Across notarial archives, households and cabinets of curiosity to the vaults and display cases of museums and libraries, pre-Colombian artifacts have lived obscure and turbulent lives. A recent acquisition by TCU’s Special Collections, Lorenzo Boturini’s Idea of una nueva historia general (1746) highlights the Italian traveler’s unprecedented assemblage of codices, books, maps, prints and alphabetic manuscripts used to write a history of the Mesoamerican past. This talk will contextualize Boturini’s violent encounters with authorities, pirates and aristocrats as he amassed his impressive corpus, and it will consider the significance of acquiring and safeguarding historical objects.
Alex Hidalgo (Ph.D. Arizona, 2013) specializes in the history of colonial Latin America with an interest in Mesoamerican ethnology, visual studies, and the Iberian Atlantic. He has co-edited special issues for Ethnohistory and the Journal of Latin American Geography that explore the intersection between empire, ethnicity, and space. His research has won support from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Commission, the Library of Congress, and the American Historical Association. In 2014, his current book project, “When Indian Maps Ruled Mexico: Colonialism, Cartography, and History,” an analysis of indigenous mapmaking in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, received the Lewis Hanke Prize from the Conference on Latin American History