of describing our musical heritage, in order to write a more inclusive music history that takes into account the repertoires, participants, and places that were not understood as “academic music”. In Chile, the creation and encouragement of certain value judgements around the concept of an “art work”, which began around 1920 and associated with the figure of Domingo Santa Cruz, was responsible for excluding other musics from scholarly research for many years. The systematisation and accessibility of more and diverse music materials is, in our opinion, bound to lead to a more responsible historiographic reflection and a reconsideration of our musical past. And this is certainly one of the greatest contributions of our work as musicologists.

[End Page 119]

Laura Fahrenkrog

Laura Fahrenkrog is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She is an assistant professor at the Universidad Andrés Bello, Departamento de Humanidades, Fernandez Concha 700, Santiago, Chile.

Fernanda Vera

Fernanda Vera is a Master’s candidate in Arts and Musicology at the Universidad de Chile. She is an associate researcher at the Archivo Central Andrés Bello of the Universidad de Chile.


1. Omar Corrado, “Canon, hegemonía y experiencia estética: algunas reflexiones”, Revista Argentina de Musicología, 5–6 (2004–2005): 17–44, esp. p. 20.

2. This is reflected, for instance, in the existence of the postgraduate course of Fundación Carolina which focusses on the conservation and dissemination of Latin American musical heritage (Curso en Musicología para la Protección y Difusión del Patrimonio Artístico Iberoamericano), and which has trained many musicologists—including one of the authors of this article—and the increasing number of symposiums, conferences, panels, and themed congresses such as the Musical Heritage Research Seminar (Seminario de Investigación en Patrimonio Musical), held annually at the Universidad de Talca, Chile since 2013.

3. To mention but a few, the Archivo de Música of the Biblioteca Nacional celebrated its forty-fifth anniversary in 2015; the Musicology Section of the Art Faculty at the Universidad de Chile is in charge of the management of the Archivo Sonoro de Música Tradicional Chilena (AMTCh), the Centro de Documentación de la Música Chilena, the Centro de Documentación de la Música Popular and the Fondo de Documentación de la Música Chilena; the Archivo de Música Popular Chilena at the Pontifcia Universidad Católica de Chile (AMPUC), was founded at the end of the twentieth century.

4. Samuel Claro, Catálogo del Archivo Musical de la Catedral de Santiago de Chile (Santiago: Editorial IEM, Universidad de Chile, 1974). The new catalogue, which contains many improvements, was developed by the musicologist, Alejandro Vera.

5. Juan Bautista Astica, “Base de datos y rescate de fonogramas de música folklórica y popular chilena”, 1993; Rodrigo Sandoval, “Digitalización y Documentación para la Recuperación del Patrimonio Discográfico de la Música Tradicional y Popular Chilena”, 2006; Corporación cultural de la Ilustre Municipalidad de Santiago, “Biblioteca Sonora del Teatro Municipal de Santiago”, 2010; José Manuel Izquierdo, “Catalogación del Archivo Musical del Seminario Pontificio Mayor de Santiago de los Santos Ángeles Custodios”, 2010; Corporación sinfónica de Concepción, “Rescate Archivo Corporación Sinfónica de Concepción”, 2011; Fernanda Vera, “Puesta en valor, catalogación y difusión de la colección partituras del Archivo AB de la Universidad de Chile”, 2012; Víctor Rondón, “Catálogo del Archivo Musical de la Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica”, 2012; Alejandro Vera, “El fondo de música de la catedral de Santiago: catálogo de fuentes impresas y antología sonora”, 2013; Felipe Solís, “Consolidación sitio www.cancionerodecuecas.cl [accessed 11 March 2016]”, 2013; Martín Farías, “Musicateatral.cl: ampliación y consolidación del archivo de música del teatro chileno”, 2015; Ana María Ledezma, “Colección de cancioneros populares chilenos en Berlín (1888–1914): rescate de una práctica musical”, 2015, among others.

6. This issue has been discussed at length in Laura Fahrenkrog, “Hablar sobre patrimonio musical en Chile: reflexiones”, Neuma 6, no. 2 (2013): 46–57.

7. María Gembero Ustárroz, “El patrimonio musical español y su gestión”, Revista de Musicología 28, no. 1 (2005): 135–181, esp. p. 137.

8. Juan Pablo González, Pensar la música desde América Latina. Problemas e interrogantes (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Alberto Hurtado, 2013).

9. DIBAM, Memoria, cultura y creación. Lineamientos políticos [work document] (Santiago: 2005).

11. Title I, Article 1º, Law No. 17.288, “Legisla sobre monumentos nacionales”; modifies laws No. 16.617 and 16.719; and repeals Decree-Law 651, of 17 October 1925.

