Browsed by
Category: Archival Research

SCRM, Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad

SCRM, Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad

Anyone poking around in early modern royal-documents from Spain, particularly from the sixteenth century, will come across “S.C.R.M.”

 

SCRM comes from SCCRM, a phrase that Charles V of Spain started using when he became the Holy Roman Emperor (Crowned by the Pope in 1530). SCCRM stands for Sacra Cesárea Católica Real Majestade(Holy, Imperial, Catholic, Royal Majesty). Under Phillip II SCRM begins to appear, which stands for “Sacra, Católica, Real Majestad” (Holy, Catholic, Royal Majesty).

 

Now, pick up your shovel, and continue digging in the archives.

Short Term Research in Mexico and Spain

Short Term Research in Mexico and Spain

I have a post for long-term research in Mexico on a Fulbright, and I imagine it might be useful to some if I posted information regarding a short-term trip. My experience is in Spain and Mexico in historical archives, but I imagine that this information might help people going to the same countries doing non-historical research and perhaps for people going to other countries as well.

VISA:

You essentially do not need a visa for short trips if you do not plan on being employed.

Spain:

You can enter Spain visa-free for up to three months. I did a two month stay without any issues. Here is a link for Spain.

Mexico:

You can enter visa-free for up to six months. I have stayed as long as two months without a visa without any issues.

What You Need for Archives:

Spain:

  • I would say that almost all Spanish archives do not allow the usage of cameras, leaving the DSLR at home might cut down on weight since you won’t use it for work anyway.

Mexico:

  • Most Mexican archives do allow photography thus bringing your best camera is always a good idea.
  • Research Kit

Both Countries:

  • First Time
    • One letter of introduction per archive. I always show up with an original on letterhead.
    • Passport (original and a copy)
    • Driver’s license and university ID (I would suggest that you always bring these to the archive)
  • Daily grind
    • USB Flash drive or external HDD. You never know who you might bump into and they might offer catalogs, photos of documents, search guides, or other things of interest.
    • Business cards. Again, you never know who you might see and you might want to hand out a few cards
    • Laptop with charger
    • Cellphone charger or power bank

 

In sum, it is relatively simple to get into archives as long as you have a rough idea of what you are looking for and the proper documentation to get access. Short trips are great because you do not need a visa, which saves you time and money.

Researching in the Biblioteca Nacional de España

Researching in the Biblioteca Nacional de España

The Biblioteca Nacional de España is probably the first place you want to visit in Spain when you are conducting research. Why? Because you get a cool ID card with your name on it, that will be useful when registering for other archives and libraries.

The link posted above will lead you to the BNE’s webpage. There you can find their catalog. They have a pretty large collection of codices and manuscripts created or pertaining to Latin America. There is an even larger corpus of information pertaining to Iberia.

20160616_113602

 

Hours of  Operation

Their summer hours are from M-F 9:00AM to 7:30PM. Check their website for non-summer hours.

What You Need to Register

  • A letter of introduction from your adviser or department chair
  • Your passport (if you are not a Spanish citizen)
  • Your driver’s license or some other form of official ID that has your mailing address.
    • if you do not provide this, you will need to present some kind of document (typically mail) that proves your mailing address.

How to Get There

The BNE is located on Paseo de Recoletas.

Best ways to get there:

  • Metro
    • Get off on the Recoletas stop and walk about 100 feet
    • Uber or Cab
    • Walking (depending on how far you are)

Tips and Tricks

  • Always bring a 1€ coin. You will need it to use your locker. If you forget one, you can get a plastic coin from one of the guards by registering with your BNE ID card. This will add a few minutes to your entrance and exit, so try to avoid that.
  • Visit the BNE exhibit on the ground floor. Ask one of the archivists or guards how to get there. It is free, and interesting.
  • Walk about a mile south on Paseo de Recoletas and visit the Museo del Prado.

What You Can Take Inside

For the most part, Spanish archives will rework your archival kit. First and foremost, most large archives do not permit photography, and thus they will not allow you to bring a camera in. Guards will check your stuff when entering and exiting the building and consultation rooms. Thus, I would pack light and make sure to not violate any of their norms.

  • A pencil
  • An eraser
  • A notepad without any stickers insider. If stickers are present, you cannot bring it in.
  • A laptop
  • Headphones
  • A magnifying glass
  • A small clear bag to carry your stuff, I use my small archival kit bag.

