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Documents from the Archivo General de La Nación de México and other related archives

Identifier: MSS-867-BC

Scope and Content

The AGN collection contains three formats:
  1. 1.) Research files (17 boxes) - Include loose photostats of colonial documents, transcriptions, translations and notes.
  2. 2.) Volumes (267 volumes) - Bound collection of photostats of colonial documents.
  3. 3.) Reels/DVDs (322 reels) of microfilm digitally transfered to DVDs (6 boxes) include images of colonial documents.
The documents are in handwritten Spanish paleographic script, with a few written in Mayan, Latin, Italian, and French. They are in photostat, photocopy, or microfilm formats. There are typed Spanish transcriptions and notes for some of the documents. Briefly, Bloom and Scholes’ purpose for the collection was to provide a chronological history of the “lost" early decades of New Mexico from exploration and founding through the Pueblo Revolt to the Reconquest and resettlement. They also collected a few interesting documents about areas adjacent and linked historically to New Mexico such as Texas, Lousiana, Florida and California. Scholes also added significant documents to the collection on the history of conquest and post-conquest eras of central and western Mexico, Cortes and Yucatan. He also included some material about the Caribbean, Central America, the Viceroyalty of Peru and the Philippines showing the origins of early colonial policies and their impact on events in the later development of New Spain. Given here briefly are selected examples of the topics in the documents of this collection by region:

New Mexico - Settlement, missions, encomiendas, Camino Real, role of El Paso and Mexican provinces aid to New Mexico. Spanish relations with the Pueblo Indians, Hopi, Apaches, Navajos, Jumanos, Comanches, Utes, Chichimecas. Indian views, rights, Indians paid wages for work. Indian peace efforts, Indian allies to Spanish. Missions to Hopi, Navajos, Apaches, Comanches. Inquisition cases - Spanish, Indians, Mulatos, Mestizos, officials. Pueblo Revolt 1680, Pueblos kill Indians not take part, Indian allies of Spanish, new Indian policies, resettlement. French trade, Villasur. Santa Fe cabildo, presidio, founding of new towns. Trade to Great Plains, St. Louis, Texas, weavers, mining, foreigners. Local elections, lawsuits, 1837 Revolt, Texas Santa Fe Expedition 1841, Mexican War, American filibusters, Gadsden Purchase.

Northern and Western Mexican provinces - Provincias Internas - Nueva Galicia, Nueva Vizcaya, Sonora, Michoacan, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Tlaxcala, Oaxaca - same issues as New Spain - Mexico - Indian uprisings, towns, presidios, Spanish relations with Apaches, Pimas, Sumas, Mansos, Tarahumara, Chichimecas, and settled Indians. Indian rights, activities. Indians given land for settlements. Relocation of Indians from United States into Spanish territory.

Viceroyalty of New Spain, Mexico - Yucatan - Encomiendas, China products, Blacks - Negros slave trade. Hernan Cortes, Marquesado. Missions, Christianity, Inquisition, Jesuits. Mesta, regulations, life of Spanish, Indians, Negros - Blacks, Mulatos, Chinese, Mestizos, Mestizaje. Women. Sanitation, obrajes, prisons, Indian vagabonds. Mistreatment of Indians by Spanish and also by own caciques and other Indians. Indian slavery, freedom. Indians write to King, defend selves, paid for their work, buy, sell, rent their lands, sell products, etc. Rights of Indian caciques, cacicas, equal to vassals of Castilla, lands, tributes, servants, pensions, scholarships, etc. Indians have republics, towns, town elections, residencies, alguaciles, etc. Spanish provided Indians land, water, schools, hospitals, supplies, protections. Spanish checked who land belonged to before granting to another party. No Spanish, Negros - Blacks, Mestizos in Indian towns, no taverns. Defense, pirates, contraband, invasions, War with England, American Revolution. Mexican Independence. War with Mexico, United States invasion, filibusters, incursions, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Meriwether Lewis, Moses Austin, Jean LaFitte, etc.

