Browse Exhibits (4 total)

Chile's Epidemics, 1880s - 90s

MC0027670 (1).jpg

Across the 19th century and into the 20th, a series of epidemic nightmares swept Chile, causing enormous damage to the nation’s welfare and economy. Among the worst were pandemics that framed the long nineteenth century: the smallpox outbreak of the 1800s, and the plague epidemic from 1902 to 1907, both brought to the country via the rapid increase in marine transportation that resulted from the  trading boom that followed Chilean independence. These pandemics thus bear witness to the negative consequences of globalization, as increased interconnections with the rest of South America and Europe brought unwelcome as well as welcome exchanges.

In this exhibit, we will discuss several of Chile's pandemics and explore the factors that influenced the virulence of these outbreaks of smallpox and plague. By looking at Chilean living conditions, prevention methods, and political influences, we explore how these factors interacted to create a holistic mapping of Chile’s public health.

Earthquakes in Chile

Earthquake Damage - 1960

Chile's culture, beauty and economy have all flourished despite the natural disasters that periodically devastate the country, especially earthquakes. In this exhibit, we celebrate the resilience of the Chilean people by highlighting our newspapers' accounts of several of the destructive earthquakes that have struck Chile over the past few centuries, tracing the devastation they caused as well as the collaborative efforts involved in rebuilding the nation. As a result of shifts in the earth's tectonic plates, powerful earthquakes struck Chile in (among other years) 1575, 1647, 1730, 1822, and 1906, condemning the nation to constant anxiety as well as extensive damage.

The Anglophone Newspapers of Chile


In this exhibit, we examine three Anglo-Chilean newspapers. Each of these newspapers captures the unique factors that shape the foreign language press, or journalism written in a foreign language and published by a colony living in a host country; at the same time, each of them captures a significant moment in the development of the Anglophone press worldwide. Thus the earliest paper in our collection, The English Mercury (1843) focuses on mercantile news; the second, the Valparaiso and West Coast Mail (1874-), introduces local and international news as well as sections intended to appeal to a more diverse family readership as the Anglo-American colony grew and developed; and the third, the The Star of Chile (1904-06) not only provides meaningful news from within and outside Chile, but also seeks to share Chile's beauty and cultural diversity through photography as well as coverage of the arts and of domestic subjects.

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company

Advertisement from Star of Chile, August 6, 1904.png

The Pacific Steam Navigation Company became a household word in South America in the nineteenth century. The company was the first to utilize steam ships commercially in the Pacific Ocean and it connected the Pacific coast of South America to the rest of the world. Starting with two mail-carrying steam ships, Chile and Peru, in 1840, the Pacific Steam Navigation Company was trading with the Britain and Australia just a few years after its inception. It outlived the two World Wars and its legacy is still strong, with its in-house magazine, Sea Breezes, still running even today.