Where to Eat

  • Your best option is the BNE’s cafeteria. A menu del dia will set you back 7.50€. I walked around the first few days and I asked people both in the BNE and out, and the next cheapest price will be about 10€.
  • Bring your own lunch. This option might be cheaper, but depending on your setup, it might not be practical.
Researching at the Archivo Histórico de la Casa de Moneda de México

Researching at the Archivo Histórico de la Casa de Moneda de México

AHCMMThe AHCMM is located in the Museo Numismático Nacional in the Centro Historico in CDMX. The neighborhood is hectic and not pleasing to the eye, but it is safe during the day as long you take precautions. The AHCMM has documents started from the mid seventeenth century and the bulk of its material really begins in the eighteenth. People interested in minting and mining in central Mexico will find gems here. Yet, there are also some nuggets regarding indigenous peoples in New Spain at large.

Consultation Hours:

8:30AM to 3:30PM, Mon-Fri

How to arrive:

This area is not the safest in the world, but you should be able to navigate around without any problems if you take precautions. Do not use your cellphone or any other device without paying attention to your surroundings. Make sure you keep all of your valuables tucked away in your backpack or pockets. There are tons of cops and as long as you are vigilant, you should be fine. I would advise you to stay clear of this area at night, unless you know someone (or are someone) from the area. If you are having trouble finding the archive, ask for Argentina y Bolivia. I think finding those streets will be your best bet.

There are four main ways to get to the AHCMM:

  • Metro: Get to the blue line and get off on Allende, or from the Green line get off on Lagunilla.
  • Metrobus: Get to the linea 4 and get off on Republica de Argentina and walk North on Republica de Argentina and make a right on Bolivia.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station on Argentina and the San Ildefonso alley.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Rebulica de Argentina and Repuplica de Bolivia or the Museo Numismático Nacional.

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images at no cost.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Researching at the Archivo del Cabildo Catedral Metropolitano de Mexico

Researching at the Archivo del Cabildo Catedral Metropolitano de Mexico

The Archivo del Cabildo is located in the Northwest corner of the Cathedral de la Ciudad de México. Finding the Zocalo or the Cathedral should be very easy, and finding the Archive is also easy but I will stress that you should not ask the average person if they can help you find the Cabildo Archive– they will have no clue. Instead, find the Cathedral and then proceed to the Northwest corner or ask someone that works for the Cathedral to direct you towards the archive.

In the Cabildo Archive you will find documents and records that pertain to the building and upkeep of the Cathedral beginning in the sixteenth century.

Consultation Hours:

4PM to 8PM, Tue-Fri (Yes, PM)

10AM-2PM, Saturdays (Yes, they are open on Saturday)

How to arrive:

Here is a big helpful tip, if you get lost, ask for the Zocalo, the Plaza de la Constitucion, or la Catedral de Mexico. I would not ask for the the Cabildo Archive until you are in the Cathedral.

There are four main ways to get to the Cabildo Archive:

  • Metro: Get to the blue line and get off on the Zocalo stop.
  • Metrobus: Get to the linea 4 and get off on Republica de Argentina and walk south on Republica de Brazil to the Zocalo.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station on the Northwest end of the Cathedral.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Zocalo or the Catedral.

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images for at no cost, as long as you do not photograph an entire volume.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Where to eat:

Fun Fact:

  • The opening scenes of James Bond Spectre (2015) were filmed in CDMX and one of the main parts includes a series of shots in the Zocalo were you can see the Palace and the Cathedral.

Researching in the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de México

Researching in the Archivo Histórico del Arzobispado de México

The AHAM is located in Roma Norte and is very easy to access, and when your done, you’re in ROMA NORTE! Their collection includes documents from the sixteenth century until the present, and houses mostly documents that were created within the archdiocese of Mexico that do not have to do with the day-to-day business of the Cathedral, those documents are likely to be found in the Cabildo Archive.

The address is: Calle Durango #90 First Floor, Cuahtehmoc, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

 

Be careful as of 3/8/2016 Google Maps shows the AHAM about a block and half from where it should be. Search the address instead, like the map below.

Consultation Hours:

9AM to 3PM, M-F

How to arrive:

Here is a big helpful tip, if you get lost, ask for the Plaza Rio de Janiero or the Arquidiocesis Primada de México, or worst case scenario the Glorieta Insurgentes, more people are likely to know where that is.

