Mayan & Mexican Codices (Bibliographies / Subject Guides)

Prepared by Craig Likness, February 2004.

Introductory Resources

Sten, Maria.  The Mexican Codices and their extraordinary history.  Spec Coll F1219.S8313 1974.  (Also available in Spanish edition Richter Stacks F1219.S83.)  Excellent popular introduction.

Handbook of Middle American Indians, volume 14.  Richter Stacks F1434.H3.  Superb scholarly introduction.

Guzmán M., Virginia and Yolanda Mercader M.  Bibliografía de códices, mapas y lienzos del México prehispánico y colonial.  Spec Coll Z1209.2.M4 G89 1979 2 volumes.  Important bibliographical tool.

Alcina Franch, José.  Códices mexicanos.  Richter Stacks F1219.5.A58 1992.

Glass, John B.  Catalogo de la coleccion de códices.  Spec Coll Z6605.M6 G55 1964.  Catalog of the important collection of codices housed at the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH) in Mexico City.

Aguilera, Carmen.  Códices del México antiguo : una selección.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.C7554.

FACSIMILE (Viscount Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico):  Antigüedades de Mexico, basadas en la recopilación de Lord Kingsborough.  4 volumes.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.C764 1964.  Spanish language partial facsimile edition of monumental work originally published in 9 folio volumes in London, 1831.

FACSIMILE.  Biedermann, Hans.  Altmexikos heilige Bücher.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.B59.  Selected pages from some of the most important codices reproduced in color.  Accompanying text only in German.


General Studies

Brotherston, Gordon.  Painted books from Mexico : codices in UK collections and the world they represent.  Richter Stacks F1219.5.B76 1995.

Von Hagen, Victor Wolfgang.  The Aztec and Maya papermakers.  Richter Stacks F1219.V7 1944.

Robertson, Donald.  Mexican manuscript painting of the early colonial period : the Metropolitan Schools.  Richter Stacks N25.Y3 v.12.

Smith, Mary Elizabeth.  Picture writing from ancient southern Mexico; Mixtec place signs and maps.  Richter Stacks F1219.S58.

Marcus, Joyce.  Mesoamerican writing systems : propaganda, myth, and history in four ancient civilizations.  Richter Stacks  Oversize F1219.4.W94 M37 1992.  Consideration content on the Maya.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill.  Stories in red and black : pictorial histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs.  Richter Stacks F1219.54.A98 B66 2000.

Gruzinski, Serge.  Painting the conquest : the Mexican Indians and the European Renaisssnce.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1219.76.P35 G7813 1992.  Very important new recent book on Aztec painting.

Boone, Elizabeth Hill and Walter D. Mignolo, editors.  Writing without words : alternative literacies in Mesoamerica and the Andes.  Richter Stacks E59.W9 W75.

Anawalt, Patricia Rieff.  Indian clothing before Cortes : Mesoamerican costumes from the codices.  Richter Stacks F1219.3.C75 A5.


FACSIMILE (Dresden Codex):  Codex Dresdensis.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.C6215 1975.

Thompson, John Eric S.  A commentary on the Dresden codex : a Maya hieroglyphic book.  Richter Stacks Oversize Z11.P612 v.93.

Forstemann, Ernst Wilhelm.  Commentary on the Maya manuscripts in the Royal public library of Dresden.  Richter Stacks E51.H337 v.4 no.2.

Guthe, Carl Eugen.  A possible solution of the number series on pages 51 to 58 of the Dresden codex.  Richter Stacks E51.H337 v.6 no.2.

Aveni, Anthony F., editor.  The Sky in Mayan literature.  F1435.3.W75 W55 1992.  Several papers in this collection focus on the Dresden Codex.

Escalante, Robert.  Análisis de estructuras en el Códice de Dresde.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.P6 E83.

Willson, Robert Wheeler.  Astronomical notes on the Maya codices.  Richter Stacks E51.H337 v.6 no.3.

