Skip to main content

Latin American History and Culture: Series 3: Parts 1-4: The Mexican Pamphlet Collection, 1605-1888


Available Downloads

AUTHOR FICHE REEL CONTENT

About this Collection

INTRODUCTION

Introduction: Latin AmericanHistory and Culture: Series 3: The Mexican Pamphlet Collection, 1607-1888

 

Origin of the Sutro Library andtheMexican Collection

 

Adolph Sutro, born in 1830 to an Alsatian-Jewish family in Aachen,immigrated in 1850 to San Francisco, where he became a successful clothier andtobacconist. With the flooding of the Comstock Lode in Virgina City, Nevada,Sutro designed the tunnel that bears his name to drain the mines, becomingextremely wealthy as a result. As a real estate speculator and investor, hebought Sutro Heights and served as a progressive mayor of San Francisco, wheredied in 1898.

 

As was frecuently the case ofother wealthy individual in the latter nineteenth century, Sutro commencedformation of a great library, not so much as a bibliophile but, more precisely,with the plan of providing a public center for research for San Francisco. In1884, Sutro initiated what would become his renowned acquisitions program bytraveling throughout Europe. There he purchased books and pamphlets in England,Italy, Germany, and France in what could be classified as bulk lots of oftenten to fifteen thousand titles in all conceivable fields of knowledge. InLondon alone it was estimated that he acquired in excess of thirty-five thousandtitles. As might be expected, the problem of space for Sutos purchases grewapace, and he was forced to store his library in crates in office and warehousefacilites on Montogomery Street. This storage problem led to the tragicdestruction of possibly fifty percent of his reputed 250,000-volume collectionduring the earthquake and fire of 1906, when one of his book warehouses wasconsumed in the conflagration. Despite this loss, a good portion of Sutrosholdings remained intact, and in 1913 Sutros surviving library was donated byhis heirs to the California State Library under the proviso that it remain inSan Francisco.

 

One of the largest segments of thecollection to remain entirely intact following the fire was the great Mexicanacollection of forty to fifty thousand books, pamphlets, broadsides, andmanuscripts, titles acquired by Sutro during a hastily planned trip to MexicoCity in 1889. In Mexico, despite his limited knowledge of the culture,language, and Mexican bibliography, good fortune had smiled upon Sutro. For hisarrival in Mexico had followed upon the death of the owner of Mexico Cityslongest established bookstore and publishing concern, Francisco Abadiano. FromLuis Abadiano, their father, Francisco and his brother Dionisio had inherited abookstore and printing plant located on Calle de las Escalerillas (today,Guatemala) in the heart of the Mexican capital, a concern that had become theculmination of a long and prestigious line of bookmen and printers.

 

Direct antecedents for Abadianosconcern can be traced to the famed Mexican humanist and bibliographer, JuanJos de Eguiara y Eguren, who founded the Imprenta de la Bibliotheca Mexicanain 1753. Eguiaras shop was subsequently acquired by Licenciado Jos deJuregui in 1767, and a year later Juregui merged his business with the shopof the Herederos de Mara de Ribera. Upon Jureguis death in 1778, theenterprise passed to the Herederos de Jos de Juregui until 1791 when anephew, Bachiller Jos Fernndez Juregui, assumed ownership and directed ituntil his death in 1800. Succession passed to Mara Fernndez de Juregui whodied in 1815, and subsequently, in 1817, the business was sold to AlejandroValds. In his own right, Valds was a well established printer, havingmaintained his own shop from 1808 to 1814, and in 1815 acquiring the equipmentand stock of his famed father, Manuel Antonio Valds y Mungua. The elderValds had served as printer for the Colegio de San Ildefonso of the Society ofJesus until 1767, when he joined the then largest printer in the westernhemisphere, Felipe de Ziga y Ontiveros. There he edited the famed Gaceta de Mxico following itsre-establishment in 1784.

