A firsthand glimpse of the dawn of the Age of Exploration: 21 reports, personal letters, and journals from Christopher Columbus himself

Christopher Columbus' documents in the Casa de Alba archive

1493–1504

Christopher Columbus' documents in the Casa de Alba archive

Christopher Columbus' documents in the Casa de Alba archive

— 1493–1504

  1. Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) inadvertently stumbled upon the Americas while looking for India

  2. The Casa de Alba Archive houses the largest collection of Columbus manuscripts in the world

  3. This collection gives insight into both the four voyages of Columbus and his personality

Christopher Columbus' documents in the Casa de Alba archive

Alternative Titles:
  • Archivos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba
  • Dokumente des Christoph Kolumbus aus dem Casa de Alba Archiv
  • Documentos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba
  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

Christopher Columbus is one of the most famous and infamous figures in history. His misguided attempt to find a shortcut to India inadvertently began the European colonization of the Americas. These 21 documents from the Casa de Alba Archive represent the largest and most important collection of original manuscripts from the famous four voyages that Columbus made while exploring the Caribbean. At the same time, they offer precious insight into the personality and inner thoughts of the Genoese explorer, making them invaluable artifacts for the history of Spain and the Age of Exploration.

Christopher Columbus' Documents in the Casa de Alba Archive

This boxed set represents one of the most comprehensive collections of documents concerning the four voyages of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506). These 21 documents from the Casa de Alba archive in Spain offer precious insight into the dawn of European exploration and colonization in the New World. In addition to Columbus’ personal logbook, known as the Diario de a bordo, this collection ranges from personal letters to official reports written between 1493 and 1504.

An Eyewitness to Columbus

The value of these documents lies not only in their insights into the dawn of the Age of Exploration but also for the information the offer concerning Columbus himself, one of the most famous and infamous personalities in history. Some documents were written by scribes and only signed by Columbus, others appear to one of many drafts written by Columbus himself. They are divided into two groups: documents written while as sea or in the West Indies between 1492 and 1504 and documents written in Castile in 1498.

A Marvelous Private Collection

The Casa de Alba Archive consists of 50,000 historical documents accumulated from the libraries of more than 50 aristocratic families and includes the largest collection of original manuscripts related to Columbus, representing nearly half of all surviving documents concerning him. This collection, which has been elegantly presented here, consists of:
I. Logbook, 1493. (Includes a sketch map of a part of the island of La Hispaniola).
II. Torres Memorial, January 30, 1494. (This text was delivered by Antonio de Torres to the Catholic Monarchs. Here, Columbus narrates the first five months of the voyage).
III. Letter to Diego Colón. Seville, April 29, 1498. (Sent by Columbus from Seville to his elder son, Diego, who was in Toledo with the court of the Catholic Monarchs).
IV. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Sanlúcar, May 12, 1498. (Sent by Columbus to his friend Gaspar de Gorricio, a monk of the Monastery of Cartuja de las Cuevas in Seville).
V. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Sanlúcar, May 28, 1498.
VI. The Admiral’s response to the matter of his privileges.
VII. Relation of the people who went with Columbus on the first voyage. Santo Domingo, November 16, 1498.
VIII. Letter to Miguel Ballester. La Concepción, May 21, 1499. (Sent by Columbus to Miguel Ballester, the governor of the fortress of La Concepción).
IX. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Granada, February 26, 1501.
X. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Granada, May 24, 1501.
XI. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Granada, June 9, 1501.
XII. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. 14 (…) 1501.
XIII. Letter to Brother Gaspar de Gorricio. Undated.
XIV. Concession of hundred gold castellanos (Spanish coins) to Alonso de Morales. Granada, October 22, 1501.
XV. Brief about the gold which has been sold in Castile up to the month of (…). 1501.
XVI. Brief from the Admiral about the grievances he had endured. 1501.
XVII. Brief of Grievances.
XVIII. Information about privileges and favors.
XIX. Deliverance of Diego Rodríguez. September 7, 1504.
XX. Deliverance of Rodrigo Vizcaíno and Francisco Niño. September 8, 1504.
XXI. Deliverance of Diego de Salcedo. September 9, 1504.

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Archivos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba
Dokumente des Christoph Kolumbus aus dem Casa de Alba Archiv
Documentos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba
Date
1493–1504
Language
Script
Secretary
Content
Selected Documents of Christopher Columbus: Letters, Reports and Statements
Previous Owners
1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Christopher Columbus' documents in the Casa de Alba archive“

Documentos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba Facsimile

Imageof

Documentos Colombinos en la Casa de Alba Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1987
Commentary
1 volume by Consuelo Varela
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
  1. Matching Works
  2. Matching Background Articles
Matching Works
Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will
Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will

Dated to the day before his death: an intimate look into the last years of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus

Experience More
Book of Hours and The Military Codex of Christopher Columbus
Book of Hours and The Military Codex of Christopher Columbus

A gift from Borgia Pope Alexander VI to Christopher Columbus: his book of hours, in which the great explorer immortalized his will

Experience More
Matching Background Articles
Publisher