United States - Spanish Borderlands - Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Great Plains - Spanish in Quivira, Teguayo. Expeditions of Juan de Ulibarri and Pedro Vial. French, American tade, incursions. Quartelejo, Villasur.

English Colonies, United States - Pirates, contraband, war, alliances. English - Carolina mistreat Apalache Indians, Spanish protect them. Some information on conflicts England, France, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Dutch, Holland, Hamburg, Denmark, Sweden. Protestants. Pirates Lorencillo, Hawkins, Cavandish, etc. War with England, American Revolution, donativos, Spanish support to France, war in Carribean, Guatemala, Gulf Coast. British fleet to New York, Cuba money to French for Yorktown. King, Governor Miro and Georgia Delegate, United States. Aaron Burr, English and United States designs on New Spain. Banned book on Iroquois Indians, 1779. Resettling Indians from United States in New Spain.

Alaska, California, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida - Alaska and Oregon – Expeditions, Russians, Indian relations, English. California - Expeditions, towns, presidios, women, orphans. Pearls, mining, gold. Missions. English pirates, storms, earthquake, Monterrey presidio fire. Indian uprisings. United States 1841 invasion. Foreigners in California, insurgents. George Vancouver. John C. Fremont. Mexican War. Texas - Juan Dominguez de Mendoza to Texas, 1683. Settlement, presidios, pirates, Indian attacks, missions for Apaches. Inquisition - El Paso. Canary Islanders, Galicians, Tlaxcalans teach Indians. French history, and Indians, plan to bring in their Negro slaves and cattle. Some information on War with England, American Revolution, Gulf Coast. Galveston pirates. Negro slaves from Louisiana to Texas. Henry Staplen. American filibusers. Texas conflict 1813, Texas Revolt, Stephen Austin, James Davis, Sam Houston, newspaper articles by Henry Clay. Texas Republic, annexation. Mexican War.

Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, islands, etc. - Some information on administration, trade, tobacco, contraband, defense. Cuba supplies to other posts. Española, pirates, galley ships. Lorencillo. Agramote. Cuba, conditions in harbor, factories, wealth of church, society, haciendas. Foreign incursions, invasions. Denmark, Santo Tomas Island, 1721. War with England, role of Cuba, aid to Florida, Louisiana, United States. British fleet to New York, 1779, Cuba money to French fleet for Yorktown, 1781. Cuba and Provincias Internas reforms.

Central America - Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua - Some information on administration, encomiendas, mining, tobacco, contraband, defense from English and French. Indian policies, missions. Inquisition letters about Guatemala and Nicaragua cases. Education. Itza, Guatemala and Martin de Ursua. Canary Islanders to Panama. Guatemala, earthquake, 1718. Guatemala and War with England. English, passage through ithmus, Nicaragua. French invasion 1781.

Viceroyalty of Peru - Some policies for Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, administration, defense, pirates, trade, contraband, encomiendas, mining, tobacco, cacao, ties New Spain. Negro - Blacks slaves. Protection of Indian rights. Indians of Peru paying for defense against pirates in Tierra Fria. Peru - teaching Spanish to caciques’ children. Schools. War with England. Peru provided cannons for other ports, supplies for San Blas, Acapulco. Gunpowder from Cuba to Argentina. Warnings of English and United States incursions. Peru and Argentina and Provincias Internas reforms. Diego de Peñalosa, Governor of New Mexico, from La Paz, other career.

Philippines - Some information on encomiendas, slaves, missions, mining, trade, defense, etc. Gifts to King of Spain from Philippines. China products. Mistreatment of troops. Education.


