THE LIBRARIES OF THE NEW SPAIN

The libraries started to form with the books that were brought in the luggage of the humanists and the studious since the XVI century. Since 1540, in Tiripitio, and in 1545 in Tacambaro, Friar Martin Alonso installed libraries.

When Vasco de Quiroga died in 1565, he left 626 books and some maps and geographic letters. Besides each, school and convent, formed their own library. The one in the school of Jesuits of San Pedro and San Pablo was one the biggest; its elaborated index in 1769 is made up of 671 pages. There were copies in the priests’ room: in Father Cadalso’s, 5,968 were found and in the Father’s ministry 1,824.

There were also particular libraries with very rich and quantity and quality, like the one of the learned Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora, in which there were Indian manuscripts and books about America, Sister Juana Ines de La Cruz, who counted with more than 4,000 volumes (by the way Sister Juana saw herself forced to sell her library in 1690 to help the people damaged by the plague and by the famine that year).

The current Palafoxian Library of Puebla was formed from the personal heap of the bishop Palafox, calculated to have been 6,000 copies. Also Father Pichardo had a similar quantity of volumes. In 1789, the canons Don Luis and Don Cayetano Torres, opened the Turriana library, right next to Mexico’s cathedral, it was able to have up to 8,000 copies and was the first public library of the country.

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