There are four main ways to get to the AHAM:

  • Metro and Metrobus: The Metro Insurgentes stop is your best bet. Once you are in the glorieta insurgentes you will exit south on the walkway that leads to Jalapa. Walk past Puebla and make a left on Durango. Walk through the Plaza Rio de Janiero and once you are on the Durango once more look for #90 which will be near the corner with Cordoba.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station about one block away from the AHAM.
  • Taxi or UBER: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Plaza Rio de Janiero or the Arquidiocesis Primada de México

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on paper.
  • Photography and Reproduction
    • You can take digital pictures of images for 1 MXN per picture. You can also obtain digital reproductions (scanned) for the price of 1 MXN per image. Due to the fact that there is poor lighting in the consultation area, I would go with the scanned copies.

What You Need to Register:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)
  • Government issued Identification Card (you will leave this at the front desk when you first enter)

What You Need to Consult Documents:

Where to eat:

The AHAM is located in a fantastic place in terms of safety and food. Usually when I go I just snack and work until they close. However, you will be able to find a bunch of great places to eat by just walking a couple blocks or taking an ecobici.

Places where you must eat:

Fun Fact:

  • Parts of the movie Total Recall (1990) were filmed in CDMX, one of the scenes was filmed in the Glorieta Insurgentes.

Headphones for Graduate Students

Headphones for Graduate Students

We all know the story, you walk into a library, coffee shop, or archive to be productive. You sit down, put your work in front of you and get to it. Once you are 5 minutes into your task some cool kid decides to listen to his headphones at maximum volume. Perhaps you are two pages into a dense book and another cool kid decides that a quiet library is great place to make a phone call. Although library/archive etiquette is a topic for another post, this entry will provide an answer to the aforementioned issues.

 

I have been in search for the perfect pair of headphones since I started graduate school. This process will be very personal since it will depend on what you like and what you are looking for in headphones. I suggest you look for earphones that isolate sound, this will keep outside sound out, and not require you to blast your music (which could create noise for others and damage your hearing). I personally dislike over-the-ear headphones because in certain conditions they make my ears hot, and they are less discreet and less compact. I can toss a pair of in-ear headphones into my pocket or backpack and grab them when I need them.

Please turn off any sounds your phone or camera might make when you focus or snap pictures.

Earphones are particularly important in archives. Archivists and security guards will definitely talk and sometimes even play music. Other investigators might also find the need to engage in conversations, not always quietly. Even if everyone is silent, there is always someone using a cellphone or point-and-shoot to take pictures and they forget (or neglect) to turn off the shutter sound. Instead of confronting anyone or being distracted by ambient noise, pop some earphones in and enjoy some of your favorite music or increase your concentration with white noise.

IMGP8065
My trusty pair of Thinksounds in Mexico’s National Archive.

I have found a set of headphones that work very well for me. I’ve tried monster, bose (over ear and in ear), Street by 50 cent and a plethora of cheaper options. I found that the popular name brands are typically selling you the brand and lack a clean sound and comfortable fit. A couple years ago I came across thinksound ts02s and I fell in love. While they are expensive, they isolate sound very well and provide amazing sound. They are inconspicuous and last a long time if you take care of them. I typically use a cheap set of earbuds when I go jogging (in safe areas without traffic) in order to preserve my thinksounds. I’m a poor graduate student and can’t afford to drop money on these buds every month.

Wear whatever you want, but make sure you use something. When I have forgotten my earphones in the archive, I find myself getting frustrated and even annoyed with the noise. Just make sure that you don’t dance impromptu when one of your favorite songs comes on.

 

 

 

Researching in the Archivo Histórico Judicial de Puebla

Researching in the Archivo Histórico Judicial de Puebla

The Archivo Judicial (as it is called for short) is located behind the INAH Puebla regional museum near “Los Fuertes.” The map below shows the INAH Puebla building, since the Archivo Judicial is not listed on google maps. Once you get to INAH Puebla ask someone for the archive, it is actually the same building.

Consultation Hours:

10AM-2PM, M-Th

How to get there:

  • Cab or Uber: Taking a taxi the first time you visit might not be a bad idea, since it is kind of a difficult place to find. Tell them you want to go to the INAH Puebla museum en “los fuertes” near the Auditorio de la Reforma.
  • Bus: From the centro you are going to want to get to Blvd Heroes del 5 de Mayo and 14 Ote and take route number 72. Ask the driver to drop you off at the Ignacio Zaragoza monument (pictures below). From here you will have to walk up a hill using INAH Puebla as your reference point when asking individuals for directions.Edward_Polanco_Ignacio_Zaragoza

 

What you will need to Register:

The application process typically takes a day or two, thus, do not expect to consult materials the day of.