 

The wars of independencenotwithstanding, liberalization of freedom of the press through the SpanishConstitution of 1812 substantially expanded printing activities in New Spain,particularly in the area of political tracts and pamphlets. Alejandro Valdscontinued as an active printer, producing, in 1816, Jos Mariano Beristin ySousas classic bibliography, BibliotecaAmericana Septentrional. Following Mexican independence in 1821,Valds acquired the contract as imperial printer of Agustn de Iturbide for theprinting of official documents, and during this time he formed a partnershipwith Luis Abadiano that lasted until the death of Valds in 1831. Between 1825and 1884, the Abadiano family continued to operate both the printing andbookselling enterprises that had evolved out of Eguiaras original shop. Whilethe artistic output of Abadiano did not rival that of contemporaries JosMariano Lara, Vicente Garca Torres, or Ignacio Cumplido, probably the finestprinters in the Americas during the first half of the nineteenth century, theseveral thousand titles produced were of high quality, and the firm wasextremely active as booksellers.

 

The highly conservative andreligious Abadianos dealt extensively in books and pamphlets relative to theposition of the Church in Mexico. In order to avoid destruction as a result ofthe anticlerical liberal Constitution of 1857, the War of the Reform, andorders for confiscation of religious properties by Ignacio Comonfort and BenitoJurez in 1861, many of the books and manuscripts from the conventual librariesof Mexico City, the oldest in the Americas, were transferred to them byecclesiastical authorities or purchased in trust with the hope of restoringthem at a future date. This long and prestigious lineage of printers andbooksellers ended with the death of Francisco Abadiano in 1883, for his son andheir, Eufemio, apparently lacked the family skills and love of books. In 1885,he attempted to establish a serial publication of Mexican history andliterature by subscription and to produce reproductions of famous Mexicanarchaeological artifacts. This having failed, in 1887 Eufemio Abadianoannounced the auction of his fathers library and art collection, the lattercontaining works by Drer, Murillo, and Goya, and at the same time issued acatalogue remaindering the stock of his fathers publications. The bad fortuneof the Abadianos was the good fortune of Sutro, for the book store on Calle delas Escalerillas not only contained thousands of volumes on Mexican history,literature, religion, philosophy, and political theory, but also multiplecopies of works printed by Ziga y Ontiveros, Juregui, Valds, and the elderAbadianos. Thus, Sutro acquired the cumulative stock of over a century and ahalf of printing and bookselling in Mexico.

 

The full details of Sutrospurchase from Abadiano have not come to light. Material found within the greatSutro Mexican Collection, however, indicates that it was literally lock,stock, and barrel. Not only did Sutro acquire thousands of individual titlespublished from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century, the largestcollection of nineteenth-century Mexican pamphlets and ephemera in the world,and an extraordinary collection of imprints and manuscripts relative to theChurch in Mexico, but he also landed the remaining multiple copies of thefirms imprints dating from the mid-eighteenth century. Were these purchasesnot sufficient to indicate Sutros unique method of acquisitions, he apparentlywent one step further in the case of Mexico. The very documents which reflectSutros purchases include the Abadiano account ledgers, receipt books,corrected galley proofs, and inventories dating from the late eighteeenthcentury. Sutro probably instructed his agents of buy everything, and theyinterpreted this to mean the contents of the files, desks, and waste paper baskets,thus unknowingly obtaining an excellent collection of documents pertaining tothe history of printing and book-selling in Mexico.

 

Nature of the Sutro Library Mexican Collection

 

The Sutro Mexican Collection is ofimmense value for research into the history of Mexican culture, religion, andpolitics from 1540 to 1889, and, since 1980, an active program of acquistion ofmodern supporting materials relative to history, geography, archival sources,and bibliography has added several thousand titles to the collection to enhanceits use by researchers. Special concentration has also added rare pamphlets,broadsides, histories, biographies, and lithographic works to the nucleusestablished by Sutro. Also aiding research, a representative collection ofseventeenth- to nineteenth-century maps, atlases, and ephermera, as well as anextensive collection of Spanish imprints from the sixteenth to nineteenthcenturies, most of which were also purchased from Abadiano, supplement theSutro Mexican Collection.

