The University Libraries' Mesoamerican codices collection consists of high quality facsimiles held in Special Collections, mass published facsimiles found on our shelves, early microfilm proxies of originals, and scholarly interpretations.
The categorization on this page is based on the work of John B. Glass and his book, Catalogo de la Coleccion de Codices, Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico, 1964.
One of the most important of the surviving preconquest Mesoamerican pictorial manuscripts, the Dresden Codex contains divinatory almanacs, multiplication tables for synodical revolutions of the planet Venus, representations of various ceremonies and deities, eclipse and Venus tables, multiplication tables of various numbers (presumably astronomical, divinatory, or calendrical in nature). It also treats other matters, including disease and agriculture.
Commentary in German by H. Deckert and F. Anders with bibliographical references and preface also in English.
Digital edition that rescues the rich historic and pictographic legacy of the Códice Huichapan, an otom-tlaxcalteca manuscript, written in otom, in the 17th century considered the largest in the world, measuring originally 8 meters long and 2 meters high. Some sections devoted to the colonial administrative activities of the convent of San Mateo Huichapan (Hueichiapan), in the state of Hidalgo, although a large part is in reference of the history of the important seoro (kingdom) of Jilotepec, in the state of Mexico. The CD version breaks the texts down into manageable fragments and contains explanations
(**Oversized) Codex Becker No. I consists of fragments of a larger document of which the Códice Colombino also forms a part. It treats the life and history of the 11th C. Mixtec ruler, 8 Deer, and has dates embracing the years A.D. 1047-68.
(**Oversized) Codex Becker No. II is divided into two horizontal bands. In the lower band are nine Indian couples with calendrical and personal name glyphs. In the upper are six couples added by a different or later hand, which was also responsible for the place gylphs in the lower division. Both sets of drawings are in the traditional Mixtec style.
This codex, which is incomplete, treats historical events and economic affairs of Yanhuitlan and Teoposcolula. There are drawings in an acculturated Mixtec style of articles of tribute, bins of maize and beans, portraits of Indians and Spaniards, and the churches of Yanhuitlan and Teoposcolula. Other pages include a drawing of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlan and Mixtec place glyphs.
Call Number: SPE** F 1219.56 C627 C63X 1984 V.1 and V.2
Publication Date: 1984
This "codex" consists of fragments of a very large painting, some of which is believed to have been lost since it was first described by Borutini in the eighteenth century. The principal theme is warfare. Indians armed with bows, arrows, macanas, and shields with the symbol for war between them are a frequent motif. The taking of prisoners and sacrifices are also shown, as are native houses, place glyphs, and other symbols.
The Florentine Codex is the final and complete manuscript of the 12 books of the Historia general. It contains the Nahuatl text and a parallel Spanish text. It is illustrated by 1,846 drawings, not counting decorative tailpieces and ornamental designs. The 12 books contain information on gods; ceremonies of the 18 months; the divinatory almanac; various customs; omens; moral philosophy; the lords of Mexico, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, and Huexotla; people; natural history; and the conquest of Mexico City and Tlatelolco by the Spaniards.