The San Pablo Catholic University digitizes and safeguards documents that tell the history of Arequipa, Peru


He curated and digitized part of the Municipal Museum archive, which is on display until May 22, 2023.

The Saint Paul Catholic University (UCSP) has started the campaign to safeguard the documentary heritage of Arequipa, digitizing part of the archives of the “Guillermo Zegarra Meneses” Municipal Historical Museum. These are texts dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Some of them can be seen in the exhibition that the UCSP has made available to the general public until May 22.

The exhibition: “Documents that tell history, the Municipal Historical Museum of Arequipa”, has 22 photographs of documents from the viceregal and republican era, manuscripts and prints, that give an account of national and local events, historical figures and events. “These allow us to deepen our knowledge of history and thereby contribute to reflection on cultural identity,” said Mgtr. Pamela Cabala Banda.

The director of Peruvian Studies Center (CEP) of UCSP specified that San Pablo is committed to culture, which is why it makes this exhibition that tells the story available to citizens. In addition, it values Arequipa's cultural heritage, seeks to raise awareness among our population about the importance of its protection and offers professionals input for research.

Some of the documents that can be seen are the correspondences of 1821 to the king of Spain and the Royal Commentaries and General History of Peru by Garcilaso de la Vega, correspondences of Antonio José de Sucre (1823), the First Book of Minutes of the Academy Lauretana (1823), correspondence between Ricardo Palma and Francisco Mostajo (1896), the relationship of residents of Arequipa from the first half of the 19th century; and photographs of some illustrious Arequipa residents, as well as events in our city, among others.

This exhibition is held in the main hall of the UCSP San Lázaro campus and is open to the public, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the mornings you can also view the original documents. The presentation is possible thanks to a joint effort of the Center for Peruvian Studies, the UCSP Library and Arts Center and the Municipal Museum.

Previously trained San Pablo Library personnel have been in charge of digitizing the documents. The historians Jorge Luis Pinto Ccama and Erika Ccari Álvarez curated the 40 pages delivered by the Municipal Museum. From these files, nearly 1,000 images have been digitized, which will later be cataloged in order to make them available to the population.

Mrs. Miriam Infantes, administrator of the Municipal Historical Museum, thanked San Pablo and the Codicis project for the work carried out, because in this way the history of Arequipa is being protected. “If these documents had not been inventoried and then digitized, this material could be lost. Not only does paper deteriorate, but, being a physical archive, they are exposed to disasters such as fires, earthquakes, etc.,” he noted.