In the last several years Cuzco's colonial convents have been for me
rather like Borges's Aleph: if I concentrated enough on this one, very
particular spot, I could see that it held an entire world of vivid signifi-
cance. Writing about what I saw involved crossing many boundaries,
disciplinary and otherwise. I could not even have begun, much less
completed, this book had it not been for the generous institutional
support I received and for the warmth and help of my family, friends,
and colleagues, whom I take great pleasure in thanking here.
For institutional support in Cuzco, I am grateful to the directors
and archivists of the Archivo Departamental del Cusco, who helped
me locate an abundance of relevant documents. I could not have read
them all without Margareth Najarro Espinoza and Ingrid Patricia Vi-
vanco Perez; my warmest thanks to them for their excellent research
assistance. The camaraderie that formed among the researchers ranged
around the tables of the archives in Cuzco was very special, and I want
to thank my friends John Rowe and Patricia Lyon, Charles Walker,
Marisa Remy, Thomas Kriiggeler, and Pedro Guibovich, who gave me
invaluable help as I began, and David Garrett, Donato Amado and
other members of the Taller de Historia Andina, Jean-Jacques Decoster,
Carolyn Dean, Manuel Burga, Leo Garofalo, Neus Tur-Escandell, and
Sabine MacCormack, who shared many ideas, archival leads, and coffee
breaks with me. Madre Rosa Victoria Vega, prioress of Santa Catalina
de Sena in Cuzco, gave me permission to consult colonial papers from
her convent's archives, and her confidence and trust in me are deeply
appreciated. I thank Madre Juana Marin Farfan, abbess of Santa Clara
in Cuzco, for letting me consult her convent's early land titles, and I
thank the directors and staff of the Archivo Arzobispal del Cuzco for
facilitating my access to many pertinent records. I also relied on the
fine library of the Centro de Estudios Regionales Andinos Bartolome
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