12° (15 x 10.5 cm): 272 pp. [but with pagination errors as found in all examples, such that there are 266 pages as numbered, plus 6 pages numberd as ‘00’ placed between p. 34 and p. 35], 1 p. errata, bound in later 19th Century quarter green calf with green marbled boards, spine with title and compartments in gilt (Excellent condition, internally clean and crisp, leaves with marbled fore-edges, silk bookmark ribbon; binding with very slight shelf-wear).
This gem of Bolivian printing is one of the very rare sequence of almanacs that was published by the Colejio de Arte in La Paz for only a fiveyear long annual run during the 1830s. The printing quality is charmingly crude in a frontier fashion, with the text embellished with numerous woodcut vignettes. Published for the year 1835, the ‘Calendar and Guide for Foreigners’ possesses a vast wealth of authoritative information on Bolivia during the generation following its independence, including data that not found in any other single work.
The almanac is divided onto the following sections and sub-sections: 1) Chronological notes; Historical facts of the Revolution in America (Bolivia’s struggle for independence from Spain); Notable events in Bolivian History; Great Issues of the last five-year period; 2) Calendar: Court days, in which officials attend audiences with the President; list of all public officials; Religious Festivals and Movable Feasts; 3) Political State of the Republic: Constitutional Congress; Ministries of State; Council of State; Diplomatic Agents; General Post Office; Military Court; the Departments of La Paz, Oruro, Potosí, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz .– Provinces of Tarija and the Littoral; 4) Ecclesiastical State; Bishoprics of La Paz and Santa Cruz; 5) Military State; National Guard; General commanders of district and military courts.
The Colejio de Arte in La Paz produced annual almanacs for only 5 years: 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837 and 1838. The series would have required much effort and considerable funding to produce and was likely discontinued due to the tumultuous state of Bolivia’s political scene and national economy. President Andrés de Santa Cruz y Calahumana (in office 1829-39) led the country through a series of expensive wars and a short-lived union with Peru before being deposed. While an exciting time, it was perhaps not kind to the local publishing industry.
A Note on Rarity
All examples of the issues of the Calendario y guia de forasteros de la Republica Boliviana are very rare. We can definitively locate only four institutional examples for the present 1835 edition worldwide, at Harvard; University of Texas (Austin); British Library; and at the Fundación Flavio Machicado Viscarra (La Paz). Moreover, we cannot trace any other examples of any of the issues appearing on the market during the last 30 years.
References: Harvard University, Widener Library: SA 5510.4; University of Texas (Austin): GZZ 918.4 C128; British Library: General Reference Collection P.P.2594.b. (in set with 1834 and 1838 eds.); Fundación Flavio Machicado Viscarra (La Paz): 984/C14. Cf. The present 1835 edition not in Gabriel René MORENO, Biblioteca Boliviana: Catalogo de la seccion de libros i folletos (Santiago, Chile: Imprenta Gutenberg, 1879), although the editions for 1836, 7 and 8 are listed.