Research on nineteenth-century caciquismo

Dec 27, 2019 | Chapters, Publications

Research on nineteenth-century caciquismo and the significance of family archives

  • Nuno Pousinho
  • Recovered voices, newfound questions: family archives and historical research
  • Maria de Lurdes Rosa, Rita Sampaio da Nóvoa, Alice Borges Gago and Maria João da Câmara (Coords.)
  • 2019
  • Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-989-26-1793-0 / 978-989-26-1794-7 (online)
  • 279-286

Family archives, either privately owned or preserved by public institutions, are a vital source of material for researchers working on topics such as contemporary social and political relations, elections, the power exerted by certain political agents and their clienteles. This short article aims at presenting the remarkable value of such documentation for these topics, as well as addressing their sporadic use in Portugal — unlike Spain, for instance — when conducting research on political elites. Firstly, a comparison will be drawn between research work carried out in Spain and Portugal based on such sources. Secondly, the difficulties faced will be highlighted, as well as the methodological issues at stake and the types of information available..

private archives; family archives; caciquismo; boss rule; notables; political influence

About the book (from the foreword):
At the core of this book are private archives, specifically family archives. Although it centers mainly around Portugal and its sphere, it provides insights also on the archives of France and of the Canary Islands. The book ends with a theoretical essay that intersects with other kinds of archives. Covering a long time span (from the later Middle Ages until today), these studies have a strong focus on the ancien régime family archives, understood as living archives, with changing purposes, dimension, the type of documents and information, location, ownership, custody, arrangement, classification, finding aids, uses, and value.


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