Alvarez Lomelí, Mari Cristina.  Textos coloniales del Libro de Chilam Balam de Chumayel y textos glificos del Códice de Dresde.  Richter Stacks F1435.3P6.A48.

FACSIMILE (Paris Codex):  Codex Peresianus.  Spec Coll F1219.56.P43 1968

Gates, William.  Commentary upon the Maya-Tzental Perez codex.  Richter Stacks E51.H337 v.6 no.1.

Severin, Gregory M.  The Paris Codex : decoding an astronomical ephemeris.  Richter Stacks Q11.P6 n.s., vol. 71, pt. 5.

Love, Bruce.  The Paris codex : handbook of a Maya priest.  Richter Stacks F14353.3.W75 L68 1994.

Arnold, Paul.  El libro maya de los muertos.  Richter Stacks F1435.3R3 C54518 1983.

FACSIMILE (Madrid Codex):  Codex Tro-Cortesianus.  Spec Coll Oversize F1435.C653 1967b.

Paxton, Merideth.  The cosmos of the Yucatec Maya : cycles and steps from the Madrid Codex.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.C14P388 2001.

FACSIMILE (Grolier Codex):  Coe, Michael D.  The Maya Scribe and his world.  Spec Coll Oversize F1435.3P6 C55.

Coe, Michael D and Justin Kerr.  The art of the Maya scribe.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1435.3.W75 C62 1998.  Very important, well-illustrated study by two of the most respected scholars in Maya studies.

Coe, Michael D.  Breaking the Maya Code.  Rev ed.  Richter Stacks F435.3.W75 C64 1999.  Another important book from Professor Coe.

Knorozov, IU. V.  Maya hieroglyphic codices.  Richter Stacks F1435.K5913 1982.

Taube, Karl.  The major gods of ancient Yucatan.  Lowe Library F14353.3.R3 T38 1992.

Schele, Linda and Mary Ellen Miller.  The blood of kings : dynasty and ritual in Maya art.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1435.3.A7 S34 1986.  It is not overstatement to credit this exhibition installed at the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth and catalogue by Schele and Miller with revolutionizing the field of Mayan studies.

Schele, Linda and David Freidel.  A forest of kings : the untold story of the ancient Maya.  Richter Stacks F1435.3K55 S343 1990.

Schele, Linda and Peter Mathews.  The code of kings : the language of seven sacred Maya temples and tombs.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.A6 S34 1998.  Also by Schele and others: Maya cosmos : three thousand years on the shaman’s path.  Richter Stacks F 1435.3.R3 F74 1993.

Proskouriakoff, Tatiana.  Maya history.  Richter Stacks F1435.P76 1993.  A very important scholar in the field of Mayan writing studies.  She is also responsible for An album of Maya architecture.  Richter Stacks Oversize F 1435.3.A6 P7 1963a.

Thompson, John Eric S.  Maya hieroglyphic writing : an introduction.  Richter Stacks PM3962 .T48 1960.  Now largely superceded, but an important early work in Mayan studies.

Houston, Stephen, Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazarigos & David Stuart, editors.  The decipherment of ancient Maya writing.  Richter Stacks F1435.3W75 D39 2001.  Recent collection edited by leading scholars in the field.

Longhena, Maria.  Maya script : a civilization and its writing.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.W75 L65 2000.

Graham, Ian.  Corpus of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1435.3.P6 G72.

Clancy, Flora S.  Sculpture in the ancient Maya plaza : the early classic period.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.S334 C53 1999.  Material on inscriptions.

Inomata, Takeshi and Stephen D. Houston, editors.  Royal courts of the ancient Maya.  Richter Stacks F1435.3.K55 R69 2001.  Material on inscriptions.

Schele, Linda.  The mirror, the rabbit, and the bundle : “accession” expressions from the Classic Maya inscriptions.  Richter Stacks E51.S85 no. 25

Robicsek, Francis.  The Maya book of the dead : the ceramic codex; the corpus of codex style ceramics of the late classic period.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1435.3.R3 R62.

Popol vuh : the Mayan book of the dawn of life, edited by Dennis Tedlock.  Richter Stacks F1465.P813 1996.

