The Manuel Orozco y Berra Map Library is maintained by the Cartography Departament of the Federal Ministry of Development. It was created to put together all of the information and maps to support public inquiry and economical planning, the exploitation of natural resources, and territorial control. Over time, other researcher donated their collections. Among these, that of the historian Manuel Orozco y Berra stands out, and the archive was renamed in his honor in December, 1977, for the centennial of the library’s founding.
Manuel Orozco y Berra was born in the City in 1816 and died here in 1881. A student and disciple of José Fernando Ramírez and Joaquín García Icazbalceta, he’s today considered one of the most important historians of 19th-century Mexico. Between 1880 and 1881 his “Ancient History and the Conquest of Mexico” (Historia antigua y de la Conquista de México) was published in four volumes. It’s still considered a masterpiece for the genre.
Today, the archive contains a valuable technical collection including more than 5,000 files and field notebooks. These date from 1860 to 1970. There are also collections related to topography, astronomy, geodesics, and multiple other fields of knowledge.