The collection contains Mexican amate paper crafts, objects associated with the manufacturing of amate paper, other traditional
Mexican handicrafts, and reference materials on papermaking. The collection was assembled by Lee W. Lenz, former director
of California Botanic Garden.
Amate is a bark-based paper with origins in pre-Columbian Mexico. Originally used for religious purposes and in the creation
of codices, the Spanish attempted to eradicate indigenous papermaking practices during the colonial period. However, papermaking
knowledge and crafts survived among some indigenous groups, most notably the Otomi and Nahua. In the 20th century, there was
a resurgence of interest in amate paper crafts, with new commercial uses emerging in addition to traditional ritual purposes.
The collection was assembled by Lee W. Lenz (1915-2019), former director of Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (now California
Botanic Garden). Some items in the collection were used for a 2017 California Botanic Garden Library exhibition.
3.7 linear feet (4 boxes)
Copyright of the materials in this collection is held by California Botanic Garden.
The collection is open to research.