DB: Mexican Digital Library
Image: Manuscrito colombino, written on November 20th. 1493
Image source: Biblioteca Digital Mundial
Mexico launches digital library including twenty important codices
With a selection of documentary treasures, from the Prehispanic, Colonial, Independent and Revolutionary periods, the Mexican Digital Library (BDMx) has been launched at www.bdmx.mx.
Promoted by the National Council for Culture and Arts (Conaculta), the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the National General Archives (AGN) and the Centro de Estudios de Historia de Mexico (CEHM-Carso), the web page of the library was presented on November 24th 2010, with a digital collection of nearly 20 historical documents safeguarded by these institutions, dated from 500 to 1949 of the Common Era.
The mentioned institutions collaborated with the Mexican Digital Library with the aim of integrating a database that reunites the Mexican documentary richness, to be consulted from any part of the world.
During the presentation of the electronic site, in the presence of Consuelo Saizar, president of Conaculta, these Mexican codices gone digital were highlighted: Chavero de Huejotzingo, Colombino, Huamantla, Sigüenza and Matricula de Tributos, all in the custody of INAH.
Totomaxtlahuaca Codex, safeguarded by CEHM, as well as Techialoyan de Cuajimalpa and Marquesado del Valle Codices, in custody of AGN, are part of the digital collection as well.
Alfonso de Maria y Campos, general director of INAH, remarked the importance of digitalization of Mexican history, “for the relevance of peoples to be present through more than 100 libraries of different countries, in one Internet page”.
Codices can already be consulted and appreciated at the BDMx, such as Huamantla, dated in 1592, which describes migration of a group of Otomies from Chiapan, in what currently is Estado de Mexico, to Huamantla, Tlaxcala today.
Codices del Marquesado del Valle, created in the 16th century, are integrated by 33 pages. Marquesado was a territory donated by the Spanish Crown to Hernan Cortes as an acknowledgment to his services.
From the Independence period is included the Agustin de Iturbide Manifesto, found hidden on his body after his execution in 1824. He wrote the document during his exile in Italy.
The digital version of Plan de Ayala, signed by Emiliano Zapata and Otilio Montaño, in November 1911, is also available.
Andrea Martinez Baracs, president of the Mexican Digital Library, mentioned that the objective of BDMx is to “digitalize and conserve documents of historical value to make them available for teaching, research and culture; for this reason, all libraries and archives that guard Mexican material will be invited to be part of the library.”
Accompanied by Aurora Gomez-Galvarriato, head of the National General Archives (AGN), Julieta Gil Elorduy, director of the National Library of Anthropology and History, mentioned that BDMx “has already the largest pictorial collection, being an excellent tool that unites tradition and technology”.
Manuel Ramos Medina, director of CEHM-Carso, commented that this digital collection “is an innovative project that had never been implemented in Mexico, to reunite new generations with Mexican history”.
“Many archives and libraries are digitalizing their funds and opening web sites that show a selection. This initiative is interinstitutional in its direction and call, being this its originality, forming a base that reflects the documentary richness of the country”, she concluded.