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Codices Guarded in France to be Digitalized
A Mexican ancient codex called 'CATECISMO' that is part of a collection of 80 codex that were digitalized by Mexican experts along with several Mexican manuscripts from the 16th 17th and 18th century that was lend by the French National Library according to the INAH. EPA/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- After several requests to the National Library of France, Mexican specialists obtained facsimile copies of 80 codices and manuscripts guarded at the European precinct, which will allow deepening in their research, interpretation and analysis, as well as making possible their publication in a DVD.

This work is part of Amoxcalli Project, launched 6 years ago by the Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) with collaboration of experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Universidad Veracruzana (UV).

The advances on the project were announced at the opening of the conference series “Mexican Codices in The National Library of France” organized by INAH and taking place every Monday of June and July 2010, with the aim of divulgating the first books in America, elaborated by Prehispanic Mexican people.

Julieta Gil, director of the National Library of Anthropology and History (BNAH) declared that information written in codices is the only history we have that offers the Indigenous cultures’ vision, and it is in the best interest of INAH to integrate conference series that promote books that survived the Colonial destruction between Mexican public.

The series is integrated by 8 conferences part of Amoxcalli Project, where original documents guarded at the National Library of France will be discussed.

Luz Maria Mohar Betancourt, codices specialists at CIESAS, informed that digitalization of 80 Mexican manuscripts dated from 16th to 18th centuries was conducted by 70 persons from different Mexican institutions, such as the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH).

She remarked that the collection at the National Library of France is the most important Mexican codex heap outside national territory. “It is integrated by more than 300 documents, including the Paris Prehispanic codex, as well as Colonial codices and manuscripts”.

The 60 per cent of the 80 scanned documents had never been studied; others, like the Paris Codex, had been already published but lacked of interpretation based on glyph dictionaries.

Most of the 80 documents are codices, corresponding 24 of them to Boturini Collection, one of the most important pictographic document collection of the world.

Mohar declared that besides the study of this corpus of pictographic documents, a DVD was edited, which includes the codices Paris, Tlotzin, Quinatzin, En Cruz, Tolteca Chichimenca, Veinte MAzorcas, Xochimilco, Proceso entre Francisco de la Cruz Cohuatzincatl, Catecismo Testeriano and Hueacolco.

Luz Maria Mohar remarked that “these documents are very important because they provide information unknown until now”. She mentioned that codices were selected based on those that had references, while others were picked from the catalogue.

Conferences will take place in Fray Bernardino de Sahagun Auditorium, at the National Museum of Anthropology, every Monday from June 14th to July 26th 2010, at 19:00 hours. Admission is free.

Mexico | National Institute of Anthropology and History | National Autonomous University of Mexico | Julieta Gil | Codices |

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