 

To facilitate consultation andresearch, the Sutro Mexican Collection is divided into four major sections:Pamphlets, Manuscripts, Library of the Colegio Imperal de Santa Cruz deTlatelolco, and General Imprints. The first of these is subdivided into boundpamphlets (tomos de varios), singlepamphlets, and decrees, bandos, and proclamations; and the fourth into thesubsection of Mexican Lithography. The general rule for inclusion into theMexican Collection is that the title be printed, or written in the case of manuscripts,in New Spain/Mexico between 1521 and 1890, or that the work treat specificallyof New Spain/Mexico, regardless of its place or origin, during the same timespan.

 

The Sutro Mexican Collection, withthe exception of the Sutro Mexican Pamphlet Collection and ManuscriptCollection, has been cataloged under the rules of the Library of Congress byHispanex (California Spanish Language Data Base) in collaboration with theCalifornia State Library. This cataloging has been entered on the MELVYLCatalog database of the University of California and on the California StateLibrary electonic catalogs. Special added entries, including Mexican printers,Tlatelolco, and Guadalupanismo, enhance access to special areas of thecollection.

 

Published access to variousaspects of the collections is listed in the bibliography below.

 

The Sutro Library Mexican Pamphlet Collection

 

The most outstanding section ofthe Sutro Mexican Collection comprises some 12,000 pamphlets printed between1605 and 1888, the largest collection of its kind in the world. Internationalacclaim of the collection has been demonstrated by the inclusion of varioustitles in exhibits by the Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City, and theInstituto Cultural Cabaas, Guadalajara. While the pre-1810 titles aregenerally religious in nature (theological treatises, devotionaries, andsermons), post-1810 material is principally political and secular (tracts,speeches, laws, and ministerial reports). By way of comparison, the YaleCollection of Mexican Pamphlets [Lofton Wilson, ed. Guide to Latin American Pamphlets from the Yale University LibrarySelections from 1600-1900. (New York: Clearwater Publishing Company,1985. 4 vols.) ] catalogs 6,300 titles published between 1600 and 1900; theSutro Collection, exclusive of official government publications, catalogs 8,223titles published between 1605 and 1888. Similarly, the Coleccin Lafragua ofthe Biblioteca Nacional in Mexico (Roco Meza Oliver and Luis Olivera Lpez, Catlogo de la Coleccin Lafragua de la BibliotecaNacional de Mxico 1811-1821. [Mxico: UNAM, 1996]; Lucinda MorenoValle, Catlogo de la ColeccinLafragua de la Biblioteca Nacional de Mxico 1821-1853. [Mxico:UNAM, 1975.]) catalogs 3,266 titles from 1810 to 1835; the Sutro Collectioncatalogs 4,460 for the same period. This is not to suggest that the SutroCollection totally duplicates these collections, nor those of the 810 volumes of bound pamphlets in the Coleccinde Miscelneas of the Biblioteca Pblica of the State of Jalisco (Alma Dorantes, Jos Mara Muri,and Jaime Olveda, Inventario eIndice de las Miscelneas de la Biblioteca Pblica del Estado de Jalisco.[Guadalajara: INAH, 1978. 3 vols.]) or the Collection of Mexican Pamphlets ofthe Bodleian Library, Oxford (Colin Steele and Michael P. Costeloe, Independent Mexico - A Collection of MexicanPamphlets in the Bodleian Library. [London: Mansell Information,1973.]). Of particular importance in the Sutro Collection are unique titles ofsuch famous pamphleteers as Jos Joaqun Fernndez de Lizardi, Rafael Dvila,Pablo de Villavicencio, El Payo del Rosario, and Carlos Mara Bustamante, allof whom published through Abadiano. Reflecting the unusually complete contentof the collection, these represent lengthy runs of polemics and counterpolemics,publicly printed debate and counterdebate, by signed and pseudonymous authors,monarchists and republicans,conservatives and liberals, ecclesiastics and anticlericals, andfederalists and centralists. In addition to religious imprints and political treatises, numerous scientific,medical, pharmaceutical, educational,historical, literary, ethnographic, and geographic-demographic topics are alsocovered; virtually every aspect of Mexican culture is represented in thecollection.

