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Title:The first in the archives: Zelia Nuttall and Mexican manuscripts
Author(s):Valiant, Seonaid
Advisor(s):Williams, Kate
Contributor(s):Barnhart, Anne
Department / Program:Information Sciences
Discipline:Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Zelia Nuttall, manuscripts, codices, Mexico, Codex Nuttall, Peabody Museum
Abstract:During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the amateur scholar and archaeologist Zelia Nuttall was not only digging in Mexican archaeological fields for artifacts but also digging through European and Mexican archives for manuscripts. Nuttall characterized her motivation for seeking out indigenous writings in these archives as altruistic, and she often asserted that this work was carried out purely in the interest of science. Not content to simply uncover these neglected manuscripts, however, she also sought to share the materials through publications. Nuttall was involved in the publication of the Codex Nuttall (previously known as the Zouche Codex), the Codex Magliabechiano III, and several primary sources related to Sir Francis Drake. She also attempted to publish the manuscript now known as the Florentine Codex, but she was never able to achieve this. This essay will explore Nuttall’s archival research, which led her to publish, or attempt to publish, the materials that she found in archives and to thereby make them more widely accessible. Despite a few great successes, such as the publication of the Codex Nuttall, Nuttall was often frustrated by a lack of money for printing, competition from other scholars, and the process of working with the Peabody Museum to print facsimiles. Nuttall’s position as a woman scholar and an amateur left her without institutional support in an era when such associations became increasingly important.  
Issue Date:2019-04-23
Rights Information:© 2019 Seonaid Valiant
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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