Iconographic Plan of Mexico City Showing the General Layout of its Pleasant and Beautiful Streets: As well as the repair and elimination of the negative features of the various neighborhoods, with their myriad hidden places, deserted alleyways, ruins and the negligent residents who cause them, in spite of all the efforts of the officers of public law and order under the command of His Excellency Count Revilla Gigedo, in the administration of Metropolitan Mayor Don Ignacio Castera
This map of Mexico City was made to support an early effort at urban improvement carried out by Viceroy Juan Vicente Güemes Pacheco de Padilla Revillagigedo (1740-99), who served as the 52nd viceroy of New Spain in the period from 1789 to 1794. During his tenure, this enlightened official undertook a massive overhaul of the social, financial, and administrative organization of New Spain. He ordered the first census, reorganized the militia, strengthened frontier garrisons, and promoted further exploration of the Pacific coast. This map reflects the viceroy's interest in ...
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Library of Congress
Map of Mexico City
Dated 1720, this map was produced by the government of Mexico City in order to improve urban sanitation through the collection of garbage. It shows the central part of the city in detail, including names of streets, plazas, hospitals, hospices, columns, small squares, arches, and other places.
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Center for the Study of the History of Mexico CARSO
The Sigüenza Map
This map is a cartographic history of the migration of the Aztec from Aztlán to Tenochtitlan. Created in the pictographic style typical of the central Mexican and Puebla valleys during the Post-Classical period, it is the only map of its kind known to exist. It is thought to date from the 16th century. The map shows the path of the migration, along with the story of the places passed and of the migration itself. Alongside the glyph for each location are symbols representing the amount of time spent in each ...
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National Institute of Anthropology and History INAH
Tribute Roll
The Matrícula de tributos (Tribute roll) records in pictographic writing the tributes that subject towns paid to Mexico-Tenochtitlan, the center of the triple alliance of Mexico, Tetzcoco, and Tacuba in the period just before the conquest of Mexico by the Spanish. The roll was very likely copied or elaborated on from a pre-Hispanic original circa 1522-30 by order of the conqueror Hernán Cortés, who wanted to learn more about the economic organization of the alliance's empire. Each page of the Matrícula represents one of 16 tributary provinces. The main ...
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National Institute of Anthropology and History INAH
Culhuacán, Mexico
This map from Culhuacán in the present-day Delegación de Ixtapalapa, Mexico City, is from the Relaciones Geográficas collection in the Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin. Dating from between 1578 and 1586, the Relaciones Geográficas are responses to a questionnaire initiated by the Spanish crown in 1577, requesting information about Spanish-held territories in the Americas. The questionnaires covered such topics as demographics, political administration, languages spoken, physical terrain, and vegetation. The crown received 191 responses to these questionnaires. Of the 167 responses known to exist ...
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University of Texas Libraries
Tenochtitlán, 1521
This topographical map of Mexico City and its surroundings dates from around 1550, some three decades after the conquest of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán by Hernán Cortés in 1521. Tenochtitlán was founded in the 14th century on an island in the salt lake of Texcoco. Upon occupying the city, the Spanish pulled down its central parts and replaced the Aztec temples with buildings constructed in the Spanish style, but they left the street layout virtually intact. The map shows the new buildings. The cathedral (Iglesia Major) is in the ...
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Uppsala University Library
A Letter Confirming Nobility
This manuscript from Mexico City is the record of testimony offered by Sebastián Vizcaíno (1550?-1615) in 1597-1600 to prove the noble status of his wife, Magdalena Martínez Orejón, and her brother, Francisco Martínez Orejón. Vizcaíno was a prominent Mexico City merchant and an explorer of Baja California. The proofs of nobility were important to defend Vizcaíno's brother-in-law, Francisco Martínez Orejón, in a lawsuit that put him in debtor's prison. The text is written in an italic style in black ink within ruled frames, on both sides of ...
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Library of Congress
The Eagle, the Snake, and the Cactus in the Founding of Tenochtitlan
The Tovar Codex, attributed to the 16th-century Mexican Jesuit Juan de Tovar, contains detailed information about the rites and ceremonies of the Aztecs (also known as Mexica). The codex is illustrated with 51 full-page paintings in watercolor. Strongly influenced by pre-contact pictographic manuscripts, the paintings are of exceptional artistic quality. The manuscript is divided into three sections. The first section is a history of the travels of the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The second section, an illustrated history of the Aztecs, forms the main body of ...
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John Carter Brown Library
Techialoyan Codex of Cuajimalpa
The Techialoyan Codex of Cuajimalpa is one of the Techialoyan codices, the generic name for a group of documents produced by the same team of people in a wide area of central Mexico, mostly from 1685 to 1703. The codex describes a meeting of the notables of the town of San Pedro Cuajimalpa, held to confirm the territorial limits of the town, the places it included, its districts, and its tributary towns. The object of this ceremony, a fusion of the ancient Mesoamerican and European cultural practices, was to legitimate ...
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General Archive of the Nation