The Jose Maria Lafragua Library is inside the former Colegio de la Santa Cruz College in Tlatelolco. The archive is run by the Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs. It shouldn’t be confused with the arguably more famous library of the same name, in Puebla.
Named to honor the politician and writer, José María Lafragua it’s been one of the main diplomatic libraries in Mexico since it opened. The collection is rich in historical material on international relations and related topics.
- José María Lafragua Ibarra (1813–1875) was a politician and writer of the liberal and republican movements of the 19th Century. Born in the city of Puebla, his rise to prominence came with his appointment to Minister of Interior by President Ignacio Comonfort. He then became Foreign Minister under Comonfort, and later Benito Juárez and Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada. Juárez made him director of the National Library of Mexico in 1867.
- Lafragua’s own personal library consisted of some 4,300 volumes on law, literature, science, and history. His collection of books and documents on the history of America and Mexico is still considered outstanding. The collection was donated to the National Library of Mexico and to the library of the Colegio del Estado. Today it’s called the Lafragua Library of the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla.
The Jose Maria Lafragua Library also provides institutional support and information to the Secretary, Mexican embassies, and consulates. The collection exceeds 125,000 volumes, including a photograph library, and reserve collection.