 

The 356 bound volumes of pamphlets(tomos de varios) were formedcontemporarily; some clearly having as their end the organization of authors ortopics; others evidencing nothing more than the moment at which the collectoracquired the imprints. Both are phenomena of interest in their own right. The several thousand separate pamphlets,organized alphabetically, complement these volumes, and several hundredgovernment documents cataloged as a part of the general collection wereincluded at the time of microfilming.Catalog access to the pamphlet collection is available through a specialcard catalog at the library, 16MM microfilm of this card catalog, and thepublished Catalogue of Mexican Pamphlets in the Sutro Collection 1623-1888listed in the bibliography below. A MARC record set is currently beingdeveloped through the work of the Center for Bibliographical Studies andResearch. The pamphlet collection wasoriginally microfilmed thanks to the generosity of Licenciado Juan Lpez,Chronicler of the City of Guadalajara and former director of the InstitutoCultural Cabaas.

 

Research Potential In the SutroLibrary Mexican Pamphlet Collection

 

In general, the Sutro Mexican Collection has beenunderutilized by researchers in Mexican history and culture, both pre- andpost-doctoral. Of great importance to the researcher is the unusual fact thatthe Sutro collection has been retained in-bloc since its purchase in 1889 and it is, therefore,similar to a late nineteenth-century Mexican bookstore. There has been no culling of the collection,as frequently occurs in academic libraries, of material judged to be lacking inacademic value such as popular literature and theater, calendars and almanacsor overly emotional and subjective, such as edifying letters, sermons, novenas,and devotionaries. Thus, the collection offers special opportunities forresearch in popular culture during the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries,especially in matters of religion; secular, political and religious literature;theater; education; and graphic arts, printing, and publication.

 

Because of its early cataloging by the Works ProgressAdministration in the 1930s, the Sutro Mexican Pamphlet Collection has beenbetter known among researchers than other aspects of the Mexican Collection.Thus, substantial research has been carried out regarding major pamphleteerssuch as Fernndez de Lizardi, Dvila, and Villavicencio. However, little hasbeen done regarding the numerous named and pseudonymous writers. Similarly,nonpolitical subjects in the collection have been little used, nor have anystudies treating the phenomena of pamphlet writing, publishing, collecting, andbinding in nineteenth century Mexico appeared.

 

As integrated holdings, any research in the Sutro MexicanPamphlet Collection must include consultation of other areas, to a greater orlesser degree, depending upon the research topic or topics. The section of General Imprints also covers all aspects of Mexican culture,however, there are several areas in which it is particularly rich and, as inthe case of the Pamphlet Collection, in many instances this is due to thepresence of imprints once not considered worthy of cataloging and space by manylibraries. In that most publications of the three-century colonial period werereligious in nature, thousands of titles of theological studies,confessionaries, liturgical manuals and breviaries, catechisms, devotionaries,novenas, moral philosophy, sermons, OurLady of Guadalupe, rules of the Augustinian, Carmelite, Dominican, Hieronomite,Jesuit, Mercedarian, and Oratorian (San Felipe Neri) orders, as well asconvents of nuns, along with edifying letters, biographies of religious, andpastoral letters of the archdiocese of Mexico and provincial diocesescomplement those of the Sutro Mexican Pamphlet Collection.

 

The political upheavals of nineteenth-century Mexico arewell covered with numerous religio-political sermons and pastoral letterspublished durint the Wars of Independence, 1810-1820, treatises on the impactof the Napoleonic invasion of Spain and the restoration of Fernando VII, therestoration of the Society of Jesus in 1816, constitutionalism, royalism,insurgency, the empire of Agustn de Iturbide, and the republicanism of Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna, and the ongoingconflict of Church and State between 1824 and 1888 is treated in religious aswell a secular imprints. Over 1,000 decrees, proclamations, and public noticesof viceroys Calleja and Venadito, Iturbide, the Constitutional Congress,Arrillaga, Santa Anna, Maximillian, and other national and stateadministrations from 1810 to 1870, document political change, taxation,customs, military organization, as dolaws and legal briefs. Anessentially complete collection of the annual reports of national ministries from 1822 to 1860reflect official actions, as do diplomatic documents and treaties, Theextensive collection of official publications of the State of Mexico between1821 and 1840 is also noteworthy, as are files of government documentsregarding economic and industrial development between 1830 and 1860. A gift ofmaterials relative to the war between the United States and Mexico (1846-1848)by Norman Tutorow substantially enhanced that area of the collection, andactive acquisition in relationship to the sesquicentennial of the Treaty ofGuadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) incorporating Alta California into the United States,has also greatly augmented this collection with both Mexican and United Statesimprints.

