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Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Records of Colonial Tlalpujahua (Michoacán, Mexico)
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1562-1903 (mostly 1720-1839)
11 boxes and 4.20 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-11
Spanish; Castilian


The Records of Colonial Tlalpujahua (Michoacán, Mexico) consists of papers pertaining to the Convento de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, as well as miscellaneous papers that document matrimonial and criminal legal cases, land transactions in Tlalpujahua and Toluca, and genealogical information compiled by Austacio Rulfo. Additional papers to the collection include documents, accounts, religious petitions, assorted documents, and correspondence, many pertaining to the Benavides family.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of papers of the Convento de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, a Franciscan monastery established in 1703. There are various administrative documents ( libros de patentes and libro de inventorio) that date from 1724 to 1849; account ledgers ( libros de cargo y descargo) that date from 1719 to 1839; and a significant number of ledgers (a libro de institucion, a libro de determinaciones y constituciones, and several libros de asientos de recepciones y profesiones) belonging to the Third Order Secular of St. Francis that date from 1686 to 1832.

There are also miscellaneous ledgers from Tlalpujahua and Toluca that contain information regarding various land transactions and title transfers, last will and testaments, and a ledger regarding a general store ( casa de comercio). Moreover, one ledger was used to record legal proceedings during the mid-1740s in matrimonial and criminal cases in Tlalpujahua. In addition, there are papers that belonged to Austacio Rulfo (1820-1903) that trace the genealogies of the Rayón and Rulfo families, relatives of independence leader Ignacio López Rayón.

Furthermore, there are additional papers that include account ledgers and accounting documents (receipts, inventories, appraisals, and expenses) (1599-1901); religious petitions (1722-1882); documents relating to estates, houses, land, livestock, and other topics (1660-1898); and correspondence (1774-1901). While the majority of these documents pertain to the Benavides family, some relate to the Third Order Secular of St. Francis, and others to the Rayón and Rulfo families.

A second group of additional papers includes documents (receipts, testaments, account ledgers, and land transactions) (1751-1900); correspondence (1782-1901), and undated miscellaneous materials. The majority of these documents pertain to the Benavides, Rayon, and Rulfo families.

Collection History


The department purchased part of the collection from a dealer in October 1999 , and the remainder in July 2002 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Heather A. Shannon in 1999, Karla J. Vecchia in 2000, and Carolina Gamboa-Hoyos in 2008. Finding aid written by Heather A. Shannon in 1999, Karla J. Vecchia in 2000, and Carolina Gamboa-Hoyos in 2008.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Records of Colonial Tlalpujahua (Michoacán, Mexico); Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-11

Find More


Peter Gerhard, A Guide to the Historical Geography of New Spain (London: Cambridge University Press, 1972). Carlos Herrejón Pereda, Tlalpujahua (Morelia, Mexico: Gobierno del Estado de Michoacán, 1980). Esperanza Ramírez Romero, Catálogo de monumentos y sitios de Tlalpujahua (Mexico: Gobierno del Estado de Michoacán and Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, 1985).

Subject Terms:
Criminal procedures -- Mexico -- 18th century.
Franciscan monasteries -- Mexico -- Adminisitration.
Land titles -- Mexico -- Registration and transfer.
Matrimonial actions -- Mexico -- 18th century.
Genre Terms:
Account books -- Mexico -- Tlalpujahua.
Court records -- Mexico -- 19th century.
Catholic Church
Third Order Secular of St. Francis
Benavides family
Tlalpujahua (Mexico) -- History -- Sources.
Toluca (Mexico) -- History -- Sources.