Guide to the Research Collections

- South America (Billings HCM-HLY)
- Public Documents

Public Documents

The official publications of the various South American governments form a generally strong collection, especially for the twentieth century. Some important series, particularly for the nineteenth century, are fragmentary; however, active attempts are made to complete back files. Official government gazettes are usually present, as are parliamentary proceedings and general economic and statistical publications. The following notes indicate the range of materials to be found in the collection.


The Diario de sesiones of the Cámara de Diputados is held from 1854 to 1950, with some earlier volumes; that of the Cámara de Senadores is fairly complete from 1854 to 1951. The Leyes nacionales sancionadas are complete from 1918 with scattered volumes from 1899 to 1909/10, and there are compilations for earlier periods. The Boletin oficial is complete from 1902. The Registro nacional covers 1873-1908.


Parliamentary proceedings and papers are fairly complete from 1900 to 1943. The Anuario administrativo is complete from 1856 to 1948 preceded by the Colección oficial de leyes (1825-57). The library currently receives the Gaceta oficial.


The Annaes of the Camara dos Deputados are complete from 1826 to 1922, for 1954, and from 1960 onward. From the Senado the file is complete from 1891 to 1914, with scattered early volumes from 1827, and from 1956 onward. The Diário oficial is available in an incomplete file from 1900 to date as is the Diário do Congreso which accompanies it. The Collecç[amacr ]o das leis commences in 1808 and is fairly complete. To this should be added the 26-volume "Collecç[amacr ]o authentica de todas as leys, regimentos, alvaras, e mais ordens, que se expediram para o Brazil desde o estabelecimento destas conquistas. Ordenada por Provizam de 28 de Março de 1754," in the Manuscripts and Archives Division. An extremely important printed collection in 4 volumes, "Codigo brasiliense" (Rio de Janeiro, 1808-21), is housed in the Rare Book Division; that division holds additional alvarás covering the treatment of Indians, the slave trade, and other subjects.


The Boletin of the Cámara de Senadores and that of the Cámara de Diputados are fairly complete from 1866 to 1945 and from 1866 to 1935 respectively; the earlier Sesiones de los cuerpos legislativos, 1811 á 1845 are complete from 1811 to 1841. The Boletin de las leyes is complete from 1924 to 1951 with a broken file from 1889 to 1902. The Recopilación de decretosleyes por Orden numérico arreglada por la Secretaria del Consejo de Estado is complete from 1821. The Diario oficial is available.


The Anales of the Cámara de Representantes and those of the Senado are complete from 1903 to 1945, superseded by the Anales of the Congreso from 1945 onward. The session laws are fairly complete from 1877 and the contemporary Leyes expedidas por el Congreso Nacional (under various titles) from 1821 as far as they have been published. The Diario oficial is complete from 1861. There is a good collection of public documents for the department of Antioquia.


The files are generally weak. There are scattered volumes of the Diario de debates of both houses of the Congreso. The file of the Anuario de legislación ecuatoriana is complete from 1896 to 1925. The Registro oficial is complete from 1920 including the Indice general y clave de legislación.


The government publications of Panama form an essentially strong collection. Although the file of the Anales of the Asamblea Nacional is fragmentary from 1908 to 1943, there is a more current file of the Diario de los Debates (1926-43). The Leyes expedidas and the Gaceta oficial are complete from 1904. Memorias of the various ministries, with few exceptions, are complete from their beginnings.


The files are not strong. The Diario de sesiones of the Congreso Nacional is complete from 1926, with scattered volumes for earlier years. It is preceded by the Diario of the Cámara de Diputados and of the Senate from 1872 to 1920. The Diario oficial is complete from 1918 to 1942 with a few issues before and a scattered file after. The Registro oficial is complete from 1869 to 1952 with an irregular file after that time.


The library holds material on the Viceroyalty of Peru both in original documents of the seventeenth century and for all periods in reprint form. Other compilations of earlier laws and decrees supplement the Leyes y resoluciones (fairly complete from 1860 to 1905); this collection is followed by the Anuario de la legislación peruana, complete from 1905 to 1925. The Diario de los debates for the Cámara de los Diputados is fragmentary, but there is a complete file for the Cámara de Senadores from 1872. There is an irregular file of El Peruano up to the time it ceased publication in 1961. The Rare Book Division has a file of the early Gaceta del gobierno (1821-26).


The Diario de sesiones of the Asamblea General is complete from 1830 to 1933; it is presently published in the Diario oficial, available in the library from 1959. The Diario of the Cámara de Representantes is complete from 1858. The files of the Colección legislativa and its continuation, Registro nacional de leyes, decretos y otros documentos, are almost complete from the earliest issue of 1825.


The Gaceta oficial is complete from 1902 with fragmentary files of other titles in the collection. Diarios of both houses of the Congreso are complete from 1932. The Recopilación de leyes y decretos lacks some volumes.

-------------------------------------------- page 254