July 21, 2011
Several posts on this blog have featured the facsimiles of unique medieval European manuscripts held by L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Special Collections also owns facsimiles of important non-Western manuscripts, including surviving Mesoamerican codices. The Mayans and Aztecs created manuscript books on paper made from the bark of fig trees, which was fashioned into long strips and folded accordion-style into volumes. Most of these books did not survive either the humid climate or the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Those that did, and the few extant books made in the early decades of Spanish rule, provide a unique insight into the culture of Pre-Columbian Mexico.
Special Collections owns nearly three dozen facsimiles of early Mesoamerican texts, including the three surviving Mayan Codices and various Nahuatl (Aztec) and Mixtec manuscripts. These facsimiles can be found in the library catalog by performing a genre search using the term “manuscripts, Mexican.”