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Descifrando y Leyendo Viejos Documentos Históricos Dominicanos (e Hispanoamericanos) / Deciphering and Reading Old Dominican (and Hispanic American) Historical Documents

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute
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Descifrando y Leyendo Viejos Documentos Históricos Dominicanos (e Hispanoamericanos) / Deciphering and Reading Old Dominican (and Hispanic American) Historical Documents

Under the title "Descifrando y Leyendo Viejos Documentos Históricos Dominicanos (e Hispanoamericanos) / Deciphering and Reading Old Dominican (and Hispanic American) Historical Documents," a free, 8-session Summer workshop was held at the Archives and Library of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute during the month of August where participants had a unique opportunity to begin familiarizing themselves with the no-longer in vogue hand-writing styles of the Dominican and Spanish-language worlds of the 16th-18th centuries.

 
As part of the CUNY DSI current efforts to promote the research and production of new knowledge about the earlier period of Dominican recorded history, the workshop was launched with the aim of expanding the number of people equipped with the necessary paleographic training to read the great numbers of hand-written documents from this period of the Dominican Republic and other Spanish-culture countries that still remain unstudied or almost untouched by historians.The workshop, attended by 15 individuals from different walks of life of New York City, exposed participants to the often cumbersome-looking manuscripts that constitute the bulk of all documents from the Dominican Republic during its three centuries of formation as a hybrid society of descendants of the native Taínos, the European colonizers and the Black Africans mostly brought to the island as enslaved labor force in what was the early beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade.


On the other hand, the workshop was an attempt by CUNYDSI to disseminate a reading skill that is usually confined to rare doctoral programs in the humanities in a reduced number of universities.
The workshop, open to everybody with the only pre-requisite of a good level of reading fluency in Spanish, was lead by Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, Assistant Director of CUNY DSI and historian specializing in 16th century La Española or Santo Domingo, and Dr. Lissette Acosta Corniel, a scholar in Latin American studies and a post-doctoral fellow at the CUNY DSI. It took place every Monday and Thursday of the month of August of 2014 from 7:00pm to 8:30p.m.