The Charles W. Arnade Collection of Boliviana – Manuscripts and Archives
In his early student years, until the mid-1950′s, Dr. Arnade was very actively engaged in archival research, particularly in the Archivo y Biblioteca Nacional de Bolivia in Sucre. This is fully reflected in many of the pages of such works as The Emergence of the Republic of Bolivia and El problema del humanista Tadeo Haenke (Sucre, 1960), a work that he wrote in collaboration with the Haenke scholar, Josef Kühnel (1886-1967), a pioneer in Haenke studies, whose acquaintance Professor Arnade made shortly before Kühnel’s death.
Since Professor Arnade’s investigations at the Archivo y Biblioteca Nacional de Bolivia occurred before the photo-mechanic reproduction of documents became widespread, most of the manuscript materials now available in the Arnade collection were transcribed by a scribe associated with the Archivo y Biblioteca Nacional de Bolivia and preserved in a number of notebooks resembling those that were traditionally used for school homework. Such notebooks generally contain a series of different documents, yet are occasionally devoted entirely to a single collection.
An example of this type of manuscript is a two-volume copybook that contains the transcription of the correspondence between Mariano Enrique Calvo (1742-1842), then Vice-President of Bolivia and administrator of Bolivia, and André de Santa Cruz (1792-1865) during the years 1835-1838, while the latter was kept away in Peru during the relatively short-lived days of the Confederation of Peru and Bolivia.
Another notebook in the Arnade collection contains the transcripts of a series of documents arranged in the following fashion:
1. Expediente Colonial. Reclamo E. Calvo y M[anuel]. M[aria]. Urcullu sobre la vara de Regidor. 1819. Leaves 1-58.
2. Copiador de Oficios. Febr. Marz. 1825. Leaves 54-154.
3. Comunicaciones con los Prefectos. Oct. Nov. Dic. 1825. Leaves 155-164.
4. Tomas Paine’s Common Sense trad. por Anselmo Natein… impreso en Londres. Leaves 165-200.
Item 4 in this notebook, the Spanish translation of Paine’s Common Sense, was noted by Professor Arnade in the opening chapter of his The Emergence of the Republic of Bolivia, (see p. 6 and note 19 on p. 208 of Emergence and p. 19 and note 19 on p. 232 of Insurgencia). Under the name Natein is hidden Vicente Pazos Kanki (1779-1851), a Bolivian man of letters and diplomat, an interesting and exotic figure that attracted Dr. Arnade’s attention on different occasions throughout his works. [On Vicente Pazos Kanki, Professor Arnade wrote the preface to the new edition of a work first published in 1825, Compendio de la historia de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, La Paz, 1976, pages XXIII-XXXI [reissued in Charles W. Arnade, Escenas y episodios de la historia (2004), pages 117-122]
The original manuscript of the Paine translation was discovered as late as 1953 hidden in the archives of the Bolivian national library. While Dr. Arnade remained doubtful whether Paine’s Common Sense had ever been published in Spanish, it should be pointed out that actually there are three editions of the Spanish text in print. Could any of these three texts be one and the same as the Pazos Kanki translation?
Another noteworthy manuscript in the Arnade collection contains the unpublished memoirs of the “contractor” Adolph Roepnack (1879-1966), who in the mid 1920s was a member of the staff of General Hans Kundt (1869-1939), the head of the German “military” mission to Bolivia. General Kundt held that post from 1909-1914 in an official capacity, and intermittently from 1920 through 1932. After this date, at the start of the debacle of the Chaco War, he left Bolivia in disgrace and settled down in Switzerland. For General Kundt and his Mission and the particular details of the acquisition of the Roepnack manuscript see Charles W. Arnade “German Military Missions and Advisors to Bolivia,” in Bolivian Studies, The University of Akron, Vol. VII (1997), p. 68-82 [included in Escenas y episodios de la historia (2004), pages 199-205, especially page 201 for the Roepnack manuscript].
