Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Isaías Lerner

Committee Members

Martin Nozick

Theodore S. Beardsley

Subject Categories

Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


The impetus behind this dissertation was to bring to light 475 individual comedias sueltas bound in 26 volumes and entered under the single subject heading: "Teatro espanol" in the library of the Hispanic Society of America.

Chapbooks were a printers' genre during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries popular throughout Europe and they encompassed all types of literature. This collection of Spanish sueltas consists only of comedias, bailes, and autos, mostly eighteenth-century reprints of Golden Age plays, and contemporary editions of comedias nuevas and sainetes.

The emphasis of this study is on the sueltas as physical objects, i.e., the work constitutes a descriptive bibliography. The descriptions, averaging 3/4 of a page in length, are based on E. M. Wilson's adaptation of Fredson Bowers' rigorous standards for bibliographic description. Each entry begins with a quasi-facsimile transcription of the head-title and includes the following information: printer's serial number; first page or folio number; notes on the performance; author's name; dramatis personae; stage directions, format and collation; first and last two lines of the text; running headline; full colophon; quire catchwords; type measurements; and miscellaneous observations.

The Introduction reviews the literature on previously published suelta catalogs, discusses the history, characteristics and printing practices concerning comedias sueltas. Furthermore, it analyses the profile of the specific collection under study.

The descriptions are followed by three checklists: a listing of titles within the volumes; names and sites associated with printing and bookselling; and a listing by publisher series number. In addition, there are 11 indexes to identify the following elements: theaters where performances took place; acting companies named; plays which listed performers' names; occasion for the performance; performance dates; persons and places named in titles; epithets (other than comedia famosa); date of printing; half-titles, sub-titles and alternate titles; publishers, printers, booksellers, and bookstores; and authors, translators, and adaptors.


Digital reproduction from the UMI microform.