Venezuelan History

A Comprehensive Working Bibliography

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Original Preface and Acknowledgements
Notes to the On-Line Edition


This working bibliography provides a starting place for the study of Venezuelan history. As a working bibliography, it does not begin to cover everything ever written about Venezuela's past, but it does include over four thousand items that can serve as a beginning. Politics and political history are, of course, heavily represented here, but so also are economics, social history, intellectual and artistic history, and even natural history. None of these areas of interest are covered exhaustively, but most are represented by a substantial collection of references. Within this broad thematic sweep we included items ranging chronologically from preconquest indigenous societies through the most recent political and social events; from pre-Columbian artifacts through the nationalization of the oil industry. As a result, if everything ever written about Venezuela is not listed, it should be possible to find out about almost everything ever written about Venezuela through research in the items included.

In a project of this kind it usually proves difficult to establish and maintain rigidly controlled search procedures. Our work was no exception. The items in this working bibliography came primarily from three different types of sources. First, of course, were the multiple volumes of the Library of Congress Catalogs of books. Second were the published catalogs of major research collections in the United States such as those at the universities of Texas, California, Tulane, Harvard, Florida; the printed catalog of the New York Public Library; and the Handbook of Latin American Studies. Third were a collection of miscellaneous sources: publishers/' catalogs, Libros en Venta, private libraries, and citations sent in by our research team in Venezuela. In general, we took a permissive attitude about including items in the bibliography. For example, we did not search for items in languages other than English or Spanish, but when such publications appeared, we included them. Likewise, we emphasized original imprints or reprints published since the Second World War and especially those published in the last twenty years. But when important items occurred with earlier publication dates, we included them. With very few exceptions, however, every reference was verified in a printed library catalog or similar standard reference, or it was checked against a copy of the item in question. By casting our net widely we increased the quantity of our catch but with the inevitable consequence of also increasing the quantity of less useful items. But because one scholar's marginalia is another's intellectual passion, we made little effort to weed out this collection, except to exclude pamphlets and journal article reprints.

We also included unpublished dissertations completed on Venezuelan topics at United States institutions during the last decade. Where the title of a published work differed substantially from the dissertation title, or where there seemed some reason to suspect that the dissertation might differ from a similarly titled publication, we left the dissertation in. Here, as elsewhere, we chose to err on the side of including a superfluous item rather than excluding a useful one.

Venezuela's government agencies delight in publishing quantities of information in statistical series, in reports, in speeches, and so forth. But not only does the Venezuelan Central Bank, for example, publish excellent economic data, it also issues a fine series of historical publications frequently unrelated to banking or economics. And the National Racetrack Institute has published a series of nineteenth-century traveler's accounts. Given this universal interest in history, we included the historically significant editions sponsored by a wide variety of government agencies without attempting a comprehensive listing of the agencies/' other publications. Similarly, we included the major publications resulting from each of Venezuela's republican censuses but not every publication derived from the censuses. Thus, the major population counts are here; the detailed industrial and agricultural censuses are not.

Given the enormous quantity of Venezuelan history that has been written in periodical articles, we had to limit our search or this list would have been swamped by articles. Because the purpose of this working bibliography is to help guide students to information on Venezuela's past, rather than to provide a definitive list, we excluded all articles published in Venezuelan periodicals. Instead, we listed the periodicals themselves and any cumulative indexes that may exist. Other articles on Venezuelan topics, especially those in English and those published in the United States, are listed separately. We did not uncover all the articles in English on Venezuelan themes, but through the Handbook of Latin American Studies and other sources we acquired a significant sample of recent articles.

This working bibliography is organized by broadly defined category and, within category, by principal author and title. Clearly, many works could easily have been included under as many as three or four of these categories, but such a cross-listing procedure would have led to a publication much larger than this one. We chose, instead, to list each item under the most appropriate category. This means, for example, that some items referring only in a peripheral way to the period 1863-1935 will not be listed under History 1863-1935, but possibly under History 1830-1863, or History Post-1935. These categories, then, are broad indications of subject area, not precise thematic classifications. Because many students may want to locate the works of individual authors, there is an index that includes all authors, or titles or institutions listed as authors.



We adopted a series of conventions in preparing the entries that are designed to make the list easier to use and more compatible with the computer.

