The Brazilian cordel literature
collection contains over 2000 pamphlets of popular literature known in Portuguese as literatura de cordel or "string literature."
literatura de cordel is composed in verse and illustrated with woodcuts on the front cover,
and it derives its name from the way it is sold suspended by a string in Brazilian open-air
markets. The collection includes pamphlets published between 1924 and 1990 arranged into
four series by region of publication: Center-West, Northeast, Southeast, and Undetermined.
The collection inventory provides the title of each pamphlet in the collection.
The Brazilian cordel literature collection contains over 2000 pamphlets of popular
literature known in Portuguese as literatura de cordel ("string
literature"). It derives its name from the fashion in which it was sold to passersby in
Northeastern Brazil: suspended from a string in open-air markets. Migration trends to the
Southeastern states after 1950 led to an influx of poets and printers who expanded the reach
of the pamphlets beyond their traditional Northeastern audience. The cordel, as it is known,
is an important part of Brazil's rich literary and folkloric history. Its form, typically
composed in verse, originates from the ballad tradition of the Middle Ages and, much like
this tradition, its original purpose was to entertain, spread news, and impart moral
instruction to the populace through mass distribution. The cordel is similar to other
literary forms found throughout Europe, such as the English chapbook, the French littérature
de colportage, and the romanceiro from the Iberian peninsula.
4.5 Linear Feet
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