MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
TYPE: Archive
DIMENSIONS: Approximately 200 manuscript pages on loose sheets of various sizes in one folder;
CONDITION: Generally minor wear.
ITEM ID: 4515

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Research Files of the Historian Francisco del Paso y Troncoso

Century: 20th (1901-2000)
Notes: 1910-1916

Detailed notes on early Mexican and Nahuatl texts written by the historian Francisco del Paso y Troncoso (1842-1916) while researching at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid.

Troncoso was a tireless hunter of historical Mexican documents, having located and described several rare works so that later historians could study them. Although he made important contributions to the field of Nahuatl ethnohistory, only a fraction of his findings were ever published.

These notes may contain discoveries that were never made public. Much of it centers around transcriptions of Nahuatl codices, grammars, catechisms and Huei Tlamahuiçoltica, the indigenous account of the apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe, bearing his handwritten notes. Some notes are arranged into packets devoted to a single document, particularly the Codex Osuna. Includes some of his photocopies of codices. The geography of Mexico was another favorite subject, with particular attention paid to the locations and borders of Nahua towns. The collection also includes a few personal letters, one written shortly before his death in 1916.

Name: Francisco de Borja del Paso y Troncoso
Type: Historian
Artists Dates: 1842-1916
Artist Information: Francisco de Borja del Paso y Troncoso (October 8, 1842 in Veracruz, Mexico – April 30, 1916 in Florence, Italy) was an important Mexican historian, archivist, and Nahuatl language scholar. He "was and remains the outstanding major Mexican investigator of his era, a fully accepted figure in the international group of his peers.” He soon came to focus the Nahuatl language, and his work came to be permanently linked to the National Archaeological Museum. In 1889 Del Paso y Troncoso was appointed director of that institution. During much of 1890 and 1891, he led a significant archaeological exploration of the state of Veracruz. In 1892, at the commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the discovery of the New World, Del Paso y Troncoso was nominated president of the Mexican Commission on the American Historic Exhibition to be held in Madrid. He kept his title as director of the National Archaeological Museum in Mexico, and traveled to Spain in August 1892. Del Paso y Troncoso was to remain in Europe until his death, working without rest in archives and libraries on the continent. During the nearly twenty-four years devoted to research and outside of Mexico, Del Paso y Troncoso arranged for publication a wealth of documents and unpublished works of the utmost importance for the history of Mexico. His extensive correspondence shows that were always in contact with cultural institutions and specialists in his country and others from abroad that were also interested in the same field of research. Utilizing materials found in the libraries, archives and collections of Mexico and Europe, Del Paso y Troncoso made significant contributions to the historiography of the Conquest-era and Colonial Mexico periods, identifying, collating and publishing a number of important historical source documents and original manuscripts. Many of these documentary collections were utilized by Charles Gibson, historian in his 1964 publication Aztecs Under Spanish Rule, which established in English-language scholarship the importance of the indigenous in the colonial history of Mexico.