The AHRC-funded project Wrongdoing in Spain 1800-1936: Realities, Representations, Reactions is in its first year. Cambridge University Library has an impressive and rich collection of what a are referred to in English as chap-books, and in Spanish as sueltos, or pliegos sueltos (loose leaves or folded loose leaves). These provide a fascinating bird’s eye view of popular culture from the 18th century onwards and show us versions of how forms of wrongdoing were perceived, or were presented to the populace as constructed forms of wrongdoing.
The digitisation of this material began at the UL in 2011, and will be followed shortly by a similar digitisation project at the British Library. Eventually between the two collections we will have digitised and catalogued close to 4500 items. Both here and at the British Library, these collections have suffered in the past from a lack of attention from cataloguers, so that at present it is difficult for the researcher to scan the material for themes or characteristics. The consequences of digitising and cataloguing will open the way for a new wave of activity in relation to this material.