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García Icazbalceta, Joaquín (1825–1894)

García Icazbalceta, Joaquín (1825–1894)

Joaquín García Icazbalceta (b. 21 August 1825; d. 26 November 1894), Mexican historian and bibliographer. One of the most recognized historians of Mexico, Joaquín García Icazbalceta dedicated a lifetime to collecting, editing, and publishing documents that centered on the Europeanization of Mexico in the sixteenth century. Born in Mexico City to a Spanish father and Mexican mother, he left with his family for exile in Spain, where they remained seven years (1829–1836). Though he received no formal education outside of tutoring in the home, early in life he showed a strong interest in literature. He joined the family business in Mexico City, where he successfully balanced a career in commerce with his literary interests.

In 1848, after participating in the war against the United States, García Icazbalceta began in earnest to collect original manuscripts of historical and linguistic value. He spent the remainder of his life compiling bibliographies, writing numerous books and articles, and publishing documents for use by future historians. Most notable among his works are the Bibliografía mexicana del siglo XVI (1954), the two-volume Colección de documentos para la historia de México (1971), and a four-volume biography of Juan de Zumárraga, first archbishop of Mexico. At the time of his death, García Icazbalceta served as director of the Mexican Academy of Language.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America; Mexico: 1810–1910.


Henry R. Wagner, Joaquín García Icazbalceta (1935).

Manuel G. Martínez, "Don Joaquín García Icazbalceta: His Place in Mexican Historiography," in Studies in Hispanic American History, vol. 4 (1947).

Howard F. Cline, "Selected Nineteenth-Century Mexican Writers on Ethnohistory," in Handbook of Middle American Indians, vol. 13 (1973), pp. 370-427.

Additional Bibliography

Rivas Mata, Emma, editor. Entretenimientos literarios: Epistolario entre los bibliógrafos Joaquín García Icazbalceta y Manuel Remón. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropoligía y Historia, 2003.

Ruedas de la Serna, Jorge A., editor. Historiografía de la literatura mexicana: Ensayos y comentarios. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, División de Estudios de Posgrado, 1996.

                                     Brian C. Belanger

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