  • 1520-1878


Language of Materials

English, Spanish, French, Mayan, Latin

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Rights to documents held by the corresponding archives. Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all U.S. and international copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

The majority of the primary documents in this collection were copied at the Archivo General de La Nación (AGN), in Mexico City, between 1927 and 1970, by UNM History professors Lansing Bartlett Bloom and France Vinton Scholes, who used the material for their research and seminars on New Mexican and Mexican history. Other contributors included George P. Hammond and Eleanor Adams. Lesser amounts of documents came from the Archivo Histórico Militar de México, Biblioteca Nacional de México, and Museo Nacional de México, and various archives in Yucatan.

The Archivo General de la Nación de México falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and is charged with the maintenance, description, and preservation of documents of Mexico. The archive was created in 1792 as the General Archives of New Spain by viceroy Juan Vicente de Guemes Pacheco y Padilla, the second Conde de Revillagigedo, to sort and organize all the viceregal documents. Following independence in 1823 the archive was renamed Archivo General y Público de la Nación. Several times during the nineteenth century Mexico City was occupied by foreign powers and the documents were removed to other locations for safekeeping and later returned. The name of the archive was changed to Archivo General de la Nación de México in 1918. The AGN currently has more than 6 million documents, maps, cartogafías, photographs, audio tapes, videos, manuscripts, etc.

Lansing Bloom came to New Mexico in 1912 and besides teaching at UNM, was involved in a variety of organizations in Santa Fe, including the Museum of New Mexico, the School of American Research and the Historical Society of New Mexico. He was a founder and editor of the New Mexico Historical Review, from its inception in 1926 until his death in 1946. He was responsible for most of the selections in the AGN collection. Knowing that the early documents for New Mexico had been lost during the Pueblo Revolt, he made numerous trips to the archives of Mexico, Spain, and Italy between from 1928 and 1940 to find information. He located and copied thousands of documents that were hitherto unknown to Southwest historians, depositing them at UNM. To understand New Mexico events, he also collected a considerable amount of material on the northern provinces of Mexico and the surrounding Borderlands.

Scholes also added much to this collection. He came to Albuquerque in 1924, teaching at UNM off and on from 1924 to 1954, and regularly from 1946-1970, when he retired. His areas of interest covered colonial New Mexico, Mexico and the Yucatan. He worked for the Library of Congress copying Spanish documents about the U.S. Borderlands in the archives of Mexico. As head of the Carnegie Post-Columbian History Section he searched for Yucatan and Mayan material in the archives of Spain and Mexico. For comparisons, he collected documents about the history of the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America - adding another dimension to this collection. Scholes focused his research on Cortes as he approached retirement. He was Visiting Professor of History at Tulane University until his death in 1979.

Both Bloom and Scholes published scholarly works based on documents from this collection. The New Mexico Historical Review carried articles about their lives and research activities, as well as historical studies by them.

This descriptive guide for the AGN material at the CSWR was the brain child of Robert Himmerich y Valencia, as editor of the New Mexico Historical Review. The initial layout was developed by Felicia Guerra and graduate students from the NMHR office and was later continued by fellows from the CSWR.


23 boxes (16.5 cu. ft.), 267 volumes, 322 microfilm reels (masters in cabinets), 322 CDs


The collection contains selected Spanish documents copied from the Archivo General de La Nación and other archives in Mexico City, with related transcriptions and notes. The collection is mainly focused on the colonial history of New Mexico and New Spain, with some materials for the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Borderlands.

Detailed Finding Aid

To locate specific items/documents researcher must consult the detailed finding aids linked to each series in the "Arrangement" section of this finding aid and also in the "Detailed Description" section of each series.

Related Material

France V. Scholes Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Lansing B. Bloom Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Eleanor B. Adams Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Richard E. Greenleaf Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries John L. Kessell Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries George P. Hammond Collection Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Vargas Project Records Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Ward Alan Minge Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries Jane C. Sanchez Papers Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries

Processing Information

Microfilm reels digitally transferred to CD format Jan. 2017. Reels no longer available for public access. CD numbers correspond to old reel numbers.
Finding Aid of the Documents from the Archivo General de La Nación de México and other related archives, 1520-1878
S. Taylor
© 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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