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General Archive of the
Indies

Introduction to the documentary resources of the General Archive of the Indias

The documents currently held by the Archive originate mainly from the following metropolitan organisations:

  • Council of the Indias, 16th-19th centuries
  • Casa de la Contratación (Contracting Company) 15th-18th centuries
  • Consulates of Seville and Cadiz, 16th-19th centuries
  • State Secretariats and the Universal Office of the Indias, State, Grace and Justice, Treasury and War, 18th -19th centuries
  • Secretariat of the Court of Arrivals, 18th-19th centuries
  • Cadiz Public Treasury Auditing Office
  • General Department of Post Office Revenue, 18th-19th centuries
  • Court of Audit, Overseas Court, 19th century
  • Royal Company of Havana, 18th-19th centuries

Other documents come directly from colonial organisations (General Headquarters of Cuba, 18th-19th centuries) or from files from individuals related to the colonial administration (Duke of Veragua, 15th-18th centuries; General Polavieja, 1876-1898, and Viceroy Abascal, 1804-1859).

The Archive of the Indias' documentary collection is therefore of great interest for the historical study of Spain's work in the Indias, affecting an enormous area, America (from the south of the United States to Tierra del Fuego) and the Philippines from the 15th to the 19th century.

They are grouped in 16 sections:

  1. Board of Trustees
  2. Accountancy
  3. Contracting
  4. Justice
  5. Government
  6. Chamber clerk's office
  7. Arrivals
  8. Mail
  9. State
  10. Overseas
  11. Cuba
  12. Consulates
  13. Titles of Castile
  14. Court of Audit
  15. Various
  16. Maps and plans.



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