Written in German in 1953, and entitled Viva Bolivia, consisting of 274 pages, Roepnack’s manuscript account depicts his impressions of the country during the term of his contract that lasted from 1924 through 1927.
A great admirer of General Kundt, Roepnack appears to have kept in contact with him even through his Swiss ‘exile’ days. In the Roepnack manuscript there are also many negative impressions of the infamous Ernst Röhm (1887-1934), another member of General Kundt’s staff. Since Röhm’s contract began in 1928, and continued until 1930, he and Roepnack never met personally in Bolivia; his unfavorable opinions of Röhm, therefore, are not due to personal experience, but seem to echo those of General Kundt. [On this topic see Robert Brockmann, El general y sus presidentes: vida y tiempos de Hans Kundt, Ernst Röhm y siete presidentes en la historia de Bolivia, 1911-1939. La Paz, Bolivia, 2007; furthermore, Brockmann’s "Soldado, rebelde, marica: Ernst Röhm en Bolivia," a printed archival copy in 56 leaves of Libro I and the correspondence exchanged with Professor Arnade on this topic forms part of the archival documentation that accompanies the Roepnack manuscript. Brockmann had access to the Roepnack manuscript (see, for instance, leave 22 + note 32 of "Soldado, etc.)]. In the early 1960′s Dr. Arnade made many attempts to establish contact with the daughter of Hans Kundt in order to acquire the General’s papers. All these attempts, unfortunately, failed to materialize, and the whereabouts of General Kundt’s papers remains a mystery.
A considerable archival section in the Arnade collection is taken up with papers concerning the botanist Thaddeus Haenke (1761-1817), a precursor of Alexander von Humboldt, who came to America in 1789 in the Malaspina expedition, and finally settled down died in the city of Cochabamba.
Professor Arnade’s interest in Haenke became an almost lifelong obsession. See, for instance, his El problema del humanista Tadeo Haenke (Sucre, 1960), and “Por que Tadeo Haenke vino a América,” in Anuario archivo y Bibilioteca Nacionales de Bolivia (Sucre, Bolivia, 1997), pp. 257-271 [Spanish tr. by José Luis Roca, included in Escenas y episodios de la historia (2004) pages 49-60]
Also included in the Haenke archive are extensive facsimile reproductions of manuscripts of Haenke’s writings, works both genuine and attributed, as well as a copious correspondence between Dr. Arnade and Josef Kühnel, one of the pioneers in Haenke studies, who had issued in 1939 a substantial work devoted to Haenke that was reissued in an expanded fashion in 1960. At one point in time Dr. Arnade toyed with the idea of publishing Kühnel’s study in a more accessible manner in an English translation, a project that failed to come to fruition with Josef Kühnel’s death in 1967.
At the time of Kühnel’s death Haenke studies were almost at a standstill. The fact that Haenke was a native of what at a later time was known as the Sudetenland certainly did not help matters. Furthermore, studies on the papers of the Malaspina Expedition kept in Spanish archives were still in the making.
In the last few decades a new emphasis has been devoted to Haenke studies, especially in Germany and in the Czech Republic. Another important factor that has helped clear the way for this new series of Haenke studies is the fact that most of the papers concerning the Malaspina expedition have now been extensively published in Madrid. These renewed Haenke studies, however, represent but a new beginning for research devoted to rehabilitating this most neglected naturalist–a man who came to the Americas as a scientific researcher, and who died away far from his native shores. The Arnade Haenke archives will merit careful examination by a student interested in this field.
Given the contents of the Charles W. Arnade Collection, the University of South Florida in Tampa joins a select group of research libraries outside Bolivia itself–the University of Pittsburgh, Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, the Iberoamerikanisches Institut in Berlin–to name but a few, that have substantial holdings of Boliviana. USF is proud to provide another resource that will need to be consulted by any specialist in Bolivian studies.