ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I started my path to writing this book as a teenager on an exchange to
Chile, gathered speed as a student of Leslie Offutt and Karen Stolley at
Vassar College, took informative passes through Spain and Mexico, and
finally,settledonPotosíwhileagraduatestudentofJohnTePaskeatDuke
University. This circuitous, transatlantic route is not unlike the routes
traveledbysilverpesosinthecolonialera.Itwasapathcharacterizednot
byexchangesbasedoncredit,butratherbyideas,words,andimagesfrom
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mixed with conversations about
history in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Thoseideas,words,andimagescamefromthemarveloussourcesthat
Iconsultedforthisproject,allaccessiblethankstoextremelyqualifiedar-
chivistsinBoliviaandSpain.MytimeintheArchivoyBibliotecaNacio-
nal de Bolivia was both productive and pleasant thanks to the leadership
ofitsthen-director,RenéArceAguirre.JudithTeran,inparticular,helped
me on a daily basis by searching high and low for all the materials I re-
quested. Also in Sucre, Joseph Barnadas, director, and Guillermo Calvo,
archivist, provided assistance at the Archivo-Biblioteca Arquidiocesano
‘‘Monseñor Taborga.’’ On my frequent research trips to Potosí, the staff
of the chilly Archivo Histórico de Potosí, housed in the Casa Nacional
de la Moneda, always welcomed mewarmly with prompt and courteous
assistance.Wilson Mendieta Pacheco, the then-director, graciously pro-
vided an electric heater next to mydesk. Soraya Aramayo helped me sort
throughtheofferingsofthearchive.Postdissertationresearchatthewon-
derful Archivo General de las Indias in Seville had a profound impact on
my approach to several parts of the book. I finally understand why John
TePaske lobbied so strongly for my trip there.
Overthepasttenyears,severalgroupsinvestedinthisstudyofPotosí’s
urbaneconomybyprovidingfundstofacilitatearchivalresearchandwrit-
ing.Atthedissertationstage,IamgratefulforgrantsfromtheAndrewW.
MellonFoundationintheDukeLatinAmericanStudiesProgramandthe
DukeCenterforInternationalStudiesaswellasfortheAnneFirorScott
AwardfromDuke’sWomen’sStudiesCenter.AFulbright-HaysDoctoral
DissertationResearchAbroadFellowshipgenerouslyfundedayearinBo-
livian archives. I was able to conduct critical research at the postdisserta-
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