Producing a manageable historical archive for Andean communities

Accounts book 1615-1770, Chipao Parish, Sondondo Valley, Ayacucho, Peru. ©French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA)
Accounts book 1615-1770, Chipao Parish, Sondondo Valley, Ayacucho, Peru. ©French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA)


Sondondo Valley, Ayacucho, Peru

Synopsis and Position

This project aims at organising a digital archive of historical documents of rural communities in the Sondondo valley, in South-eastern Peru. In the late twentieth century, the region was subjected to political violence and archives and other forms of historical patrimony were left exposed to loss and destruction. In 2021-2022, a research team supported by the French Institute of Andean Studies identified and digitised archival material in public and private repositories. The collections comprise parish records, fiscal registers, draft labour records, investigations into parish priests’ behaviour, Justice of the Peace papers, among others, dated from the 16th to the mid-20th centuries.

Objectives and Methods

Our goal is to produce tools that could be used locally and by other communities that, because of their isolation and/or marginalisation, have usually been left with limited or no comprehension of their interactions with the State and other institutions. Other materials produced to facilitate access to the archive will be brief historical interpretations of selected documents to stimulate further understanding of the archive and promote historical research. These tools will have the potential to empower rural communities as they are useful not only to understand the past, but also to be better equipped in their activities as citizens today.

Workshops and Events

Workshops in Lima and Sondondo – to be confirmed


To be confirmed

Photos from the left: Accounts book, Chipao parish, Sondondo Valley, Ayacucho, Peru. Sample page, 1721-22 ©French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA); Sondondo Valley – Terraces; View of the Sondondo Valley; The colonial church of Ccecca, Sondondo Valley, Ayacucho, Peru [All 3 photographs © Evelyne Mesclier]

M2WM+JGM, Lucanas 05475, Peru