About the Project

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 have built 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 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 specializes in predominantly textual manuscripts. We wish to include 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 aim 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).

This is one of several Mesoamerican projects launched with the support and assistance of the Wired Humanities Projects at the University of Oregon, with initial funding from the Center for the Study of Women in Society and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Our lead scholar is Stephanie Wood. Robert Haskett is a key advisor and will contribute materials from the State of Morelos. Lidia E. Gómez García, Raul Macuil Martínez, and Rosario Xochitiotzin, all members of the Luis Reyes García Group, will be contributors it is hoped. They are digitizing manuscripts in the states of Tlaxcala and Puebla.

Judith Musick was the founding director of the Wired Humanities Projects and has helped envision, shape, and seek funding for the Early Nahuatl Virtual Library. Matthew Vu was the graphic designer and built the original website. The graphics draw from photographs shot by Stephanie Wood of murals painted by Diego Rivera in the National Palace in Mexico City and a mural in Ocotepec, Morelos, painted by the group "Tlakuilokotepetl Ketzalkoatl" (featuring Martha Ramírez, Darío Guerrero, and Andrés Colín V.) in 1992. Melanie Hyers has contributed quality Spanish-language translations for some of the materials in this collection. We welcome input and contributions from anyone who shares our interest in this virtual library.

Please contact Stephanie Wood by e-mail (swood [at] uoregon [dot] edu) for further information.