Essay on Sources
This essay provides a guide to the research sources I used for ‘‘The Memory Box of
Pinochet’s Chile.’’ Since I conducted integrated research for the entire trilogy, and
since each book is influenced by research findings of the others, it makes little sense
to provide a distinct essay on sources for each book. As a courtesy to readers, this
essay is reproduced in each volume.
The first research phase involved a year of intense field and archival investigations
in Chile, from July 1996 to August 1997. The second phase involved supplementary
research via five shorter visits to Chile during 1998 to 2002, and library, microfilm,
and Internet work (mainly media tracking) in the United States. I read newly pub-
lished books through 2001, the close of the period under study, as comprehensively
as possible. After 2001, I continued to read widely, albeit less comprehensively,
among new publications while completing the first draft of all three volumes. I also
continued to track relevant media developments or findings. The third research
phase, specifically to complete an improved draft of Book Three and to expand its
chronological parameters to 2006, involved two additional field research visits to
Chile in 2006–07, as well as readings of scholarship and relevant media and web-
site tracking through 2007.
I relied on three streams of sources: (1) written documents—archival, published,
and, more recently, electronic—that constitute the traditional heart of historical re-
search; (2) audio and visual traces of the past and its memory struggles, in television
and video archives, photojournalism, radio transcripts, and sound recordings; and
(3) oral history including formal, semistructured interviews, less formal interviews
and exchanges, and field notes from participant-observation experiences and focus
groups. Participant-observation experiences also included visits to physical sites
or ruins.
Below I divide the research sources somewhat di√erently, in order to consider
traditional and nontraditional ‘‘media’’ sources in a more integrated fashion.
Readers should note that—with the exception of media—I do not o√er a guide
below to the vast published literature. The latter includes primary sources, especially
an extensive testimonio and memoir literature; secondary sources on twentieth-
century Chilean history; and rich comparative and theoretical literatures on memory
in history. I have used these illuminating literatures extensively, but they are cited
systematically in the notes, which often include commentaries for interested read-
ers. To review these works again here would needlessly lengthen this essay, whose
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