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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Open Access Policy Deposits

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC Santa Barbara Department of Spanish and Portuguese researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Cover page of Puerto Rico’s Archival Traditions in a Colonial Context

Puerto Rico’s Archival Traditions in a Colonial Context


This chapter examines the historical antecedents of recordkeeping and archives in Puerto Rico, during both Spanish and U.S. colonial rules. It also explores the history and current issues of the Archivo General de Puerto Rico (General Archive of Puerto Rico). This historical analysis is made within the context of colonialism, examining the effects of Puerto Rico’s colonial status (during the Spanish colonial period and the current period under United States colonial management) on the mission and work of the AGPR. We argue that while the Archivo General was created to address the chaotic management of government records, its founding reflected the conflicting realities of Puerto Rico’s colonial status as a U.S. territory on the one hand, and on the other, the efforts by the new ELA government to shape a Puerto Rican identity connected to the island’s colonial past with Spain as a deterrent against U.S. assimilation.