This list of titles is akin to the indexes in Urzáiz Tortajada’s and Herrera Navarro’s frequently cited reference works. To facilitate looking for titles printed before Spanish orthography was standardized, it is necessary to provide researchers with modern spelling. This is particularly true for the beginning words in a title: Bandos (not Vandos), Celos (not Zelos), Cuando (not Quando), Hay (not Ay), and Fénix (not Phenix).
It was not until the middle of the 19th century that orthography in Spain became standardized and adopted the modern look familiar to us. Although 18th-century spelling is readily comprehensible, researchers must be able to find material on the first try, not by guessing alternate ways in which a word may have been printed. They should not need to look under Ay for Hay, Phenix for Fénix, Quando for Cuando Vanda for Banda, or Zelos for Celos. In the case of the plays under consideration, cataloguers and compilers of printed catalogues, must impose uniform, consistent spelling, akin to the way authority files standardize the names of playwrights and printers who used a variety of spellings in their work. The obvious choice was to modernize the spelling throughout following current rules governing the use of accent marks, punctuation, and capitalization. Some library records include a field for Uniform Title. Regarding the titles in this database, this is somewhat of a misnomer. True uniform titles (e.g., Don Quijote or La Celestina), grow out of tradition and an organic use of the title over time. Use erodes some of the extraneous words, or the title homes in on the essential: El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha is truncated to El Quijote, and the character of Celestina overshadows the protagonists in the title Tragi-comedia de Calisto y Melba, as a result it has come to be known as La Celestina.
Very few of the plays in this database are better known by the second half of their title: e.g., Dar la vida por su dama y Conde de Sex is referred to as Conde de Sex, and El ejemplo mayor de la desdicha y Capitán Belisario, is best known as Capitán Belisario. Most titles were simply not around long enough or referenced often enough in literary criticism to gain this kind of traction.