The following article appeared in Outline, the Bodleian Libraries Staff Newsletter, Number 451, 17 June 2010 (see pictures of the visit on Flickr)
On 3 June, Sarah Thomas welcomed the Mayor of Mexico City to the Bodleian Library. The Mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, was a guest of Nuffield College, where he was addressing the Oxford Mexican Society on climate change policies.
Señor Ebrard and his party were met at the Great Gate by Sarah Thomas and Bodleian librarians Frank Egerton (Bodleian Latin American Centre Library) and Joanne Edwards (Taylor Institution Library). After a tour of the Old Bodleian, the party crossed to the New Bodleian, where the Mayor was shown the Codex Mendoza and the Codex Bodley by Dr Martin Kauffmann (Curator, Medieval Manuscripts).
The richly illustrated Codex Mendoza has been in the Bodleian’s possession since the 17th century and includes a pictorial history of the Aztec empire from 1325 to 1521. It was commissioned by Don Antonio de Mendoza, first Viceroy of New Spain, for the Emperor Charles V and has been called the ‘Rosetta stone’ of Aztec culture.
The Codex Bodley was completed shortly before the Spanish conquest in 1521 and is described by the library as a ‘magnificent example of ancient Mexican pictorial writing’. It depicts the history of the royal families of the village-states of Nuu Dzaui over 600 years.
Before leaving for a meeting with the Mayor of Oxford, Señor Ebrard presented the Bodleian with a collection of books and DVDs commemorating the 200th anniversary of the start of the Mexican War of Independence.
Prior to his visit to Oxford, Señor Ebrard had been chairing the World Mayors Council on Climate Change in Bonn.
Frank Egerton, Latin American Centre Library