  1. Multiple authors. Where a work has a number of authors we listed it under the name of the first author, rather than under the title.
  2. Universities. All publications listed with a university as the author are to be found under the name of the university. Thus, UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA ANDRES BELLO not CARACAS. UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA ANDRES BELLO. And, UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA not VENEZUELA. UNIVERSIDAD CENTRAL DE VENEZUELA
  3. Periodicals. References to periodicals published in Venezuela and to their cumulative indexes are found under the heading VENEZUELA. PERIODICALS; in the General Reference category.
  4. Censuses. Because the Venezuelan agency charged with preparing the national censuses has changed names, thus leading to a bewildering array of institutional affiliations, we brought these, and similar statistical series, together under the author heading VENEZUELA. STATISTICS; within appropriate categories.
  5. Cross-references. Where an author has used a pseudonym or where the Library of Congress form of a name differs from accepted Venezuelan practice, there is a cross-reference. Thus, DE ARMAS CHITTY, JOSE ANTONIO. see ARMAS CHITTY, JOSE ANTONIO DE. The cross-references are included in the index. In a few cases where standard bibliographic practice would list a work under an institutional heading but most historians would be inclined to look under a title heading, we listed the item under both headings.
  6. Government documents. We standardized agency and ministry names to conform to current terminology. For example, government maps and atlases listed under DIRECCION DE CARTOGRAFIA NACIONAL may have been originally cataloged under MINISTERIO DE OBRAS PUBLICAS. In these cases, the exact title of the issuing agency is preserved in the publication information.
  7. Library of Congress form. Wherever possible we made names and bibliographic information conform to Library of Congress standards.

These conventions, while appearing complex on paper, should help students make the most efficient use of this working bibliography. There are, however, other conventions we followed to make this project more easily computer compatible. The machine, while a boon to bibliographical projects, often imposes its own stylistic requirements. In our implementation the following conventions proved helpful for fast, efficient computer use.

  1. Alphabetizing and sorting. Our computer program and printer admits none of the special characters in the Spanish alphabet such as the ñ, nor does it recognize the "ch" or the "ll" as single letters. Similarly, there is no provision for diacritics: accents, umlauts, and the like. The resulting printout is aesthetically displeasing and orthographically inaccurate, but it will have to do. Of the omissions, the most serious is the lack of an ñ, but once reasonably familiar with the literature, students should have little difficulty reconstituting the missing marks. All alphabetizing is done letter by letter, blanks and punctuation marks are counted, and the sort sequence is as follows:


    Where there are multiple authors they are separated by an asterisk. The program alphabetizes the first author only and ignores subsequent authors. Where the first author's name is followed by ED., or COMP., the program treats these as part of the author's name.
  2. Numbering. Each entry has an item number. The numbers run consecutively from the front of the bibliography and are the principal device for locating references when using the index.
  3. Index. The index includes all author names, whether first or subsequent authors in multi-author works. But the program truncates the names if they do not fit into the allocated number of spaces. The numbers following each author's name in the index refer to the item numbers, not the page numbers, where that author's works can be found.
  4. Special characters. The printer used for this bibliography does not produce the question mark, the quotation mark, and similar special characters. The question mark and other punctuation such as the semi-colon and the colon have been replaced with periods. The quotation mark has been replaced with an apostrophe.

For the technically inclined, the bibliography was produced through a slightly modified version of INFOL-2, an information retrieval program, on Indiana University's CDC 6600 computer. The Preface was prepared through a locally written text processing program called Instep. The final bibliography printout was prepared, headlines and page numbers added, and the file renumbered through simple Fortran programs written by John V. Lombardi.


* * *


Any work of this kind must necessarily depend on the efforts of many individuals and the support of a variety of institutions. Although it would be impossible to list everyone who contributed to this project, some of them can be acknowledged here.

This working bibliography became possible in the first instance through a project entitled "The Formation, Structure, and Dynamics of a Primate City: A Case Study of Caracas, 1560-1960" under the joint direction of John V. Lombardi [Department of History, Indiana University (IU)] and Germán Carrera Damas [Centro de Estudios del Desarrollo (CENDES), Universidad Central de Venezuela]. Funded by CENDES and the Midwest Universities Consortium on International Activities (MUCIA), the project completed its first phase (1974-1976) in May of 1976. This bibliography is one of the project's first products and owes its existence to the support supplied from the MUCIA portion of the project budget. Kathy M. Waldron, Robert H. Lavenda, Robert J. Ferry, and Ralph F. Van Roy, all project researchers in Caracas during the first phase, provided us with invaluable assistance in the compilation of this work. Jean Hawkins Coffin worked closely with the bibliographic search at Indiana University and provided us with greatly appreciated advice on bibliographic sources and conventions. Most of the search and all of the data preparation took place at the Indiana University Library and the IU Wrubel Computing Center.

Roberta E. Adams did the major portion of the search, prepared the data file, managed the computer files, and in general handled the day-to-day supervision of the project. Without her contribution and expertise there would be no bibliography. Although the bibliography part of the MUCIA - CENDES project was managed under my direction at Indiana University, we benefited greatly from the contributions of our CENDES project director, Germán Carrera Damas, who supervised our activities in Caracas.

