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Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents Collection

Identifier: 2000-0130

Scope and Content

The collection consists of court documents in manuscript hand. The materials span the dates 1844-1900, with the bulk of the collection dated between 1870-1890.


  • 1844-1900

Language(s) of Materials

The collection consists mainly of 19th century style Spanish language materials.


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain for the period covered by most of the documents included in this collection (until the Spanish- American War of 1898). Under Spanish rule the civil courts of Puerto Rico fell under territorial jurisdiction. The island was divided into judicial districts corresponding to the major municipal areas (e.g., Aguadilla, Arecibo, Mayag├╝ez.)


5.2 Linear Feet


Included are approx. 5000 documents dated between 1840s to the 1890s, many of which are from the Arecibo civil (corte de primera instancia) court districts, covering the full range of cases that might have been brought to civil courts in those times mainly disputes over economic holdings such as land disputes, sale of slaves, and similar materials. The collection includes court cases from the towns of Arecibo, Barceloneta, Camuy, Ciales, Hatillo, Manati, Morovis, Quebradillas, and Utuado.


The records are arranged chronologically in one series.

Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased in 2000.

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

The Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents Collection was digitized thanks to a grant by the Center of Research Libraries' LAMP initiative, The digital reproduction of this collection is available electronically at the Internet Archives at

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of published materials pertaining Puerto Rico and Latin America. See especially, the Puerto Rican collection of printed books, pamphlets, government documents, and periodicals on the social, economic, political, and literary history of Puerto Rico during the late 19th and early 20th century. The Spanish Periodicals Collection, which spans three centuries with the bulk of the materials covering the years 1800-1840, is abundant with information on all aspects of Spanish society: politics and government, history, literature, science, the arts, religion, and economy and trade with much detail also about life and society in the Spanish territories of Latin America and the Caribbean. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the reference desk.

Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents Collection
Archives & Special Collections staff
2004 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US