Early Nahuatl Library

Welcome to the Early Nahuatl Library!

The idea behind this virtual library is to create an electronic repository of early Nahuatl-language resources (ca.1540-1825), combining those found in Mesoamerica with those the United States and Europe, digitizing them all and making them more accessible and comprehensible to Nahuatl scholars everywhere. We hope to build an infrastructure that facilitates the paleography and translation of the manuscripts that appear here in facsimile, paving the way for analysis by linguists, ethnohistorians, anthropologists and others. We will also feed the added value created by participating scholars into databases to allow searching by subjects, keywords, and strings of characters. While our Mapas Project (Proyecto Mapas) features predominantly pictorial manuscripts from indigenous communities (Nahua and more) of Mesoamerica, this library will focus on predominantly textual manuscripts. We will seek manuscripts across the entire span of time (sixteenth through early nineteenth centuries, whether classifiable as Stage 1, 2, or 3, following James Lockhart’s methodology) and across geographic regions. We hope to include a variety of manuscript types, whether civil (birth, marriage, death, etc.), religious (testaments, preaching instructions, sermons, meditations, prayers, cofradía records, fiesta records, hymns, baptism records, theater), legal (statements by municipal officers, election records, petitions, land records, and other court records), historical (annals, primordial titles), calendrical, genealogical, economic (tribute records, market records, accounts), musical (songs), literary (poetry, huehuetlahtolli), or linguistic (glossaries, vocabularies, grammars, language lessons).

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The seed for this project was a two-year Collaborative Research Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, and the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Oregon.