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Manuel Orozco y Berra Library & INAH Historical Studies Center

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Biblioteca Manuel Orozco y Berra
Photo: INAH


The Manuel Orozco y Berra Library is at home in the INAH Historical Studies Center. One of the most important specialized archives in the country, it’s in the former mansion of the Marquis of Tlalnepantla. This occupies one corner of the Juana de Asbaje Park which has its own unique history, a bit later.

The archive’s 70,000 volumes cover the national life from ancient times to the 20th century, in manuscripts, books, and electronic media. The Library was created in 1945 as part of the Documentation Center of the National Museum of History, in the Chapultepec Castle. It remained there until 1958, when the Historical Research Department of INAH was founded. In 2000, the Directorate of Historical Studies and the Library moved to Tlalpan.

The house itself dates from the 18th century, but INAH will admit that a series of remodelings in the 19th century have rendered it essentially a 19th-century structure.

  • Manuel Orozco y Berra (1816–1881) is widely considered the most important historian of 19th-century Mexico. He produced a significant body of published work on Mesoamerican ethnohistory. His Ancient History of the Conquest of Mexico (1880-1881) is considered the seminal work on the subject.

Today the Manuel Orozco y Berra Library archive is mostly of interest to specialists and historians who arrive at the invitation of INAH. It lends considerable gravitas to the Centro de Tlalpan neighborhood which is itself a pleasant and even enchanting place to walk and to learn.


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