Don Quixote Collection
Scope and Contents
Highlights of the collection include an original copy of the earliest complete translation of Don Quixote by Thomas Shelton from 1620, the first known commentary based on Don Quixote from 1654, and a 1784 edition of the spurious Part II of Don Quixote, written by Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda. The Don Quixote Collection allows users to interact with print culture across several centuries as seen through the production of this exceptional literary masterpiece.
Throughout the seventeenth century, the popularity of Don Quixote would lead to many stage adaptations like plays, musicals, and ballets. Don Quixote’s impact on literature throughout Europe, particularly in eighteenth-century England and France, would lead to its unprecedented reproduction in print.
Cervantes’ masterpiece has been published and translated more than any other book, except for the Bible, and serves as an important source of inspiration for artists, musicians, playwrights, and novelists up to the present day.
In order to avoid being arrested for injuring another man, Cervantes moved to Rome in 1569 and served briefly in the house of a priest before enlisting in the Spanish army. He fought valiantly at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 where he received wounds which permanently maimed his left hand. After completing his military service in 1575, Cervantes attempted to return to Spain, but was captured en route by Turkish pirates and sold into slavery until ransomed in 1580.
Upon returning to Spain, Cervantes attempted to make a living as a playwright and author but found little success. It was during this period that he wrote his first novel, La Galatea (1585). Eventually, Cervantes found work in the Royal Commissary and as a tax collector. It is thought that it was in these years in the 1590s that Cervantes wrote much of Don Quixote. The first part was published in 1605 and afforded Cervantes great success.
While he continued to write, Cervantes did not publish any new work until 1613. At this point, Cervantes published several works in short order, including his Novelas Ejemplares (1613), El viaje del Parnaso (1614), and part two of Don Quixote and Ocho comedias y ocho entremeses, nunca representados (1615). His final work, Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda, was completed shortly before his death on April 19, 1616 and published posthumously in 1617 by his widow.
Mancing, H. (2006). Cervantes' Don Quixote: A reference guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
3 Linear Feet (22 volumes comprising 13 editions)
Language of Materials
- Don Quixote Collection, 1620-1933
- Justin Mancini and Christine Parker
- Fall 2011
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Department of Special Collections and Archives Repository
Queens College Libraries, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us