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Fernando Horcasitas Papers

 Collection
Identifier: Manuscripts-Collection 68

Scope and Contents

1940-1980. Collection of personal and business papers, published works, drafts, research and field notes, and texts of Nahuatl plays and stories focusing on modern Nahuatl language and people, with a 19th century Atlixco manuscript and material on the dance of Moros and Cristianos. 6,200 pieces and 2,300 cards.

The Fernando Horcasitas Papers reflect the interest and dedication of a man devoted for many years to various aspects of Mexican ethnohistory and linguistics, focusing principally on modern Nahuatl language and people. Included are published works, drafts, business and personal papers and correspondence, research notes, field notes, texts of Nahuatl plays and stories, bibliography, clippings, photographs, transcriptions of manuscripts, an original 19th century manuscript, and works by other authors.

Born of Mexican parents living in the United States, Fernando Horcasitas received his early education in Los Angeles, after which he continued his higher education in Mexico, being equally proficient in both English and Spanish. He published in both languages, and in Nahuatl as well. As teacher, scholar, editor, and researcher, he became internationally prominent in his field, leaving a bibliography of over one hundred published works including reviews, 13 of which were yet unpublished at the time of his death. All or parts of 26 of his works, some written with colleagues, appear in this collection and are indicated with an asterisk in his bibliography, Appendix A in the printed version of this Collection Guide. An excellent short biography by Miguel León Portilla appears in Vol. IX of Tlalocan, a journal Horcasitas edited since 1951.

Two of his major projects were left unfinished--his Nahuatl dictionary "Vocabulario etnográfico de la Sierra de Puebla (Municipio de Tlaola)" which was to have approximately 500 pages not only defining Nahuatl words but also describing the material which he had prepared for these works has been preserved in this collection, in as close to the intended arrangement as possible. There are seven file boxes of cards for the Nahuatl dictionary and three and a half upright boxes of material which fit into his outline for the Teatro Nahuatl II.

Additional material relates also to research and publications in these two fields of interest, the Nahuatl language and the dance drama. There is much information about the dance of Moros y Cristianos in Mexico, and in other countries too. Other important areas are the Nahuatl narrative and folklore, with theories of cosmogony, the way of life of the Aztecs and the ethnology of Guerrero, Michoacán, and Oaxaca. Certain items have to do with 19th century Mexican history. There are transcriptions of early documents from the AGN on the towns of Zinacantepec and Texcoco which may relate to Horcasitas' family genealogy. At one time he gathered photographs and information on the church architecture of colonial Mexico, which appear here, but do not represent his main concern.

While much of the handwriting in the collection naturally is that of Fernando Horcasitas, his mother Señora María Elena Pimentel de Horcasitas in her firm and regular hand wrote many of the explanations for material in original folders, particularly the "Carpetas" dealing with Aztec life. These have been retained.

Dates

  • 1940-1980

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open to the public. No known restrictions.

Biographical or Historical Information

Born of Mexican parents living in the United States, Fernando Horcasitas received his early education in Los Angeles, after which he continued his higher education in Mexico, being equally proficient in both English and Spanish. He published in both languages, and in Nahuatl as well. As teacher, scholar, editor, and researcher, he became internationally prominent in his field, leaving a bibliography of over one hundred published works including reviews, 13 of which were yet unpublished at the time of his death.

Extent

8500.00 Pieces

Language of Materials

Spanish; Castilian

Arrangement Note

The collection itself is arranged into two series:  the first consisting of materials in 25 upright Hollinger boxes, and the second consists of 3"x5" and 5"x8" index cards in 23 file boxes.

Series 1: Documents

A. Horcasitas professional papers and work

Box 1:  Professional reports, business correspondence and reports, and Horcasitas' thesis manuscript

Boxes 2-4: Copies of published articles, reprints, and drafts

Boxes 4-5:  Professional organizations, conferences, and newsletters

B. Nahuatl Language

Box 5:  Books and courses for teaching Nahuatl

Box 6:  Field Research: "Proyecto Nahuatl"

Boxes 7-8:  "Vocabulario etnográfico de la Sierra de Puebla (Municipio de Tlaola)"

C. Ethnography

Box 9:  Etnografía Nahuatl

Boxes 9-11:  Aztec life, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca

D. Theater

Box 12:  Horcasitas lecture and El Teatro Nahuatl I

Boxes 12-15:  El Teatro Nahuatl II

Boxes 16-17:  Moros y Cristianos, etc.

E. The Narrative

Box 18:  Theories of mythology Cosmogony. Saints' stories

Box 19:  "Antología de cuentos de hadas de Milpa Alta" and other stories

F. Other Research

Box 20:  History of Mexico, architecture, and manuscripts including transcriptions and original Juzgado de Letras, Atlixco

G. Maps and Clippings, etc.

Box 21:  Road maps, clippings on difusionismo, cathedral, etc., United States sites, etc.

H. Works of Other Authors

Box 22:  List by authors, periodicals, and list of duplicates of books in Latin American Library

I. Photographs

Box 23:  Mexico, D.F. and suburbs

Box 24:  Mexico state

Box 25:  Other states, etc.

Series 2: Index Card file boxes

Boxes 1-7:  Nahuatl dictionary

Boxes 8-10:  Ethnology and ethnography--bibliography, lists of words

Boxes 11-18:  Dances--notes and bibliography

Boxes 19-21:  Dance, theater, folklore--notes and bibliography

Box 22:  Theater--bibliography, list of manuscripts and Folklore theory--bibliography

Box 23:  Dictionary of architectural elements
Title
Fernando Horcasitas Papers
Subtitle
Manuscript Collection 68, Manuscripts, The Latin American Library, Tulane University
Author
Ruth Olivera, May 1984; revised by Christine Hernandez, September 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the The Latin American Library at Tulane Repository

Contact:
7001 Freret Street
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 4th floor
Tulane University
New Orleans Louisiana 70118 US
(504) 865-5681