 

The serials section of the collection with over 100 titlesis also extensive, and contains complete runs of the earliest newspaper in theAmericas, Gaceta de Mxico,and political-official serials: Diariode Mxico, El Observador, Gaceta Imperial, Gaceta del Gobierno de Mxico, La Abispa de Chilpancingo, El Farol (Puebla), AguilaMexicana, and El Calavera. Bound fasicles ofperiodicals containing literature,poetry, fashion, biography, history,natural science, geography and travel published during the Republic between1821 and 1880, include ElIris, Gaceta Literaria,Diario de los Nios, Almacn Universal, Semanario de lasSeoritas Mejicanas, La Semanade la Seoritas Mexicanas, LaCamelia, El AlbumMexicano, and the important religious serial, La Cruz. Possibly unique, also within serials, is a collection of some 200calendar-almanacs and guides for visitors, including those of Ziga yOntiveros, Galvn, Cumplido, Lara, Nbor Chvez, J.M. Aguilar, ImprentaLiteraria, Manuel Murgua, Juan R. Navarro, Vicente Segura, J.M. Andrade y F.Escalante, Mariano Arvalo, and A. Boix covering the years 1780-1888. Many ofthese serials contain excellent lithographs and, thereby, also form a part ofthe Mexican Lithography section. In Mexico lithography was used primarily toillustrate books or to produce great albums of plates, and lithographersgenerally worked in concert with printers during the nineteenth centurytypographic renaissance in Mexico, and extraordinarily beautiful illustratedworks came from the fine presses of Ignacio Cumplido, Jos Mariano Lara,Murgua, and Vicente Garca Torres.

 

As a result of the Abadiano acquisition of books andmanuscripts from Franciscan convents, the Sutro Mexican Collection contains thebulk of the surviving books of the earliest academic library in the WesternHemisphere, that of the Imperial College of Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco founded in1535 by Bishop Juan de Zumrraga, O.F.M., and Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. Twoof the volumes in the Tlatelolco collection are signed by Zumrraga, and manyothers are signed by other famous Franciscans of sixteenth century New Spain.Nearly 400 volumes reflect the foundations of religion in New Spain and thecultural climate of the earliest decades of the viceroyalty.

 

The Mexican Manuscript collection comprises a large numberof seminary copybooks from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, plays,poetry, music, military orders, sermons, and documents relative to landholdings. Of special interest are manuscript copies of religious, historical,and literary works submitted for publication to the Abadianos and theirpredecessors, and the records, inventories, and correspondence of the Valdsand Abadiano printing and bookselling enterprises from 1815 to 1884. A cardcatalog is available at the library, andprinted guides are cited in the bibliography.

 

W. MichaelMathes
Orden Mexicana del Aguila Azteca
Honorary Curator, Mexican Collection
Sutro Library

 

 

Published Guides To the Sutro Library Mexican Collection:

 

Dillon, Richard H. TheAnatomy of a Library.Sacramento: California State Library, 1957.

Koegel, John. New Sources of Music from Spain and Colonial Mexico at The SutroLibrary, Notes of the MusicLibrary Association 55(March, 1999), 583-613.

____. Nuevas fuentes musicales para danza, teatro y saln de la Nueva Espaa,Heterofona 116/117(Enero-Diciembre, 1997), 9-37.

Kurutz, Gary F., and W. Michael Mathes.The Forgotten War: The ConflictBetween Mexico and The United States 1846-1849. Sacramento: California State Library Foundation, 2003.

Mathes, W. Michael. Adolph Sutros Incunabula from Mexico: A Study ofProvenance, QuarterlyNewsletter-The Book Club of California XLVI (Fall, 1981), 103-105.

____. The Americas First Academic Library, Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco.Sacramento: California State Library Foundation, 1985.

____. A Bibliophiles Dream: AdolphSutro in Mexico, Quarterly Newsletter,The Book Club of CaliforniaXLV (Summer, 1980), 73-75.

