Ark (Wooden Chest with Iron Locks)
This heavy wooden chest served a crucial purpose for municipal officials of Buenos Aires in the eighteenth century: it stored their documents. Until the early nineteenth century, the Spanish Crown ruled over much of South America, including Buenos Aires. Because their empire was so vast, and travel in between the territories took several months, accurate record-keeping was essential. City councilors used chests like this one, called an ark, to keep their reports, letters, and laws safe. As the image illustrates, such sources were kept under lock and key.
"El Museo." Museo Histórico Nacional del Cabildo y la Revolución de Mayo. June 15, 2021.
Annotated by Brittany Erwin.
Photo by Brittany Erwin.