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General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XI: Natural Things.


Images 14 & 46. Sahagún, Bernardino De, Creator. General History of the Things of New Spain by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún: The Florentine Codex. Book XI: Natural Things. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, 1577].

Colonial Collections

Relaciones geográficas de Indias

Dating from the colonial period in Spanish America (sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries).

Responses to the questionnaire provide detailed information about native populations in Spanish America, especially in the colonial centers of Mexico and Peru. They include information on indigenous labor, tribute records, history of disease, native customs, religious practices, herbal medicines, municipal offices held, farm earnings, indigenous justice and law, native towns, class distinctions, and commentaries on caciques and indigenous elites. They also provide information for studies of natural history and the History of Science, maps and cartography, enslaved populations, food history, history of the Church, festive culture, religious celebrations, and many other topics.

  • The instructions and questions of the Relaciones geográficas are available in published form through I-Share

  • Maps from the Relaciones geográficas are available in some of the published texts, but also via the World Digital Library

  • Copies of the Relaciones and Diccionario geográfico de España are available through the Biblioteca Digital del Patrimonio Iberoamericano. Note: the diccionarios deal with Spain and Spanish America

  • Hathi Trust has the greatest number of published responses to the questionnaire outside of the Archivo General de Indias

Bernardino de Sahagún’s sixteenth-century General History of Things in the New World

Sahagún's twelve-volume study of Nahua (or Aztec) culture and history covers many of the same topics addressed in the Relaciones geográficas. A Franciscan friar and missionary, Sahagún worked with native graduates of the Colegio de Santa Cruz in Tlatelolco to compile an encyclopedic study of Nahua history, traditions, customs, religious practices and beliefs, military training, rhetorical oratory, and many other topics of importance to Nahua communities in central Mexico.

Bernardino de Sahagún’s Catholic Instruction for Nahuas

Anales de Mexico e Tlatelolco

Anonymous Manuscript of Tlatelolco, 1528

Diego Duran, Historia de las Indias de la Nueva España e Islas de Tierra Firme (Atlas or Codice de Duran)

Chimalpain Quauhtlehuanitzin, Codex Chimalpain, Norman: University of Okalahoma Press, 1997

Codice Aubin (or Codex 1576): Manuscrito Azteca de la Biblioteca Real de Berlin

Codice Ramírez. Relación del origen de los indios que habitan esta Nueva España segun sus historias. Editial Leyenda, Mexico, 1944

Fernando de Alva, Ixtlilxochitl, Obras historicas.  2 vols. National University of Mexico, 1975-1977

Lienzo de Tlaxcala, Antiguedades mexicanas. Published by Junta Colombina de Mexico. 2 vols. Oficina de la Secretaria de Fomento, Mexico, 1892

Diego Muñoz Camargo, Historia de Tlaxcala, Editorial Chavero, Mexico, 1892

Alvarado F. Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana, Ediorial de Vigil, Mexico, 1944

Cronica mexicayotl. Translated into Spanish by Adrian Leon, Imprenta Universitaria, Mexico, 1975

Library QuickLinks

Modern Collections

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)

Foreign Relations of the United States is a collection of declassified records from the State Department, CIA, National Security Council, US AID, and other collections of government records on U.S. foreign policy. For a study of U.S. invention in Latin America, it is imperative to consult the FRUCS.

Salvador Allende and the Pinochet Coup in Chile

U.S. Intervention in Latin America (Argentina)

Operation Condor


See also National Security Archive and Foreign Relations of the United States


Human Rights in Mexico
Mexican Nation-building

Latin American History

Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room

Digital Archive of Latin American and Caribbean Ephemera