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Finding aid for the Brazilian cordel literature collection, 1924-1990
950072  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Brazilian cordel literature collection contains over 2000 pamphlets of popular literature known in Portuguese as literatura de cordel or "string literature." Traditionally, literatura de cordel is composed in verse and illustrated with woodcuts on the front cover, and it derives its name from the way it is sold suspended by a string in Brazilian open-air markets. The collection includes pamphlets published between 1924 and 1990 arranged into four series by region of publication: Center-West, Northeast, Southeast, and Undetermined. The collection inventory provides the title of each pamphlet in the collection.
Background
The Brazilian cordel literature collection contains over 2000 pamphlets of popular literature known in Portuguese as literatura de cordel ("string literature"). It derives its name from the fashion in which it was sold to passersby in Northeastern Brazil: suspended from a string in open-air markets. Migration trends to the Southeastern states after 1950 led to an influx of poets and printers who expanded the reach of the pamphlets beyond their traditional Northeastern audience. The cordel, as it is known, is an important part of Brazil's rich literary and folkloric history. Its form, typically composed in verse, originates from the ballad tradition of the Middle Ages and, much like this tradition, its original purpose was to entertain, spread news, and impart moral instruction to the populace through mass distribution. The cordel is similar to other literary forms found throughout Europe, such as the English chapbook, the French littérature de colportage, and the romanceiro from the Iberian peninsula.
Extent
4.5 linear feet (10 boxes)
Restrictions
Contact Library Reproductions and Permissions.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers.