Presentation on theme: "The Bodleian Library’s Mesoamerican Manuscripts"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Bodleian Library’s Mesoamerican Manuscripts Chris Fletcher, Head of Western Manuscripts, Bodleian Library, Oxford
2 Bodleian Library 1327 – University Library being built 1488 – Duke Humfrey’s Library1550 – Denuded of books by Henry VIII reformers1602 – Refounded by Sir Thomas Bodley1610 – Deposit Agreement with Stationers’Over 400 years of concerted collecting, cataloguing and reading
3 The Bodleian Today Largest university library in Europe Second largest in UK9 million books33 km Special CollectionsMany buildings across the cityMajor redevelopments occurringWeston Library: dedicated to Special Collections
4 The Bodleian’s Mexican Treasures All acquired C17Three screenfolds:Codex Laud. MS. Laud Misc. 678Codex Bodley. MS. Mex. d. 1Codex Selden. MS. Arch. Selden. A. 2One roll of native amatl paper:The Selden Roll. MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72 (3)One European-style book on imported European paper:Codex Mendoza. MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1
5 Codex Laud (MS Laud Misc. 678) Acquired 16 June 1636Donated along with many mss from William Laud, archbishop of CanterburyScreenfold – the smallest, oldest, most mysterious of the 3 we ownObscure geographic originDivinatory and ritual aspects of the native calendarPre-Hispanic – no clear consensus on date?
9 Codex Bodley (MS Mex. D. 1)Acquired through Thomas Bodley who knew its Mexican originJust Pre-HispanicMixtec screenfold – glued deerskin23 pages, of which 20 painted both sidesgenealogies of the ruling dynasties of two Mixtec communities, Ñuu Tnoo (Tilantongo) and Ndisi Nuu (Tlaxiaco).Maarten Jansen & Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez, ed., _Codex Bodley: a painted chronicle from the Mixtec Highlands, Mexico_ (Treasures from the Bodleian Library, 1), Oxford 2005
11 Codex Selden Acquired 1659 as part of John Selden’s Library Second of our two Mixtec screenfoldsGenealogy and life stories of the ruling dynasty of the town of AñuteGenealogies go to 1556 …Survival of native culture?But it is also a palimpsest
13 The Selden Roll (MS. Arch. Selden. A. 72(3)) Acquired from the Library of John Selden, 1659Roll of native amatl paper (pulped bark)Mounted C19 on linen38 x 350 cmEarly colonial period, C16Southern Mexican highlandsMigratory journeys of divine ancestors, up to early settlement
15 Codex Mendoza (MS. Arch. Selden. A. 1) First hand account of Mexica cultureMade in Mexico at the command of Mendoza, viceroy of Mexico, c.1541Sent to Emperor Charles vCaptured by French PrivateersPossessed by Andre Thevet, French cosmographer to the King 1553Other owners include Samuel Purchas: ‘the choisest of my Jewels’Acquired 1659, as part of John Selden’s library
16 Codex Mendoza: folio 2r71 folios Spanish paperAztec painterNative speakers interpreted the pictures for the Spanish scribeThree parts – history of Aztec conquests, the tribute paid by the empire’s 38 provinces, typical lives from birth to deathThe founding of Tenochtitlan!
17 Codex Mendoza, f. 40Different provinces yield:Warrior costumesBees’ honeyCopper axesTurquoise stones and masksTiles of gold
19 Existing Bodleian resources/surrogates Codex Bodley reproduction and study, pub 2005 by Bodley PublicationsCodex Mendoza – 4 vol 1992 Facsimile pub. Berkeley in collaboration with BodleianImages of varying quality from all 5 manuscripts available on Bodleian Digital Image LibraryExisting high quality digital scans of Bodley, SeldenExisting 5x4 transparencies of Mendoza, Seden rollLittle coverage of Laud
20 Digital ProjectsOpportunities to exploit and enhance existing information/images – 25, 000 slides of medieval & renaissance illumination on LunaJane Austen – a new online edition with imagesJohn Johnson – mass digitization but with rich catalogue recordsShakespeare’s Quartos – powerful encodingDigital Image Library
21 Future ideas Further integration of digital resources Enhancing quality of images AND metadataIntegration with cataloguesExploiting existing scholarshipExternal collaboration with international and national partners where possible