Author: Nathan Gordon (Adrian College), Clayton McCarl (UNF), Melinda Peacock (UNF), Paulino Estévez-Ancira (UNF)
Ophir de España is a seventeenth-century treatise in which Spanish author Fernando de Montesinos argues that Perú was the same place as the Old Testament land of Ophir. In doing so, the text fits into a larger tradition of Iberian scholarship that sought to locate the New World within traditional Old World historiography, and also to vindicate what Montesinos and his peers saw as Spain’s imperial rights in America. The manuscript, held at the University of Seville, was only recently published, in a print edition that — although of high quality — is of limited accessibility.
In the spring of 2021, Nathan Gordon and Clayton McCarl began collaborating on a prototype for an open-access digital edition and English translation that will make Ophir de España more widely available. Based on a transcription previously prepared by Gordon, this edition will also allow users to interact with the text in different ways, and, in particular, to engage with the numerous sources on which Montesinos draws, most of which are now available online as digital facsimiles. A central part of this process has been the collaboration between Gordon, McCarl and two UNF Spanish majors, Paulino Estévez-Ancira and Melinda Peacock, who interned with the project in Summer 2021, earning academic credit through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. In this presentation, the four participants discuss their process and reflect on what they have learned.