Thayer Ojeda, Tomás (1877–1960)

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Thayer Ojeda, Tomás (1877–1960)

Tomás Thayer Ojeda (June 16, 1877–June 29, 1960) was born in the city of Caldera in northern Chile. He studied in the town of Taltal and finished his secondary education at the Colegio de San Agustín in Santiago, receiving a bachelor's degree in humanities in 1895. Despite severe problems with his eyesight, Thayer Ojeda discovered an early inclination for the study of history. Working at the manuscript division of the Biblioteca Nacional, Thayer Ojeda launched a lifetime career researching the origins of Chilean society, beginning with his Memoria histórica sobre la familia Álvarez de Toledo en Chile (1903) and culminating in Formación de la sociedad chilena (1939–1941), a three-volume study of the conquest and settlement of Chile between 1540 and 1565.

A rigorous scholar, Thayer Ojeda made substantive use of population data to significantly advance the field of early Chilean colonial history. Besides social and economic history, he also contributed to ecclesiastical history with his impressive Reseña histórica biográfica de los eclesiásticos en el descubrimiento y conquista de Chile (1921). Because of his talents in paleography as well as familiarity with colonial manuscripts, he was often called upon by the government to work on judicial and border issues. He also served as director of the Directorate of Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

See alsoChile: The Twentieth Century .


Figueroa, Virgilio. Diccionario histórico, biográfico y bibliográfico de Chile. 5 vols. Santiago de Chile: Balcells, 1925–1931.

Gazmuri R., Cristián. La historiografía chilena (1842–1970). Santiago de Chile: Taurus, 2006.

                                           IvÁn JaksiĆ

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Thayer Ojeda, Tomás (1877–1960)

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