The Benson Latin American Collection

Relaciones Geográficas of Mexico and Guatemala, 1577-1585



Descriptive Summary

Creator García Icazbalceta, Joaquín, 1825-1894
Title Collection of Relaciones Geográficas of Mexico and Guatemala
Dates: 1577-1585
Abstract Original manuscripts and maps created in response to the first survey of New Spain by King Philip II include historical, cultural, and geographical information about the region in the 16th century.
OCLC No. 34022876
Extent 43 relaciones geográficas, including 37 pinturas.
Language Spanish
Repository Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

On May 25, 1577, King Philip II of Spain ordered by royal cédula the preparation of a general description of Spain's holdings in the Indies. Instructions and a questionnaire, issued in 1577 by the Office of the Cronista Mayor-Cosmógrafo, were distributed to local officials in the Viceroyalties of New Spain and Peru to direct the gathering of information. The questionnaire, comprised of fifty items, was designed to elicit basic information about the nature of the land and the life of its peoples. The replies, known as "relaciones geográficas," were written between 1579 and 1585 and were returned to the Cronista Mayor-Cosmógrafo in Spain by the Council of the Indies.


Scope and Contents Note

The collection consists of forty-three relaciones geográficas (one a 19th-century copy) prepared by local officials in New Spain in response to the 1577 questionnaire mandated by King Philip II. Forty-one relaciones pertain to territory in present-day    Mexico; two relate to what is now    Guatemala. The relaciones contain historical, cultural, and geographical information on New Spain and its peoples during the 16th century and before the Conquest. The Relación de Texcoco is a 19th-century manuscript copy; another copy of this relación, probably made in the 17th century, is part of the Genaro García Collection in Benson.

Twenty-one relaciones are accompanied by printed questionnaires; 26 relaciones are accompanied by one or more maps, known as pinturas. The 37 pinturas are significant in their own right, not only as adjuncts to the texts. In addition to conveying historical information about such topics as 16th-century architecture, the spread of European religion in New Spain, and the colonial economy, the pinturas are artifacts for the study of the history of Latin American art and manuscript painting.


 

Arrangement

Arranged numerically among other items in Joaquín García Icazbalceta's Colección de manuscritos relativos a la historia de América,
vols. XX, XXIII-XXV.

Index Terms

The relaciones geográficas are classified under the following Subject Headings in the University of Texas Libraries' catalog:
Art--16th century--New Spain.
Indians of Mexico--Art
Indians of Mexico--History--Sources.
Manuscripts, Mexican
New Spain--Description and travel.
New Spain--History--Sources.
New Spain--Maps, Manuscript.
Spain--Colonies--History--Sources.
Mexico--History--16th century--Sources.
Guatemala--History--16th century--Sources.
Other Entries
Spain. Sovereigns, etc., 1556-1598 (Philip II)
Instrucción y memoria, de las relaciones que se han de hazer, para la descripción de las Indias.
Place Names in the Relaciones geográficas
Acapistla (Mexico)
Ameca (Mexico)
Amula (Mexico)
Antequera (Mexico)
Atengo (Mexico)
Atepeque (Mexico)
Atitlán(Guatemala)
Atlatlauca (Mexico)
Ayusuchiquilazala (Mexico)
Cempoala (Mexico)
Cholula de Rivadabia (Mexico)
Citlaltepec (Mexico)
Coatzocoalco (Espíritu Santo)
Cuautla (Mexico)
Cuilapa (Guatemala)
Culhuacán (Mexico)
Cusalapa (Mexico)
Cuzcatlán (Mexico)
Epazoyuca (Mexico)
Guaxtepec (Mexico)
Gueytlalpa (Mexico)
Iguala (Mexico)
Ixcatlán (Mexico)
Ixtapalapa (Mexico)
Iztepec (Guatemala)
Justlavaca (Mexico)
Meztitlán (Mexico)
Mistepeque (Mexico)
Mizantla (Mexico)
Oaxtepec (Mexico)
Pátzcuaro (Mexico)
Puetla (Mexico)
Peñoles (Mexico)
Quatlatlauca (Mexico)
Querétaro (Mexico)
Suchitepequex (Guatemala)
Tanatepec (Mexico)
Tancítaro (Mexico)
Tecuicuilco (Mexico)
Tehuantepec (Mexico)
Tenamaztlán (Mexico)
Tepetongo (Mexico)
Tequaltiche (Mexico)
Teozacoalco (Mexico)
Tequisquiac (Mexico)
Tetiquipa (Mexico)
Tetlistaca (Mexico)
Texcoco (Mexico)
Tiripitío (Mexico)
Tistla-Zumpango (Mexico)
Tuscacuesco (Mexico)
Tutupetongo (Mexico)
Veracruz (Veracruz-Llave, Mexico)
Xaltianguis (Mexico)
Xicayan (Mexico)
Xilocingo (Mexico)
Xocoticpaque (Mexico)
Zacatepec (Mexico)
Zacatula (Mexico)
Zapotitlan (Guatemala)
Zoquiapa (Mexico)
Compilers of the Relaciones geográficas
Aguero, Francisco de.
Alfonso de Estrada, Hernando
Avila, Pedro de
Aznar de Cozar, Andrés
Cangas, Suero de
Carrion, Juan de, fl. 1581.
Castañeda Leon, Juan de
Cervantes, Hernando de
Chavez, Gabriel de
Estrada, Juan de
Franco, Pedro
Galdos, Alonso de
Gallegos, Gonzalo
Gallegos, Hernando
Gutiérrez de Liébana, Juan
Hernandez Diosdado, Alonso
Leyva, Antonio de
Lopez de Zárate, Juan
Macarro, Sebastian
Martinez, Francisco
Martinez, Juan
Mendez, Andrés
Montes de Oca, Pedro de
Obregon, Luís
Patiño Avila, Alvaro
Perez de Arteaga, Diego
Pomar, Juan Bautista, fl. 1582.
Rojas, Gabriel de
Salas, Christoval de
Salazar, Agustín de
Solís, Gaspar de
Suarez, Melchor
Torres, Juan de
Vargas, Antonio de
Vascones, Hernando de
Velasquez de Lara, Gonzalo
Villegas, Francisco de

Related Material

Other relaciones geográficas are held by the Real Academia de Historia (Madrid) and the Archivo General de Indias (Seville).


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Relaciones Geográficas of Mexico and Guatemala, 1577-1585, Benson Latin American Collection, General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Acquisition Information

The relaciones were acquired by Joaquín García Icazbalceta in 1853 from an unknown private source.

The relaciones were included in the Joaquín García Icazbalceta Collection purchased by the Benson Latin American Collection from the heirs of García Icazbalceta in 1937.

Processing Information

The Relaciones Geográficas were described by the Benson's Mexican Archives Project in March 1994.

Finding aid initially prepared by the Mexican Archives Project.

Alternate Form Available

Also available on microfilm in the Benson Collection.

An online exhibit of some of the relaciones is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/benson/rg/


Other Finding Aids

The following guides, as well as a card file and lists, are available in the Benson Collection Rare Books Reference:

García Icazbalceta, Joaquín. Catalogo de la colección de manuscritos relativos a la historia de America. Monografías bibliográficas Mexicanas,
núm. 9.
Mexico City,
Impr. de la secretaria de relaciones exteriores,
1927.

Castañeda, Carlos Eduardo, 1896-1958. Guide to the Latin American Manuscripts in the University of Texas Library.
Cambridge, Mass.,
Harvard University Press,
1939.


Bibliography

The relaciones geográficas have been published in:

Acuña, René. Relaciones geográficas del siglo XVI. 1a éd.
México :
Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas,
1982-
10+ v.


Inventory

 

Mexico

box folder
1 XXIII-8 Acapistla, 1580.
6 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 1)
XXIII-10 Ameca, 1579.
14 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Guadalajara. (Census no. 4)
XXIII-9 Amula, 1579.
8 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Guadalajara. (Census no. 5)
XXIII-11 Antequera, 1580.
5 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 6)
XXIII-12 Atengo, 1579.
4 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 8)
XXIII-13 Atlatlauca, 1580.
7 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 10)
XXV-10 Cempoala, 1580.
3 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 19)
XXIV-1 Cholula, 1581.
10 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 25)
XXIV-2 Coatzocoalco, 1580.
5 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 30)
XXIV-4 Cuautla, 1580.
6 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 34)
XXIV-10 Cuilapa, 1580.
4 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 37)
XXIII-14 Culhuacan, 1580.
2 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 41)
XXIII-15 Cuzcatlán-2, 1580.
6 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 43)
XXV-11 Epazoyuca, 1580.
3 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 19)
XXIV-3 Guaxtepec, 1580.
7 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 47)
XXIV-5 Gueytlalpa, 1581.
18 folios of text, 7 maps.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 49)
XXIV-6 Iguala, 1579.
12 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 53)
XXIV-7 Ixcatlán, 1579.
3 folios of text, 2 maps.
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 54)
XXIV-8 Ixtapalapa, 1580.
3 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 56)
XXIV-9 Iztepec, 1581.
3 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 59)
XXIV-11 Justlavaca, 1580.
4 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no 61)
XXIV-12 Meztitlán, 1579.
14 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 66)
XXIV-13 Mizantla, 1579.
4 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 67)
XXIV-14 Patzcuaro, 1581.
4 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Michoacan. (Census no. 79)
XXIV-15 Peñoles, 1579.
8 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 80)
XXIV-16 Quatlatlauca, 1579.
3 folios of text, 2 maps [1 included in text].
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 85)
XXIV-17 Querétaro, 1582.
19 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Michoacan. (Census no. 86)
XXIV-18 Tancitaro, 1580.
11 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Michoacan. (Census no. 95)
XXIV-19 Tecuicuilco, 1580.
8 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 101)
XXV-4 Tehuantepec, 1580.
16 folios of text, 2 maps [1 included in text].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 102)
XXV-1 Tenamaztlán, 1579.
7 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Guadalajara. (Census no. 105)
XXV-3 Teozacoalco, 1580.
8 folios of text, 2 maps.
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 108)
XXV-2 Tequaltiche, 1585,
6 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Guadalajara. (Census no. 113)
XXV-5 Tequisquiac, 1579.
4 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 114)
XXV-6 Tetiquipa, 1580.
3 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Oaxaca. (Census no. 120)
XXV-12 Tetlistaca, 1581.
2 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 19)
XII-16 Texcoco [copy], 1582.
113 pages of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Mexico. (Census no. 123)
XXV-7 Tiripitio, 1580.
7 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Michoacan. (Census no. 130)
XXV-13 Tistla-Zumpango, 1582.
7 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 132)
XXV-8 Vera Cruz, 1580.
17 folios of text, 2 maps.
In the Bishopric of Tlaxcala. (Census no. 140)
XXV-9 Zacatula, 1580.
6 folios of text [no map].
In the Bishopric of Michoacan. (Census no. 148)



 

Guatemala

box folder
1 XX-10 Atitlán, 1585.
44 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Guatemala. (Census no. 9)
XX-9 Zapotitlán, 1579.
13 folios of text, 1 map.
In the Bishopric of Guatemala. (Census no. 152)