Wednesday, February 18, 2009
In 1577, Spain’s King Phillip II ordered a comprehensive survey of the New World. Questionnaires sent to Spain’s territories in the Americas requested information about population, languages, terrain and vegetation.
Of the more than 200 hand-drawn responses, called the relaciones geográficas, one-fifth reside in the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at The University of Texas at Austin. The relaciones geográficas are just a few of the many priceless artifacts acquired by the library since its establishment in 1926.
Today, the Benson Collection is the…