Landa, Diego de, 1524-1579.  The Maya : Diego de Landa’s account of the affairs of Yucatan, edited and translated by A. R. Pagden.  Richter Stacks F143.L3413 1975.  Translation of “Relación de las cosas de Yucatán.”  Several other English translations of this work have been published as well.

Brunhouse, Robert L.  In search of the Maya; the first archaeologists.  Richter Stacks F1435.B874 as well as Pursuit of the ancient Maya : some archaeologists of yesterday.  Richter Stacks F1435.B875.  Interesting overviews of the discovery and exploration of the Mayan world during the 19th century.


FACSIMILE (Codex Florentino):  Sahagún, Bernardino de.  Códice florentino.  3 volumes.  Spec Coll Overesize F1219.S1316 1979.  A post-conquest textual/pictorial codex in Spanish and Nahuatl.  Bernardino de Sahagún lived to age 90, studied Nahuatl, collected manuscripts.  A true ethnographer and philologist, Sahagun intended the manuscript for Philip II but because of the king’s lack of interest it needed to be smuggled to Spain to reach Spanish scholars.  Found in Toulouse in 1780 and then traveled to Florence where it is located today in the Palatine Collection of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.

Sahagún, Bernardino de.  General history of the things of New Spain : Florentine codex.  Richter Stacks F1219.S2813 1950 parts 2-13.  Standard scholarly edition in English of the Florentine Codex.  Spanish language editions also available in Richter Stacks.

Sahagún, Bernardino de.  The war of conquest : how it was waged here in Mexico : the Aztecs own story as given to Bernardino de Sahagún; rendered into modern English by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles Dibble.  Richter Stacks F1230.S131.

The Work of Bernardino de Sahagún : pioneer ethnographer of sixteenth-century Aztec Mexico. Richter Stacks F1219.73.W67 1988.  Collection of essays

FACSIMILE (Primeros Memoriales):  Sahagún, Bernardino de.  Primeros memoriales.  Richter Stacks Overesize F1219.73.S24 1993.  A post-conquest codex related to the Florentine Codex.

Baird, Ellen T.  The drawings of Sahagún’s Primeros memorials : structure and style.  Richter Stacks F1219.3.R38 S3337 1993

FACSIMILE (Codex Mendoza):  Berdan, Frances F. and Patricia Rieff Anawalt.  The Codex Mendoza.  4 volumes.  Spec Coll Oversize F129.56.C625 1992.  Also available:  The essential Codex Mendoza Richter Stacks F1219.56.C625 C64 1997.  A post-conquest codex.  Commissioned by the first viceroy of Mexico (Mendoza) and intended for Charles V.  It contains information on Tenochtitlan and Indian life.  By 1590 it was owned by explorer Richard Hakluyt and then went to Selden’s collection that was eventually added to the holdings of the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Ross, Kurt.  Codex Mendoza : Aztec manuscript.  Richter Stacks F1219.C689 1984.  Facsimile with commentaries but surpassed by Berdan and Anawalt edition noted above.

FACSIMILE (Codex Borbonico):  Códice Borbónico : manuscrito mexicano de la Biblioteca del Palais Bourbon.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.B67 1981.  A post-conquest manuscript in the form of a pre-conquest accordian-fold manuscript.  It was at the Escorial for a time, but somehow got to France in the 1800’s.

FACSIMILE:  Cruz, Martin de la.  The Badianus manuscript (Codex Barberini, Latin 241)  Richter Stacks RS169.C7 1552a.  Reprint edition of a post-conquest Aztec herbal prepared in 1552.  Note that it is not accordian fold, but rather in the form of the modern book.

FACSIMILE (Codex Magliabechiano):  Codex Magliabechiano.  Spec Coll F1219.56.B53 1970.  A post-conquest codex prepared in the form of the modern book.  Now housed in Florence, Italy library.

