National Anthropological Archives

Guide to MS 2205 Copies of Alexander von Humboldt collection of Mexican pictographic manuscripts, circa 1904

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.MS2205
Creators:
Humboldt, Alexander von, 1769-1859
von den Steinen, Wilhelm, 1854-1934
Dates:
circa 1904
Languages:
Captions are in
Spanish
,
Nahuatl
, and
English
.
Physical Description:
18 Drawings
pencil, ink, watercolor
2 Photocopies
photostats
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 18 drawings and 2 photostats. The drawings are copies of fragments of Aztec manuscripts collected by Alexander von Humboldt and donated to the Royal Library of Berlin (now the Berlin State Library or Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) in 1806. The drawings were made by Wilhem von den Steinen from the originals in the Royal Library. They were commissioned by Eduard Seler and the Bureau of American Ethnology to illustrate Seler's article "Mexican Picture Writings of Alexander von Humboldt" in the Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin, 28, (1904).
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.

Biographical Note
Biographical Note
Alexander von Humboldt was a Prussian naturalist and geographer who traveled extensively in Central and South America. The records and studies he made during his travels helped establish physical geography and geophysics as disciplines. His writings such as Voyage de Humboldt et Bonpland and Kosmos also contributed to make him one of the foremost scholars of the 19th century.

Administration
Existence and Location of Originals
The Alexander von Humboldt collection, also known as Manuscripta americana, is held by the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Germany) and the Jagiellonian Library in Kraków (Poland).

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Preferred Citation
MS 2205 Copies of Alexander von Humboldt collection of Mexican pictographic manuscripts, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Related Materials
The National Anthropological Archives holds material related to the publication of these materials in BAE Bulletin 28 in MS 3251 Miscellaneous material used in Bulletin 28, Mexican and Central American Antiquities, Calendar Systems and History.
The British Museum holds copies of the Humboldt collection drawn by Agostino Aglio for Lord Kingsborough in MS 8882.

More Information
Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 2205


Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Works of art Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
facsimiles (reproductions) Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aztec (archaeological culture) Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
North America Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seler, Eduard, 1849-1922 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland 20746
naa@si.edu