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Mexican Codices will be Digitalized for their Study
a page of the Mesoamerican codice 'Chavero de Huexotzingo' that is part of a project to collected Mesoamerican codices from all over the world, and make them accessible for internet users through the World Digital Library. USA's John Van Oudenaren, advisor for the World Digital Library, presented the project during an international congress with the participation of representants from the 16 of the world's biggest libraries in Mexico City, Mexico on 19 May 2010. EPA/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- The creation of the Mexican Digital Library represents the only option to recover at least 20 Prehispanic Codex that survived the Conquest, to present guarded in libraries around the world<; “the day we gather most of these ancient documents digitally we will have a great virtual Amoxcalli that will let us understand better Mesoamerican world”.

Doctor in history and anthropologist Miguel de Leon Portilla declared this at the inauguration of the Congress on Digitalization of Mexican Codex, to representatives of diverse world libraries. The academic activity that ends in May 21st 2010 was organized by the National Council for Culture and Arts (CONACULTA), the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and the Center of Studies on Mexican History.

He recalled Mexica culture had spaces destined to safeguard documents called amoxcalli (in Nahuatl, house of books), remarking that Mesoamerica was the only place outside the Old World where written documents were created.

Leon Portilla mentioned 14 Prehispanic Codices conserved to present: Dresde, Paris, Madrid, Amoxtli or Borgia, Vindobonensis, Aubin, Vaticano B, Cospi, Colombino, Colombino-Becker, Nuttall, Bodley, Selden and Borbonicus.

Only one is conserved in Mexico, Colombino, at the National Library of Anthropology and History; the other documents are kept in Canada, United States, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and England.

Author of Viewpoint of the Defeated commented that testimonies of Pre Columbian writing can also be observed in stelae, and Colonial work also helps to understand them, such as fray Diego de Landa’s Yucatan Before and After the Conquest: The Maya (Relacion de las Cosas de Yucatan).

The emeritus researcher raised awareness on certain problems in the matter of interpretation, as in the case of Maya Codices: “We only know they are logo-syllabic glyphs that represent ideas, words and syllables that reunite phonetics and representation of ideas.

“This is why we need to have them in Mexico, to study them. They are our books, our mirror, and this is the importance of the creation of the Mexican Digital Library. Mexico is a land of books, an amoxtlalpan, since from ancient ages writing developed”, he concluded.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Mexican Codices | Miguel de Leon Portilla |

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