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Mexican Chapbook Collection

Identifier: MSS-661-BC

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of 128 chapbooks printed in Mexico. Most are printed by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, and many are illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada. The chapbooks cover various topics, including cooking, home remedies, riddles, fortune telling, and Catholic celebrations, devotions, and prayers. Many of the chapbooks are collections of song lyrics. Several provide instructions for a wide array of activities such as writing appropriate love letters, interpreting codes and symbols (of flowers, fans, the position of one's handkerchief, and the like), interpreting dreams, and magic tricks. Embroidery patterns are also included in two books. Several books provide one-act plays to be performed by adults, children, or puppets. Antonio Vanegas Arroyo began publishing in 1880; the chapbooks date from then to 1919, with the exception of one 1967 reprint. Although chapbooks are individually numbered in the contents list, the pieces themselves are not numbered. All materials are in Spanish.


  • 1880-1967 (bulk 1880-1919)


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research,

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Historial Background

José Guadalupe Posada, illustrator, engraver, and etcher, was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico in 1852. For a short while, he worked at Antonio Vanegas Arroyo's studio. His popularity began in the years following the Mexican Revolution, and he is now considered one of Mexico's greatest printmakers. Vanegas Arroyo estimates that Posada produced more than 15,000 engravings, devoted to expressing the sorrows, joys, and hopes of the Mexican people. Diego Rivera wrote that "[a] study of his work would give a complete picture of the social life of the Mexican people... In Posada's work everything and everybody is caricatured as skeleton, from the cat to the cook, from Porfirio Díaz to Zapata, including the farmer, the artisan, the dandy, not to mention the worker, the peasant and indeed the Spanish coloniser." Posada died in 1913, soon after the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. He was buried in a pauper's grave.


1 box ( .35 cu. ft. )


This collection contains 128 chapbooks on various topics from Mexico, most of which are printed by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, and many of which are illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada.
Finding Aid of the Mexican Chapbook Collection, 1880-1967 (bulk 1880-1919)
Processed by K. Stocker
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 661 BC::Mexican Chapbook Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss661bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131