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This guide, compiled by Susan Kellogg, professor, UH History Department and Latin American Studies, is a work in progress that aims to provide both undergraduate and graduate students with information about primary sources available in the Houston area relating to any time period or theme in Mexican history. Local libraries, archives, and museums have a wealth of information (in manuscript, published, and/or digital form). The listing provided are intended as an aid for students to begin and carry out primary source-based research.
Please note: Dr. Kellogg received a significant amount of help and advice from librarians and others at UH, Rice University, the Houston Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Rosenberg Library’s Galveston and Texas History Center. Many thanks to them all!
For a listing of books on Mexico in Special Collections, you can do a subject search (MUST be subject, not keyword), click Limit/Sort Search and limit by Special Collections and sort by Oldest First. While you may get some miscellaneous books at the beginning, you’ll then have a list of books on Mexico in Special Collections, oldest to newest. In addition to the links below, these facsimilies of precolumbian codices can also be found in Special Collections:
For collected firsthand accounts of the conquest of the Mexica/Tenochtitlan:
For a basic colonial Maya text, see various editions of the Popol Vuh. Also see 2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock for an overview of Maya writing and examples of a variety of prehispanic and colonial Maya texts.
University of Houston, Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Hospitality Industry Archives. Both the Hilton corporate and Conrad N. Hilton papers contain information on the development of hotels and resorts in Mexico. Right now, there are no finding aids on line, but Mark Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) can provide copies of the latest versions of finding aids.
The Houston Public Library offers a rich collection of books on Mexico throughout the library system. Reference librarians at each library or collection listed below should be consulted for help with accessing materials.
Rice has a number of facsimile Mesoamerican codices at the Fondren, including genealogical works (Vienna Codex, Bodley, Zouche-Nutall, Becker, Selden, and Egerton) and Aztec annals (Codex Boturini, Codex Laud, Codex Rios, Anales de Tula, Lienzos, Lienzo Totomixtlahuaca), and a post-conquest account by missionaries (Sahagun, Primeros memoriales). Most of the specific collections are not available digitally, so you'll need to make an appointment to see them.
A good way to search for manuscript collections by keyword is to enter your search terms in the "Search the library's website" box at the top right of the page. Narrow your search for items in the catalog by using the Advanced Search option, using "Mexico" or "Mexican History" as search terms.The appropriate citation format for Woodson resources can be found on the collection finding aid online, as well as on the Publishing WRC Materials page on the Fondren web site.
The museum has a growing collection of Mexican and Latin American art. The MFAH's exhibition history databaseallows you to search by keyword, artist, date or any combination of the three.You can enter a year or a range of years and it will give you a list of each exhibition held during that time. Clicking on the exhibition title will give you additional information, including dates, gallery, curator, and in many cases the artists and the works that were included. It also indicates what records are available in the archives, including catalogs, exhibition files and installation photographs. Exhibition records are open to the public 15 years after creation (1995 and earlier).
The links to the papers of Anne-Louise Schaffer, curator of Art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas from 1986-1998 may be useful. Finding aids for these series are available online.
The museum’s Hirsch Library also has materials relating to Mexican art. For the Hirsch e-catalog, searching for Mexico History as a subject will provide a list a browse list that breaks the subject down into various categories. In addition, a Keyword Relevance Search for Mexico with the Quick Limit: Rare in the Hirsch catalog provides search results for some 60 rare books that include some from the Hogg Family Collection. The Powell Library at Bayou Bend houses this rare collection that contains books on Mexico’s history. To access these books, students need to visit the Bayou Bend Visitor and Education Center (also note: students can visit the Hirsch Library for free; you do not need to pay admission). And the International Center for the Arts of the Americas is housed at the museum and also may have relevant resources.