In Venezuela, many individuals and institutions cooperated on various aspects of this work. The Fundación John Boulton, through its Director, Manuel Pérez Vila, offered us the use of that institution's excellent library. At the Academia Nacional de la Historia, Carlos Felice Cardot, that institution's secretary, gave us valuable assistance. José Antonio De Armas Chitty let us inspect his excellent private library. Other institutions providing us with copies of their publications or catalogs were the Sociedad Bolivariana, the Archivo General de la Nación, the Presidencia de la República, the Biblioteca Nacional, and the Universidad Central de Venezuela, among others. Finally, without the enthusiastic and generous collaboration of Pedro Grases, whose outstanding private library is a Venezuelanist bibliophile's Mecca, this bibliography would have been significantly less comprehensive and complete than it is.

In the United States at Indiana University we have enjoyed strong support. George M. Wilson, Dean of International Programs and chief liaison with MUCIA, has encouraged us in this project, helping us survive crises and difficulties. Richard C. Burke, Director of the IU Latin American Studies Program, gave us his support and lent us the services of his office, especially the excellent managerial skills of the Latin American Studies Secretary, Judith Lucas. Mary B. Floyd of the IU History Department provided us with important bibliographical information. In the IU Main Library, Emma C. Simonson, Latin American Librarian, patiently answered a never-ending stream of questions. Her good advice and wise counsel greatly improved the final version of this bibliography. We relied heavily on Jean Nakhnikian of the IU Wrubel Computing Center, who maintained and modified the programs used for this project.

The assistance, advice, and hard work of these people and institutions, plus the contributions of others too numerous to mention here, made it possible to compile this working bibliography. Without them, we could hardly have begun.

John V. Lombardi
Bloomington, Indiana
July 1976


Notes to the on-line edition

In general, this web version of Venezuelan History: A Comprehensive Working Bibliography follows the printed version closely.  The items appearing here come from the original computer file used to produce the camera-ready copy for the GK Hall publication in 1976.  As a result, it suffers from the same limitations as the original described above (all upper case, no special characters or diacriticals, for example).  However, this version's index differs considerably from the original.

To produce the index, this version scanned the complete list of items and constructed an index based on the first line of each item, combining the item numbers for multiple entries for the same author.  This produces an index that is very similar to the original with the exception that this version does not truncate the first line at a fixed number of characters.

Additionally, the on-line index has a link from the index to the item.  Clicking on an item number appearing next to an author's name in the index takes you to that item in the correct section of the bibliography.  You can return to the index at the same place by using the browser software's [Back] feature.

The web version keeps the organization of the original in sixteen sections as follows with with the approximate size in kilobytes indicated:

  1. General Reference (Bibliographies, Guides, Historiography, Dictionaries) 75kb
  2. History General (Surveys and Texts) 69kb
  3. History Pre-1810 (Pre-Independence to 1810) 90kb
  4. History 1810-1830 (Independence, 1810-1830) 86kb
  5. History 1830-1863 (From Páez through the Federal Wars, 1830-1863) 40kb
  6. History 1963-1935 (From the Federal Wars through the Gómez Regime, 1863-1935) 73kb
  7. History Post-1935 (Since 1935) 223kb
  8. Bolívar (On, About, or By Bolívar) 63kb
  9. Church (History, Missionaries, Missions, Religion ) 33kb
  10. Civilization  (Literature, Art, Music, Journalism, Folklore, Architecture) 102kb
  11. Education (Universities, Schools, Education in General) 33kb
  12. Geography (Maps, Atlases, Regional Surveys) 39kb
  13. Petroleum (Hydrocarbons, Gas, Oil, Economic and Social Consequences) 33kb
  14. Population (Demography, Immigration, Migration, Family, Geneology) 40kb
  15. Urbanization (Town Foundations, Cities, Caracas, Housing, Urbanism) 70kb
  16. Author Index 271kb

Obviously, on a slow connection (28.8kbs or less), viewing some sections may take patience.  Frequent users may choose to download the entire set of linked files and view the bibliography from a local storage device.

This version of the bibliography is, of course, outdated as much new material has appeared in the more than three decades since the original publication.  At the same time, historians have an enthusiasm for bibliography, and as the original is out of print, we decided to put this on-line for whatever utility it may have for bibliographers and students of Venezuela's past.

This electronic version owes its existence to the sponsorship from TheCenter at the University of Florida on whose website it resides and whose support made the various file conversions possible. 

John V. Lombardi
University of Florida
November 1998

Title | Contents | Venezuela | TheCenter | Home