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SP de México Collection: Finding Aid
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Special Indexes
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: SP de México Collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1885-1954
    Collection Number: mssSPdeMéxicocollection
    Creator: Ferrocarril Sud Pacífico de México.
    Extent: 160 bound items in 23 boxes, and one large bound minute book.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection consists primarily of correspondence, as well as maps, news clippings, photographs, and blueprints, of the Southern Pacific of Mexico railroad line (SP de México), dating from 1885 to 1954.
    Language: English and Spanish.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. SP de México Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Acquired from the corporate headquarters of the Southern Pacific in San Francisco, between November 1987 and August 1989.

    Historical Note

    The Ferrocarril Sud Pacífico de México (SP de México) line began as the Sonora Railway in 1882, first owned and operated by the Atcheson, Topeka & Santa Fe. It ran from Nogales, Arizona down to the port of Guaymas, 423 kilometers southeast of Nogales. The Southern Pacific acquired the line through a reciprocal trade with the AT&SF in 1898, and incorporated the line as a separate corporate entity, the SP de México, in June 1909. The line was gradually extended south from Nogales and north from Guadalajara. When the Mexican Revolution erupted late in 1910, construction of the line was essentially halted until 1923. In 1927 the line was finally connected from Guadalajara to the U.S./Mexican border. It operated in Mexico until 1951, when the Mexican government purchased the line from the Southern Pacific.

    Special Indexes

    For textual information about the railroad, see the following items in the Library: the dissertation by Dan Lewis entitled "The Empire Strikes Out: Mexican Nationbuilding and the Ferrocarril Sud-Pacífico de México, 1880-1951" (University of California, Riverside, 1997), and the work by John Kirchner and John Signor, The West Coast Route: The Southern Pacific of Mexico (Golden West Books, 1986).

    Scope and Content Note

    These materials, consisting primarily of correspondence but also including maps, news clippings, photographs, and blueprints of the SP de México railroad line. There are 160 individual bound items in these 23 boxes. Each grouping is in reverse chronological order as it was originally filed by SP de México administrators. Collection has material in English and Spanish. There are 160 individual bound items in these 23 boxes.


    Arranged and bound by topic according to the Southern Pacific's internal organizational schema. Each grouping is in reverse chronological order as it was originally filed by SP de México administrators

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Ferrocarril Sud Pacífico de México -- Archives.
    Southern Pacific Railroad Company -- History -- Sources.
    Railroads -- Mexico -- History -- Sources.


    Corporation records -- Mexico -- 19th century.
    Corporation records -- Mexico -- 20th century.