El Salvador Archives and Libraries

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Archives[edit | edit source]

El Salvador Archives are intended to store, collect and preserve the original documents of a number of Church and Government organizations.  Many of the historical records have been compromised through the years due to lack of resources, fires, and civil/military unrest.  Due to these factors and many others, the research possibilities in the country may present a significant challenge to any researcher.  Aldo Lauria-Santiago explained some of those possibilities as well as some of those challenges.[1]
According to Lauria-Santiago, the archival sources in El Salvador can be separated into the following:

  • The National Archives
  • Asamblea Nacional
  • Ministries and other Government Offices
  • Census Materials
  • Catholic Church Archives
  • Universidad Centroamericana (UCA)
  • Biblioteca Nacional
  • Municipal Materials

The National Archives
You will have the option to visit a number of repositories but any visit to the Salvadorian Diplomatic Archives must be approved by the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The location for the National Archives is at the old Palacio Nacional, Centro Histórico, Avenida Cuscatlán San Salvador.  The address for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Historical Archive is Final 17ª Avenida Norte, Plan Maestro Centro de Gobierno, Anexo “B” Edificio Número 2. San Salvador, El Salvador.

Many documents created prior to 1930 may still be found at the National Archives. Lauria-Santiago states that the materials lack a proper indexing and organization. Researchers should first contact the Historical Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and provide a letter from their sponsoring university or institution.

Central American Archives
Center for Research Libraries
6050 S. Kenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637-2804
Telephone: (800) 621-6044/(773) 955-4545
Email: mwilke@crl.edu
Website: Central American Archives
Website #2: Central American Archives

These archives encompass six million pages of original primary source documents (many of which are unique copies) spanning more than three centuries, from 1519 to 1898. They document Spanish rule in the New World from the founding of the city of Antigua, in Guatemala. The collection documents all aspects of commerce, politics, and development throughout El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Yucatan and Chiapas regions of Mexico. Central American Archives is a rich resource for Latin American, Central American, and Spanish studies.

Center for Regional Research of Mesoamerica (CIRMA)
5a. Calle Oriente No. 5
La Antigua, Sacatepéquez
Telephone: (502) 7931-0300
Email: cirma@cirma.org.gt
Website: Historical Archive
Website #2: Center for Mesoamerican Research
Website #3: Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica (CIRMA)

The Historical Archive has as its main purpose to protect part of the country's historical memory through the rescue, organization, conservation and dissemination of documentary archives. The materials come from non-governmental institutions and private collections and are presented in different formats (paper, digital, microfilm, audio and video). These archives, some unique and others little known, enrich the national historical legacy and offer different points of view of Guatemalan society over time. Its collections, some of which are recognized as the nation's cultural heritage, date from the 16th century to the present, with an emphasis on the contemporary period starting in 1944. It currently houses 135 collections made up of more than eight million documents.

Libraries[edit | edit source]

National Library of El Salvador (Biblioteca Nacional)
4 Calle Ote
4a Calle Poniente
8A Avenida Norte
Centro Historico
San Salvador
Telephone: (503) 2221 6312
Email: bibliotecanacionales@gmail.com
Email #2: biblioteca.nacional@cultura.gob.sv
Website: National Library of El Salvador
Website #2: Biblioteca Nacional, El Salvador - National Library of El Salvador

University of El Salvador Library
End of Av.Martires and Heroes of July 30
San Salvador
Telephone: (503) 2511-2000
Email: biblioteca.central@ues.edu.sv
Website: University of El Salvador Library

Museums[edit | edit source]

David J. Guzman National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia)
Avenida La Revolucion y Alameda Manual Enrique Araujo
San Salvador
Telephone: (503) 2243 3750/2275 5090/2243 3927
Website: National Museum of Anthropology Dr. David J. Guzmán
Website #2: David J. Guzman National Museum of Anthropology
Website #3: National Museum of Anthropology Dr David J. Guzman
Website #4: National Museum of Anthropology Dr. David J. Guzman

Located in the heart of downtown San Salvador, this museum offers the nation’s most comprehensive exhibition of Salvadoran history. With five exhibit halls, space for temporary displays, and artists’ showcases, the museum serves as a pillar of El Salvador’s effort towards cultural preservation.

East Regional Museum (Museo Regional de Oriente)
Centro de Gobierno Departamental
8ª Avenida Sur y 15A Calle Oriente
San Miguel
Telephone: (503) 2660 1275
Email: scerritos@cultura.gob.sv
Website: Regional Museum of the East (San Miguel)
Website #2: Museo Regional de Oriente
Website #3: Museo Regional de Oriente

Housed in a former textile factory and one-time military complex, the Regional Museum of the East (Museo Regional de Oriente) tells the story of the east through the multidisciplinary lenses of archaeology, ethnography, and history. Under the direction of Saúl Cerritos, this institution promotes a celebration of the distinct history and heritage of the East.

Regional Museum of the West (Museo Regional de Occidente)
Building A-5 Master Plan
Government Center
Alameda Juan Pablo II and Guadalupe Street
Santa Ana
Telephone: (503) 2501 4400/2441 1215
Email: mregionaloccidente@gmail.com
Website: Regional Museum of the West (Santa Ana)
Website #2: Museo Regional de Occidente
Website #3: Museo Regional de Occidente

This museum is conceived as a center for transmitting knowledge of the cultural and historical heritage of the western region of the country, which seeks to generate spaces for cultural development, fostering the approach of the family, making them participants to strengthen identity and cultural development.

University Museum of Anthropology (MUA)
Arce Street and 17 Av. Norte, No. 1006
San Salvador
Telephone: (503) 2275 8888 extension 8836
Email: museo_utec@yahoo.com
Website: University Museum of Anthropology (MUA)

The University Museum of Anthropology (MUA) houses numerous treasures of Salvadoran identity. Since 2006, the idea of ​​the museum was taking shape by collecting archaeological pieces belonging to the pre-Columbian era of our country.

For a list of museums in El Salvador, go to List of museums in El Salvador in Wikipedia.

References[edit | edit source]