FACSIMILE (Codex Magliabechiano):  Boone, Elizabeth Hill.  The Codex Magliabechiano and the lost prototype of the Magliabechiano group.  Issued in set with:  The book of life of the ancient Mexicans : containing an account of their rites and superstitions . . . with introduction, translation, and commentary by Zelia Nutall.  Spec Coll F1219.56.B53 B66 1983.

FACSIMILE (Codex Ixtlilxochitl):  Codex Ixtlilxochitl : Bibliothèque nationale, Paris : (Ms. Mex. 65-71).  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.3.C2 C65 1976.  Post conquest manuscript of Aztec calendar.

FACSIMILE (Codex Kingsborough):  Códice de Tepetlaóztoc (Códice Kingsborough), Estado de México.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.C764 1995 2 vols.  Post conquest.  Related to a lawsuit.

FACSIMILE (Codex Chimalpopoca):  Feliciano Velazquez, Primo.  Códice chimalpópoca.  Anales de Cuanunhtitlan y Leyenda de los soles.  Richter Stacks F1201.M47 ser.1 no1.

FACSIMILE (Codex Chimalpopoca):  Bierhorst, John.  History and mythology of the Aztecs : the Codex Chimalpopoca.  Richter Stacks F1219.56.C62 1992.

FACSIMILE (Codex en Cruz):  Dibble, Charles E.  Codex en Cruz.  Spec Coll Overseize F1219.56.C622 D5 1981 two volumes.  Aztec picture manuscript.

FACSIMILE (Codex Telleriano-Remensis):  Quinones Keber, Eloise.  Codex Telleriano-Remensis : ritual, divination, and history in a pictorial Aztec manuscript.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1219.56.C627 Q55 1955.

FACSIMILE (Codex Rios):  Codex Vaticanus 3738 (Codex Vaticanus A, Codex Rios) der Biblioteca apostolica Vaticana.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.R56 C63 1979.  A 16th century copy of a Mexican pictorial manuscript with an Italian gloss believed to be based on a Spanish gloss in the original or another copy.

FACSIMILE (Codex Tonalamatl de Aubin):  El tonalámatl de la colección de Aubin : antiguo manuscrito mexicno en la Biblioteca Nacional de Paris.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.T6 T66 1981.  This is a reproduction of the 1900-1901 facsimile.  A pre-conquest codex that Aubin smuggled out of Mexico by jumbling its pages.  Most likely he sold it at a later date to pay his debts.  When Aubin first went to Mexico he planned to study astronomy, but after losing his instruments he turned to collecting codices.

FACSIMLE (Codex Aubin):  Códice Aubin : manuscrito azteca de la Bilioteca Real de Berlin; anales en mexicano y geroglíficos desde la salida de las tribus de Aztlán hasta la muerte de Cuauhtemoc.  CHC Masnata F1219.C63 1980.

Histoire de la nation mexiciane depuis de départ d’Aztlan . . . .  Manuscript figurtif accompagné de text en langue nahuatl ou mexicaine suivi d’une traduction en francais par feu J.M.A. Aubin.  Richter Stacks F1219.C65 1893.

FACSIMILE (Codex Tudela):  Códice Tudela.  Spec Coll F1219.56.T86 C62 1553a.  Facsimile of manuscript housed in he Museo de America in Madrid.

FACSIMILE (Codex Osuna):  Cortes Alonso, Vicenta.  Pintura del gobernador, alcaldes y regidores de México : “Códice Osuna.”  Spec Coll Oversize F12129.56.C77 P56 1993 two volumes.

FACSIMILE (Codex Techialoyan de San Pedro Tototepec):  Noguez, Xavier.  Códice Techialoyan de San Pedro Tototepec (Estado de México).  Spec Coll Oversize F129.56.C788 C63 1999.

FACSIMILE (Matrícula de Huexotzinco):  Premm, Hanns J. et. al.  Matrícula de Huexotzinco : Ms. Mex.387 der Bibliothèque Nationale Paris.  Spec Coll F1219.M39 1974.  A census from the 16th century used in a legal case.

