Codex Mendoza

Digital repatriation of Mexico's most iconic pre-Hispanic document.
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About the project

The Codex Mendoza is the most relevant and iconic document that describes the Aztec empire under the rule of the great Tlatoani Moctezuma Xocoyotzin on the eve of the arrival of the Spaniards. In 1542, the Spanish viceroy Antonio de Mendoza ordered its creation to detail the territory, sources of wealth, history, traditions, social dynamics, and daily life of the Aztecs. The study of the empire's structure is only possible thanks to the existence of this codex.

The project Codex Mendoza is the first effort in the world to create a digital resource around the in-depth study of a Mexican codex. Available as a tablet app and web platform, it lets you browse through the complete pages of the document, see the text transcription in old Spanish, explore the translations into modern Spanish and English, discover the document’s materiality with enhanced zoom and measuring tools, interact with maps and calendars, and click on images and pictograms to see explanations, video commentary, notes, and related documents.

Created in collaboration with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Oxford University, and the King’s College London, this project represents an enormous effort in digital repatriation of an invaluable historical document, currently housed in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, providing first-time access to audiences of all ages, as well as humanities professionals, inscribing a vocation to study, preserve, and disseminate the cultural heritage of the Mexican people.

In 2015, the project Codex Mendoza was featured in the New York Times and distinguished as the Best Use of Digital Humanities for Public Engagement by the Digital Humanities Awards.

Original title
Códice Mendoza
Original title
Códice Mendoza
National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH)
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