Browse Primary Sources
Locate primary sources, including images, objects, media, and texts. Annotations by scholars contextualize sources.

Portrait of Hernán Cortés

Hernán Cortés, a central figure in the establishment of Spanish rule in the Americas, is the subject of this painting. Throughout his career, he led several voyages back and forth between Spain, the Carribean, and Mexico.

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Portrait of Gaspar Sánchez

This seventeenth century painting depicts the Jesuit theologian Gaspar Sánchez. He was born and educated in Spain, but his published works were distributed throughout the Spanish world. For example, the Jesuit library of Tepotzotlán has multiple volumes. Several aspects of this artwork shed light on the identity of Sánchez.

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Portrait of Francisco López de Solís

This partially damaged painting depicts Francisco López de Solís, who occupied many posts throughout his career. He served as a lawyer for the Fisco del Santo Oficio, a judge on the high court of both the Philippines and Guatemala.

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Female Terracotta Figure

This small piece measures only 9.8 centimeters tall. It depicts a clothed female figure, who appears to be wearing some kind of European-style belted dress with a collar. The Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, which houses this piece, notes that these kinds of figures were used in Christmas decorations. It also has traces of stucco.

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Cuauhtémoc prisionero

This painting depicts a scene from the conquest of Mexico City by Spanish soldiers (led by Hernán Cortés) in the early sixteenth century. It appears to have belonged to a larger work, but this section is all that remains. The specific events in this portion of the painting focus on the capture of Cuauhtémoc, the ruler of the Aztec people.

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Chive Pocket Watch (Reloj de bolsillo tipo cebollón)

This object dates from the seventeenth century. It features a glass front and silver casing. The inscription reads "Tompion London," meaning that it was manufactured in England’s capital city. Tompion began producing this kind of pocket watch around 1658 with inventor Robert Hooke. Today, the piece belongs to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México.

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Anonymous Portrait

This image depicts an unnamed man with a mustache. It dates from approximately 1880, according to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia de México, where it resides. The exact origin of this image, or its connection to nineteenth-century Mexican life, remains unclear. However, the document leaves several clues to the identity of the subject.

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Eusebio Planas's comic strip "La Historía de una Mujer"

Competitive Journalism

The modern world of journalism and news is a competitive one. To attract readers, newspapers publishing in the same places try to appear unique. Some, like this edition of the New York Post rely on sensationalized headlines and lurid stories to try to catch the reader's eye.

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Early Eastman Kodak Advertisement from 1900

Kodak Advertisement

When one evaluates a newspaper or a magazine as a source of information, the question of the intended audience almost always comes up. Who was this newspaper intended for? Who actually subscribes to this magazine? One way to answer such questions is through an analysis of advertisements.

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The Times of India masthead from September 28, 2017

The Times of India Masthead

When approaching newspapers as a source for information, several key questions arise: When and where was the newspaper published? What kind of reader was it intended to reach? Did it have local competitors? What were its political affiliations? In other words, a newspaper's context is important to understanding the newspaper itself.

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