FACSIMILE (Leinzos de Chiepetlan):  Galarza, Joaquín.  Lienzos de Chiepetlan; manuscrits pictographiques et manuscrits en caractères latins de San Miguel Chiepetlan, Guerrero, Mexique; sources d’ethno-histoire mexicaine.  Richter Stacks F1219.G13

FACSIMILE (Codex Sierra):  Códice Sierra.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1219.C749.  A facsimile published in 1933.  A Nahuatl text translated into Spanish.

FACSIMILE (Codex Azcatitlan):  Códice Azcatitlan.  2 volumes.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.C38 C63.

FACSIMILE (Codex Moctezuma):  Matricula de tributes, o, Codice de Moctezuma.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.M37 1997.

FACSIMILE (Mapa de Cuanhtinchan):  Yoneda, Keiko.  Cartografia y linderos en el mapa de Cuanhtinchan no. 4.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.M34 Y65 1994.

FACSIMILE (Mapa de Coatlichan):  Mohar, Luz Maria.  Mapa de Coatlichan : lineas y colores en el Acolhuacan.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.M63 1994.

León Portilla, Miguel, editor.  The broken spears : the Aztec account of the conquest of Mexico, translated by Lysander Kemp.  Richter Stacks F1230.L383 1966.  Includes texts from both the Florentine and Mendoza codices.

Brotherston, Gordon, compiler.  Image of the New World : the American continent portrayed in native texts.  Richter Stacks E58.I45.

Anderson, Arthur J. O. et. al, editors and translators.  Beyond the codices : the Nahua view of colonial Mexico.  Richter Stacks F1219.B55 1976.

Durán, Diego, d 1588?.  Book of the gods and rites and The ancient calendar, translated by Fernando Horcasitas and Doris Heyden.  Richter Stacks F1219.D9513.

Durán, Diego, d 1588?.  The History of Indies of New Spain, translated by Doris Heyden.  Richter Stacks F1219.73.D8713 1994.

Motolinía, Toribio, d. 1568.  History of the Indians of New Spain.  F1219.M9223.

Alvarado Tezozómoc, Fernando, fl. 1598.  Cronica mexicana.  Anotada por el sr.lic.d. Manuel Orozco y Berra.  And:  Relación del origen de los indios que habitan esta Nueva España, según sus historias, examen de la obra, con un anexo de cronología mexicana por el lic. Manuel Oreozco y Berra.  Richter Stacks F1219 .A47.

Alva Ixtlilxóchitl, Fernando de, 1578-1650.  Obras historicas de Don Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxóchitl.  Richter Stacks F1219.I95 1952.

Cortés, Hernan, 1485-1547.  Letters of Cortes; The five letters of relation from Fernando Cortes to the Emperor Charles V.  Spec Coll and Richter Stacks F1230.C84 two volumes.  Other editions available.

Cartas de Indias.  Spec Coll Oversize E123.S73.  108 letters (1456-1586) followed by 20 facsimiles.

FACSIMILE.  Muñoz Camargo, Diego, ca. 1529-1599.  Descripción de la Ciudad y Provincia de Tlaxcala de las Indias y del Mar Océano para el buen gobierno y ennoblecimiento dellas.  Spec Coll Oversize F1366.M964 1981.  Now housed in the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow.

Muñoz Camargo, Diego, ca. 1529-1599.  Historia de Tlaxcala: crónica del siglo XVI.  Richter Stacks F1366.M964 1979.

Chimalpahin Cuauhtlehuanitzin, Domingo Francisco de San Anton Munon, 1579-1660.  Codex Chimalpahin : society and politics in Mexico Tenochtitlan, Tlatelolco, Texcoco, Culhuacan, and other Nahua altepetl in central Mexico.  Richter Stacks F1219.76.P75 C48 1997 two volumes.

Baudet, Georges.  Utopia and history in Mexico : the first chroniclers of Mexican civilization (1520-1569).  Richter Stacks F1219.B3513 1995.

