Plays of the Spanish Golden Age were published in collection (parte) or separately (suelta). The suelta (lit. “loose”) format consisted of a single play printed in a small pamphlet, although many were later bound into collected volumes. Sueltas were popular from around 1600 to 1850.
The sueltas in the Queens College Archives date from the later half of this period, when many of the playwrights were already deceased – a testament to the longevity of the artists and their forms.
The Comedias Sueltas Collection was acquired in April 2015 from Richard C. Ramer Old and Rare Books (New York City). We acknowledge the ongoing, long-term support provided to the Department of Special Collections and Archives/Queens College Libraries by Dr. Szilvia Szmuk-Tanenbaum and the Pine Tree Foundation. Dr. Szmuk-Tanenbaum, Director of the Pine Tree Foundation, served as special collections librarian at St. John's University in New York City for 26 years, and is the compiler of several bibliographies of Spanish comedias sueltas. She is active in the Rare Book School, Grolier Club, the Bibliographical Society of America, and the Center for Book Arts, among other organizations.
A physical version of this exhibit is being held in the Benjamin Rosenthal Library from October 5 to November 30, 2015. Curated by Mark Sacha.
Each item in the collection has been cataloged and is accessible through the Queens College Library catalog.
Explore sections of the exhibit below.