  • A letter of introduction (typically from your adviser)
  • A photocopy of your passport (if you are not a Mexican national)
  • Your actual passport
  • You will be interviewed by the director of the historical archive

What You Need to Consult Documents:

  • Archival research kit (this archive is very picky about you using white cotton gloves and a spatula, latex, gortex, and nitrile gloves are not allowed)

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on loose pieces of paper. This is the go-to method at the Archivo Judicial.
  • Photography
    • The staff will tell you that photography is not allowed. If you probe further they will say that it is allowed but you have to pay a flat fee for a day of photography which costs a couple thousand pesos. If you have five camera batteries, a couple thousand pesos to spend, and an iron back, inquire about paying.

Where to eat:

  • Unfortunately there isn’t much here for investigators or the archivists. Most people bring lunch, or head to the center once the archive closes (at 2PM).
  • There is a restaurant at the bottom of the hill in front of the Zaragoza monument, but it is pricey and not reasonable for every day food.
  • I personally left at 2, caught the 72 route back to the center and ate at El Viejo Rosario on 8 ote and 5 de Mayo (on the map below). The food is affordable, and very good. Not to mention the unforgetable fresh liquados and jugos they offer.

Tips:

  • Check out the INAH Puebla muesum. They have an eclectic collection of military equipment, indigenous art, and visiting collections.
  • Make sure to go down to the Zaragoza monument and enjoy the majesty of the behemoth monument.
  • Take a walk through the woods on the hill (that is if you only take cabs, otherwise you will walk through it).
Researching in the Archivo Histórico de la Facultad de Medicina

Researching in the Archivo Histórico de la Facultad de Medicina

Updated: 3/21/2016

The Archivo Histórico de la Facultad de Medicina (AHFM) houses a variety of medical documents ranging from the colonial period the modern era. The AHFM is located in the Palacio de la Escuela de Medicina, which is located on the corner of Republica de Venezuela and Republica de Brasil. In Spanish the AHFM is typically refereed to by its entire name, or the Archivo de la Facultad for short.

Consultation Hours:

9AM to 2PM, M-F

How to arrive:

Here is a big helpful tip, if you get lost, ask for the Plaza Santo Domingo or the Inquisition building, more people are likely to know where that is.

There are four main ways to get to the AHFM:

  • Metro: You can take the metro into the historical center. The blue line will leave you the closest. Exit Allende or Zocalo.
  • Metrobus: Another option is taking the metro bus linea 4 ruta norte and getting off on Republica de Argentina.
  • Ecobici, there is an ecobici station about two blocks away from the AHFM.
  • Taxi: like always this will be the most expensive option. Ask for the Plaza de Santo Domingo in the Centro Histórico.

Consultation/ Image Reproduction

  • Transcribing
    • You can either type your transcriptions on a laptop, or write them down on loose pieces of paper.
  • Photography
    • You can take digital pictures of images for free. As long as you do not reproduce them without consent.

What You Need to Consult:

  • Letter of Introduction (typically from your adviser)
  • Government issued Identification Card
  • An idea of what you want to do. This will not be as crucial as the AGN, but it will help.

What You Need to Consult Documents:

 

Where to eat:

This list is not exhaustive, but I have selected places that safe, known for great food, and a reasonable walk from the archive. I would love to hear suggestions if you have any.

  • Cafe de Santo Domingo (across the street from the Palacio de la Escuela de Medicina. This place is not cheap, but it has good food, a fantastic view, and phenomenal green salsa.
  • Tacos de Canasta “El Especial” on Madero. The tacos here are cheap, and very tasty.
  • El Tlaquepaque on the corner of Isabel la Catolica and 5 de Mayo. Try the “Torta Tapatia,” it is deliciousness at its best.
  • Panificadora la Vasconia on Palma and Tacuba. Great prices, fabulous bread, and incredible chicken.
  • Los Molinos (Isabel la Catolica and 5 de Mayo). this place has great chicken and it is very close to el Tlauepaque. You can get a whole meal for under $50.

 

Tips: