Rare Atlas of Mexico and Other Titles Added to the Library’s Genealogy Collection
Librarians, catalogers, and shelvers in the Denver Public Library Western History and Genealogy Department have been restarting collection development efforts following delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The genealogy collection grows through both departmental acquisitions and donations from local genealogy groups and customers. New and exciting titles recently added to the collection include an oral history on Pancho Villa’s secret family, Colorado school census records, and Hopi and Navajo birth and death rolls.
The most significant and important addition is a rare 1858 atlas of Mexico called Atlas geográfico e histórico de la República Mexicana (Geographical and Historical Atlas of the Mexican Republic) by Antonio García Cubas, Mexico's first geographer. It was recently purchased upon the recommendation of the department’s community acquisition committee. The atlas is in very good condition for its age and is a wonderful tool for genealogists, scholars, researchers, and cartophiles alike.
The atlas overlaps the Denver Public Library Western History, Genealogy, and Rare Book collection scopes: Western History since most of Mexico is west of the Mississippi River and what is now considered the Southwest was Mexico’s northern frontier; Genealogy because customers who are researching their roots and ancestry can uncover name changes of various cities and towns; and Rare Books since only 300 atlases were printed.
In the decades after independence from Spain, the fledgling Mexican Republic organized its towns, counties (called distritos or municipios at different times), territories, and states. In so doing, it honored heroes and figures from its history by naming and renaming cities and states in their honor. For example, in 1888 El Paso del Norte, Chihuahua, was renamed “Ciudad Juárez” after Benito Juárez García, the first Mexican president of Indigenous origin. The 1858 atlas shows the pre-1888 “El Paso” name, while its sister city across the Río Grande in Texas still carries the original name.
The Sonora page shows where the Colorado River meets the Gulf of California after passing through Alta California, Baja California, New Mexico, and Sonora.
The atlas also shows the Gadsden Purchase (La venta de Mesilla) which added 29,670 square miles in June 1854 to southern New Mexico, which includes present-day Arizona. In the mid-1850s, Tucson was part of New Mexico and the territory bordered Sonora and Alta California. Other border changes in Tamaulipas and Texas are also highlighted.
Two useful genealogical uses for the atlas include descriptions of Native American communities throughout Mexico and a hacienda listing in each Mexican state, territory, and Mexico City or “Valle de México” as it is called in the atlas. Hacienda research can be challenging, especially when smaller ones no longer exist or never made it onto modern maps.
Additional information printed around each map includes population breakdowns, counties, descriptions of major cities, distances between towns, and climate descriptions. The Mexico City pages include interesting descriptions about its libraries and institutions of learning. The cathedral library boasted some 12,000 volumes and 131 manuscripts, while other libraries in the capital kept pace:
- University Library: 3,410 volumes
- College of Agriculture Library: 6,000 volumes
- San Ildefonso Library: 6,000 volumes
- San Juan de Letrán Library: 12,161 volumes
- Minería Library: 4,600 volumes
- Ministry of Development: 3,000 volumes
- San Diego Library: 3,000 volumes
The description goes on to list many private libraries, owners’ names, and volume counts—such as the Conde de Cortina Library with 18,476 volumes—and which libraries housed copies of newspapers printed in Mexico City since 1784.
The atlas, along with the other new materials listed below, will be available for customers to consult in the temporary Western History and Genealogy reading room on the first floor of Central Library, located at 10 W. 14th Avenue in Denver. The reading room is currently open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays through Thursdays, with expanded hours expected in the summer of 2022. Table space is limited and the last call to request materials is at 4:30 pm. Parking around Central Library is free on Sundays.
- 1830 Citizens of Texas: A Genealogy of Anglo American and Mexican American Citizens of Texas Taken from Census and Other Records
- Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
- Cemeteries and Remote Burials in Larimer County, Colorado, Volume I: The Poudre and North, Including the Laramie River Valley and Livermore
- Cemeteries and Remote Burials in Larimer County, Colorado, Volume II: South of the Poudre, Including Fort Collins, Loveland, and Berthoud
- Cemeteries and Remote Burials in Larimer County, Colorado, Volume III: Estes Park Area and Rocky Mountain National Park, Including Park Property in Grand County
- Clear Creek County Colorado : School Census Indexes - Georgetown District Three - 1903-1919, 1920-1924, 1931, 1936-1939 & 1940-1949
- From the Grave: A Roadside Guide to Colorado's Pioneer Cemeteries
- Hispanic Surnames and Family History
- Holy Trinity Church Marriage Registry : Trinidad, Colorado (1866-1884)
- Notarial Records of Edward L. Berthoud, 1881-1889 Jefferson County
- Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Conejos, Colorado (Baptismal Registry, 22 April 1868 to June 1871 -- Marriage Registry, 9 January 1860 to 25 November 1881 -- Death Registry, 22 January 1860 to 27 December 1896)
- Sangre de Cristo Church Baptismal and Marriage Registries : San Luis, Colorado / Baptismal Registry January 1882 to December 1920; Marriage Registry December 1884 to November 1932
At the Bindery
- Alamosa and Costilla County Cemeteries, 1888-1984, San Luis Valley, Colorado
- Los alabados que cantaba mi padre Cleofas de Jesús Atencio
- Nuestra Señora de los Siete Dolores, registros de entierros, setiembre de 1876 (Walsenburg, Colorado)
- Nuestra Señora de los Dolores (St Mary's Catholic Church) Walsenburg, CO : Marriage Records 1871 to 1899
- Our Lady of Guadalupe/St. Patrick Parish, Baptisms and Marriages, November 1889 to 1930, La Junta, Otero County, CO
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Alamosa, Colorado : Baptisms Recorded at Sacred Heart, 15 September 1911 to 22 December 1935
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Costilla, Taos County, NM (Baptisms January 1881-July 1919)
- The Conejos Land Grant : Grantees of 1842-1843, Plus an Addendum of 1833 Grantees
In the Cataloging Queue
- 1932 Hopi and Navajo Native American Census with Birth and Death Rolls (1925-1931) Volume 1 – Hopi
- 1932 Hopi and Navajo Native American Census with Birth and Death Rolls (1930-1932) Volume 2 – Navajo
- A Guide to the French and American Claims Commission 1880-1885: Our French Immigrant Ancestors and the American Civil War
- Albuquerque Genealogical Society 50th Anniversary Book
- Atlas geográfico e histórico de la República
- Baca, Delgado, Romero m. Chavez, Otero by Luis Padilla
- Boulder County, Colorado District Court Civil Appearance Docket, 1878-1882: An Annotated Index
- Boulder County, Colorado District Court Judge's Docket, Vol 1, 1867-1872: An Annotated Index
- Boulder County, Colorado District Court Widow's Relinquishment, Volumes 1 & 2, 1889-1937: An Annotated Index
- Boulder County, Colorado District Court, Grand Jury Records, 1867-1922: An Annotated Index
- Boulder County, Colorado Probate Case Files Index: 1862-1978
- California Colony: Genealogy, Land Grants, and Notes of Spanish Colonial California
- Clear Creek County, Colorado: Idaho Springs School District Five Census - Idaho Springs 1903-1909 & 1910-1919
- Clear Creek County, Colorado: School Census Index District Five - Idaho Springs 1920-1924, 1935-1939 And 1940-1943
- Colorado Territorial Penitentiary, Board of Managers Reports, 1871-1877 : An Annotated Index of Marshals, Wardens, Guards, Board Members, Prisoners, and Local Businesses
- Colorado's Historical Assets : A Research Guide for Genealogists, Local Historians and History Buffs Containing a Treasure Trove of Museums, Ghost Towns, Courthouses, Historic Homes and Hotels, Along With the Libraries and Archives Holding Colorado's History
- Digging Up Dirt: The Gold Hill Cemetery, Gold Hill, Colorado
- Esquer Family Genealogy : A Journey Through The Generations: From the Basque Country of Spain to the Northwestern Frontiers of Sinaloa, Sonora, and Alta California, New Spain and Mexico
- Franco's Refugees: Records of The Jews Who Came Through Spain and Portugal to New York City, 1940-1941. Volume I: June - October 1940
- Gilpin County, Colorado: Justice Docket Book Precinct One Civil and Criminal 1933-1940
- Gilpin County, Colorado School Census Records 1921-1929 and 1930-1939
- Gilpin County, Colorado School Census - District One - Central City 1870-1881
- Hitchcock, Hedgecock, Hedgcock, Family in Maryland and North Carolina and their Descendants
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Marriage Index - Part III - 1911-1920
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Marriage Index - Part IV - 1921-1929
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Marriage Index - Part VI - 1930-1939
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Officials’ Bonds and Oaths of Office – Index 1861-1969
- Jefferson County, Colorado - School Census and Teachers Register Index - Morrison District Twenty-Two - 1899-1906, 1908, 1910-1914, 1922, 1925-1929, 1930-1939 & 1940-1943, 1944, 1945, 1947-1949
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Tax Records Indexes - 1880-1889
- Jefferson County, Colorado - Tax Records Indexes - 1891-1894 & 1896-1899
- Jefferson County Court Correspondence and Court Papers - 1863-1924
- Livestock Brand Registrations - Jefferson County, Colorado - 1869-1899
- Living with the Ancestors: Kinship and Kingship in Ancient Maya Society
- Lower Richland Planters : Hopkins, Adams, Weston and Related Families of South Carolina
- McLean County, Illinois Cemeteries: MC 2-1 Empire Township - Oak Grove A-Mc
- McLean County, Illinois Cemeteries: MC 2-2 Empire Township - Oak Grove M-Z
- McLean County, Illinois Cemeteries: MC 2-3 Empire Township - Old Oak Grove, Gilmore, Howard
- McLean County, Illinois Cemeteries: MC 9 Funks Grove Township - Brook, Fremont, Funks Grove
- Merthyr Historian. Volume Thirty One / Merthyr Tydfil Historical Society, South Wales
- Moctezuma's Children: Aztec Royalty Under Spanish Rule, 1520-1700
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Baptisms 1861 - 1868 (Conejos County, Colorado)
- Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Québec, or the United States
- Secret Family of Pancho Villa: An Oral History
- Subject Index 1981-2013 Foothills Inquirer, Issues 1-16, Volumes 5-10.
- Ten-year Every Name Index to the Foothills Inquirer. 1991-2000, Vol. 11-20
- Ten-year Every Name Index to the Foothills Inquirer. Issues 1-16 and Vol. 5-10
- Vahl and Weda Clawson: A Genealogical and Pictorial History of their Descendants and Ancestors
Saw a post about this on my Instagram. Very cool and expansive collection.
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