12. The national monuments list is updated periodically and it can be found at http://www.monumentos.cl/catalogo/625/w3-channel.html, accessed 11 March 2016.

13. DIBAM, Memoria, cultura y creación.

14. “Nómina de Monumentos Nacionales de 1925 al 07 de Julio de 2015” (List of National Monuments from 1925 to July 7th, 2015), http://www.monumentos.cl/catalogo/625/w3-channel.html, accessed 11 March 2016.

15. As mentioned in footnote nº 7, the project entitled “Catalogación del Archivo Musical del Seminario Pontificio Mayor de Santiago de los Santos Ángeles Custodios” was directed by José Manuel Izquierdo in 2010. Fernanda Vera and José Contreras also participated as executors.

16. This project was led by Fernanda Vera and José Contreras, and supervised by José Negrete, chief librarian of the institution.

17. The work team is led by Fernanda Vera. Rosa Velázquez Zapata and Elizabeth Mendieta are research assistants, and Natalie Guerra is the editor of the catalogue, which will be published in 2015.

18. The Seminario had different names throughout its history. In 1843, it was named Seminario Conciliar, and the educational reform we have discussed marks the beginning of the music fond under description.

19. Fernanda Vera and José Contreras, Educación y praxis musical en el Seminario Pontificio Mayor de Santiago (1845–1900). Un reflejo de la sociedad de su época (Seminario para optar al título de Profesor Especializado en Teoría General de la música, Universidad de Chile, 2013), 114.

20. Denise Sargent, Aporte de José Bernardo Alzedo a la música religiosa en Chile (Tesis para optar al grado de Licenciado en Musicología, Universidad de Chile, 1984), 22.

21. The instrument arrived in Chile in 1854.

22. José Manuel Izquierdo, El órgano Flight & Son de la Catedral de Santiago de Chile (Tesis para optar al grado de Magíster en Artes mención Musicología, Universidad de Chile, 2011), 47.

23. Organist of Angui’s Cathedral. Vera and Contreras, Educación y praxis musical, 121.

24. Ibid.

25. We define “treasure” as an object unique in its scarcity. A “curiosity” is an object that can be distinguished because of its details, marks, signatures, or other features. The “representative samples of the collection” are the objects that reflect the corpus of its origins. We will use this same distinction to refer to the national value of the pieces in the three repositories under discussion.

26. Víctor Rondón, “Música y cotidianeidad en el Convento de la Recoleta Dominicana de Santiago de Chile en la primera mitad del siglo 19”, Revista Musical Chilena, 53, no. 192 (July 1999): 47–74.

27. Rondón, “Música y cotidianeidad”, 47.

28. Víctor Rondón, “El Archivo Musical del Convento de la Recoleta Dominica de Santiago de Chile: descripción de sus materiales y proyecciones investigativas para la musicología histórica”. In I Congreso de la Sociedad Chilena de Musicología (Santiago: Centro Cultural Monte Carmelo, 2000).

29. Rondón, “Catálogo del Archivo Musical de la Biblioteca Patrimonial de la Recoleta Dominica”.

30. Víctor Rondón, Fernanda Vera and José Manuel Izquierdo, Catálogo de la Música. Recoleta Dominica. Biblioteca Patrimonial (Santiago: Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes, Fondo para el Fomento de la Música Nacional, 2013), 10. Most of the information in this section of the article, unless mentioned otherwise, was taken from this catalogue.

31. Rondón, “Música y cotidianeidad”, 52–54.

32. Ibid., 56–57.

33. Ibid., 71–72.

34. Marcelino Diez Martínez, “Franz Joseph Haydn y Cádiz. El encargo de Las Siete Palabras”, Revista MARMúsica de Andalucía en la Red 1 (2011): 25–40; online at http://mar.ugr.es/static/MAR_Revista/*/1/articulos/franz-joseph-haydn-y-cadiz-el-encargo-de-las-siete-palabras (accessed 11 March 2016).

35. Information in this section was taken from Fernanda Vera, José Manuel Izquierdo and José Contreras, Partituras Archivo Central Andrés Bello. Catálogo Razonado (Santiago, 2012).

36. See http://archivobello.uchile.cl/, accessed 11 March 2016.

37. Eugenio Pereira Salas, Biobibliografía Musical de Chile. Desde los orígenes a 1886. Serie de monografías anexas a los Anales de la Universidad de Chile (Santiago: Universidad de Chile, Vicerrectoría de Extensión y Comunicaciones, 1978).

38. The Catálogo Bello is the internal bibliographic search system of the Institution.

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