Borgia Group (1. Codex Borgianus, 2. Codex Laud, 3. Codex Fejérváry-Mayer, 4. Codex Cospi, 5. Codex Vaticanus B, Mexican Mss. No. 30).  All five codices are pre-conquest, made from animal hide in the accordian-fold format, show stylistic similarities, demonstrate an involved symbolism and iconography, and contain calendrical content.  They were defined as group by Eduard Seler in 1887.

Spranz, Bodo.  Los dioses en los códices mexicanos del Grupo Borgia : una investigación iconográfica.  Richter Stacks F1219.3.W94 S618 1973.

FACSIMILE (Codex Borgianus):  Codex Borgia : Biblioteca apostolia vaticana (Messicano Riserva 28).
Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.B65 1976.

Seler, Eduard.  Comentarios al Codice Borgia.  Not available at UM.

FACSIMILE (Codex Laud):  Codex Laud : (Ms. Laud misc. 678) Bodleian Library, Oxford.  Introduction by C. A. Burland.  Spec Coll F1219.56.V624 1966

FACSIMILE (Codex Fejérváry):  Codex Fejérváry-Mayer : 12014 M, City of Liverpool Museums.  Introduction by C. A. Burland.  Spec Coll F1219.56.F4 1971.

FACSIMILE (Codex Cospi):  Codex Cospi : Calendario messiano 4093 / Biblioteca universitria Bologna.  Spec Coll F1219.56.C72 1968.

FACSIMILE (Codex Vaticanus B):  Codex vaticanus 3773 : (Codex vaticanus B.) / Biblioteca apostolica vaticana.  Spec Coll F1219.56.C633 1972.

FACSIMILE (Codex Vindobonensis):  Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1.  Spec Coll F1219.56.C636 1974.  Now located in Vienna.

Furst, Jill Leslie.  Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus I : a commentary.  Richter Stacks F1219.54.M59 F9 1978.

FACSIMILE (Codex Egerton): Codex Egerton 2895 / British Museum London.  Introduction C. A. Burland.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56 B74 1965.  A pre-conquest picture manuscript.

FACSIMILE (Codex Nuttall):  Codex Zouche-Nuttall : British Museum London.  Spec Coll F1219.56.C6253 1987.

FACSIMILE (Codex Nuttall):  Codex Nuttall : a picture manuscript from ancient Mexico : the Peeabody Musesum facsimile.  Richter Stacks Oversize F1219.C7 1975.

FACSIMILE (Codex Yanhuitlán):  Códice de Yanhuitlán.  Spec CollTransfer F1391.Y3 C6.

FACSIMILE (Codex Yanhuitlan):  Sepulveda y Herrera, Mari Teresa.  Codice de Yanhuitlan, studio preliminary.  Spec Coll Oversize F1218.56.C749 S46 1994/

FACSIMILE (Codex Gómez de Orozco):  Caso, Alfonso.  Interpretación del Códice Gómez de Orozco.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.C318.  Published in 1954.

FACSIMILE (Selden Roll):  Burland, C. A.  The Selden roll : an ancient Mexican picture manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.B9393.  It is thought to be from western Oaxaca,

FACSIMILE (Tulane Codex):  Not available at UM.

Parmenter, Ross.  The identification of lienzo A : a tracing in the Latin American library of Tulane University. IN PROCESS.  Author presents evidence that Codex Meixueiro and Codex Ixtlan are of Mixtec rather than Zapotec origin.

Parmenter, Ross.  Four lienzos of the Coixtlahuaca Valley.  Richter Stacks E51.S85 no.26

FACSIMILE (Códice Becker I, Códice Colombino, Códice Alfonso Caso):  Codice Alfonso Caso : la vida de 8-Venado, Garra de Tigre (Colombino-Becker I.)  2 volumes.  Spec Coll Oversize F1219.56.C718 C64 1996.  Caso first suggested that Becker I and Colombino were fragments of the same codex centered on the life of Mixtec ruler 8-Deer.

Byland, Bruce E and John M. D. Pohl.  In the realm of 8-Deer : the archaeology of the Mixtec codices.  Richter Stacks F1219.54.M59B95 1994.