____. Bibliotheca NovohispanaGuadalupana. Mxico:Centro de Estudios de Historia de Mxico Condumex, 2003..

____. La Coleccin Mexicana de Ia Biblioteca Sutro de San Francisco,California, Quinto Centenario2 (1981), 213-215.

____. Early Books from Mexican Monastic Libraries in the Sutro Library, California State Library Foundation Bulletin60 (July, 1997), 9-14.

____. Mexican Lithography at Sutro, CaliforniaState Library Foundation Bulletin 18 (January, 1987), 6-7.

____. Mexican Manuscripts in the Sutro Library, San Francisco: A Catalog, The Americas XL (January, 1984),417-425, (April, 1984), 539-555.

____. The Mexican Railroad at Sutro, California State Library Foundation Bulletin 21 (October,1987), 6-9.

____. Mxico en Piedra: Lalitografa en Mxico (1826-1900). Guadalajara: Gobierno del Estado de Jalisco. Guadalajara:Imprejal, S.A., 1990.

____. Mexico on Stone: Lithography in Mexico, 1826-1900. SanFrancisco: The Book Club of California, 1984

____. Mexico on Stone at Sutro: Recent Acquisitions, California State Library Foundation Bulletin28 (July, 1989), 23-26.

____. Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Sutro Library, California State Library Foundation Bulletin 40 (July,1992), 19-22.

____. Santa Cruz deTlatelolco: La primera bibliotecaacadmica de las Amricas. Mxico.Secretara de Relaciones Exteriores, 1982.

____. The Sutro Library Collection of Mexicana, California State Library Foundation Bulletin 15 (April,1985), 4-9.

____. Sutro Mexicana: An Update, CaliforniaState Library Foundation Bulletin 17 (October, 1985), 11-13.

___, and Mara Isabel Gran Porra. LaIlustracin en Mexico Colonial- El Grabado en Madera y Cobre en Nueva Espaa1539-1821 - Illustration in Colonial Mexico-Woodcuts and Copper Engravings inNew Spain 1539-1821. Zapopan:El Colegio de Jalisco, 2001.

Radin, Paul, ed. Catalogue ofMexican Pamphlets in the Sutro Collection 1623-1888; With Supplements.California State Library 1939-1941 (W.P.A.). (New York: Kraus Reprint, 1971)

 

Editorial Note

 

The MexicanPamphlet Collection, 1605-1888, is housed at the Sutro Library, abranch of the California State Library. The Primary Source Microfilm (animprint of Thomson/Gale)edition is based on microfilm produced originally byBay Microfilm.

 

Titles within thisreel index of the guide have no one particular order, except for theorganization of the titles on reels 67 through 161, which were arranged intobound volumes as materials were amassed.

 

If the individualtitle appears within the first 67 reels of The Mexican Pamphlet Collection,1605-1888, the entry records the reel number and the location of the itemamong the complete span of items on that reel. An example appears below:

 

A.V., D.M.

Himno Eucaristico canto nocturno al Seor
Sacramentado quando es conducido por Viatico a
los enfermos, dispuesto por D.M.A.V. [Mexico]
: Reimpreso en la oficina de Don Marinno
Ontiveros, calle de Espritu Santo, ao de 1816.
[16] p. 10cm.
Part 2 Reel 1 item 18

 

Unlike the first 67reels of this collection, titles on reels 68 through 161 of The MexicanPamphlet Collection, 1605-1888 were collected into bound copies, each ofwhich received a PM number, and an item number that situates the title inrelation to its place within that PM volume. Note as well that PM volumesappear sequentially within the collection: thus reel 115 comprises PM volumes205-207. An example of a PM volume entry appears below:

 

Aquirre, Manuel G.
Informe dirigido a la Primera Sala de la Suprema
Corte de Justicia por el Lic. D. , defendiendo los
derechos del Estado Soberano de Mexico en una
competencia de jurisdiccion. mexico, imp. De la
Sociedad Literaria a cargo de Agustin Contreras.
[1847]
38p.
Part 3 Reel 109 PM 179 Item 2

 

In this example,Aquirres Informe dirigido appears in part 3 of the collection on reel109, in PM volume 179, as the second title within that PM volume.