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Finding Aid for the Tulancingo (Hildago, Mexico) Manuscript Collection, 1567-1882
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Tulancingo (Hildago, Mexico) Manuscript Collection
    Date (inclusive): 1567-1882
    Collection number: 2073
    Creator: Grepe, John H.
    Extent: 8 boxes (4 linear ft.)
    Abstract: This collection consists of manuscript documents in Spanish and Nahuatl from the town of Tulancingo (Hidalgo, Mexico). The documents consist primarily of civil litigation case files, but also include a small amount of criminal case files and several government printed broadsides.
    Language: English
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Selected digitized images from this collection.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Processing Note

    This collection was initially processed by Manuscripts Division staff (date unknown) and was reprocessed in 2006 by Phillip Ramirez (June 2006) and Erika Perez (August 2006) with assistance from Laurel McPhee and Elizabeth Sheehan of the Center for Primary Research and Training.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Tulancingo (Hildago, Mexico) Manuscript Collection (Collection 2073). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4232797 


    This collection of manuscripts was in the private collection of John H. Grepe of Dallas, Texas from approximately 1957 to 1975. In September 1975, Grepe sold the items as one collection to Gene Hanrahan, president of R & D Books of Salisbury, North Carolina. In August 1977, this same collection was sold via Libros Latinos of Los Angeles, California to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In August 1981, more Tulancingo manuscripts were acquired by UCLA from Howard Karno Books, Inc. and added to the collection.
    This collection was formerly known as the John H. Grepe collection and A Collection of material about Tulancingo, Hidalgo, Mexico, 1540-1875.

    Scope and Content

    Collection consists primarily of civil litigation case files from the district of Tulancingo, Mexico, dating from 1567-1882. The collection is interspersed with a few criminal case files and several government printed broadsides. Some case files also fall under the jurisdiction of Mexico City.
    The boxes have been roughly divided according to the date of judgment or arbitration date; however, many files include subsequent notations entered by civil authorities as it related to outstanding matters towards fulfillment of the judgment.
    Case files prior to 1837 are notable for revealing the maneuverings of indigenous communities within the legal system, the involvement of women in various business and property disputes, the colonial tribute system, tensions surrounding the War of Independence, and acts of resistance to the colonial regime by native peoples. Some of the more interesting case files include a property dispute involving Martín Cortés, the son of Hernán Cortés, the investigation of an Indian riot, and an Indian woman, who had been a traditional healer, being accused of witchcraft. Case files prior to 1837 contain some documents in Nahuatl.
    Case files from 1846 to 1882 deal primarily with probate matters (often including estate inventories and wills), financial disputes between merchants and creditors, and demands for repayment of liens or mortgages. Researchers will find extensive documents with respect to four different actions: probate matters pertaining to the estate of Maria Josefa Ortega, a bankruptcy proceeding against Apolonio Uribarri, a civil dispute involving the Sanchez Hidalgo family, and the dissolution of a commercial partnership involving Spanish merchants Antonio Gayol and Tomas Urrutia. Scholars interested in researching issues of gender and sexuality will find several notable cases, for example, a case involving an older male resident who pursued relations with a younger girl and later denied paternity to their child; cases of mothers seeking legal recognition and assets from the fathers of illegitimate children; and cases involving allegations of physical abuse and infidelity. In addition to the aforementioned, scholars will find numerous examples of women's involvement in civil disputes over outstanding mortgages, as business owners, as estate executors and legal guardians for their children, and in property disputes. Case files from this period contain very little mention of Indian peoples and no Nahuatl documents.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Printed materials (.5 box)
    2. Pre-1837 manuscripts (2.5 boxes)
    3. Post-1852 manuscripts (5 boxes).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Indians of Mexico --Legal status, laws, etc. --History --Sources.
    Nahuatl language --Texts.
    Tulancingo (Hidalgo, Mexico) --Trials, litigation, etc. --Archival resources.
    Tulancingo (Hidalgo, Mexico) --History --Sources.

    Other Index Terms Related to this Collection

    Grepe, John H., former owner.

    Related Material

    Byron McAfee papers, ca. 1553-1964 (Collection 339)  . Available at the Department of Special Collections, UCLA.
    Eduard Seler papers, ca. 1884-1922 (Collection 1449)  . Available at the Department of Special Collections, UCLA.
    Collection of material relating to Mexico, 1860-1930 (Collection 190)  . Available at the Department of Special Collections, UCLA.