I have been researching Mexican paper money for several decades and obviously many people have helped me over the years, including the staff of numerous archives. I am especially grateful to Elmer Powell and Cory Frampton for sight of their collections and permission to use images, to Ken Tabachnik, Clyde Hubbard and Rick and Kent Ponterio for letting them study documents and to the major dealers in Mexico, Duane Douglas, Bob Briggs and Angel Fregoso and to Huston Pearson in the US.
In establishing this website I have begun with some low-hanging fruit by cannibalising articles from the USMexNA journals and from the USMexNa online library. I have tried to acknowledge others’ contribution within the text, and where I have lifted articles substantially intact, as in the case of Cedrián López-Bosch or Nicholas Follansbee, I have given them their own byline.
I am now also working through the papers that Dick Long amassed during his time as a dealer and researcher and which he handed over to Cory Frampton, so need to add his name to the roll of honour. In addition to spending thousand of hours recording serial numbers etc. Dick also produced the tracings of the signatures that I have reproduced on these pages.
I shall try to ensure that all contributions are acknowledged and apologise to anyone who has been overlooked or feels slighted.
Over the years I have visited numerous archives in the United States and Mexico, some several times. In the beginning I had to take photocopies and make handwritten notes, usually transcribing documents in full in case, in summarizing, I missed nuances. Nowadays I can speed the process up with a digital camera and a laptop but these have allowed me to become even more anal.
I have to acknowledge the patience and helpfulness of people in Mexican archives who, when confronted with someone who can speed-read old documents in Spanish but has difficulty in putting together a coherent sentence, never failed to go out of their way to be helpful.
I have made as much use as I can of primary sources but the results are necessarily patchy, among other reasons because it seems that when revolutionaries were not busy printing or restamping money they were busy sacking archives. Often only documentation from the victorious side survives.
Archives are referred to by the following abbreviations.
Fondo Juan Barragán Rodríguez
|ABCS||Archivo Histórico “Pablo L. Martínez”|
|ABNC||Papers of the American Bank Note Company|
|ACoah||Archivo General del Estado de Coahuila||
Juan Aldama 381 esquina General Cepeda,
(844) 490-30-16 and 488-53-49
|ADur||Archivo Histórico de Durango|
|AGN||Archivo General de la Nación||The Fondo Antiguos Bancos de Emisión contains records from the Bancos de Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Minero de Chihuahua, Comercial de Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Oriental de México, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco, Mercantil de Veracruz and Zacatecas.|
Archivo Histórico del Ciudad de México
República de Chile 8 esquina con Donceles,
|AHDN||Archivo Histórico de la Defensa Nacional|
|AHEA||Archivo Histórico del Estado de Aguascalientes||
Calle Juan de Montoro 215,
+52 449 918 5521
|AHEC||Archivo Histórico del Estado de Colima|
|AHEM||Archivo Histórico del Estado de México|
Archivo Historico del Estado de Sonora
Garmendia 157 Sur, entre Serdán y Elías Calles,
|AHMM||Archivo Histórico y Museo de Minería||
Javier Mina 110,
+52 771 715 0976
|You need to register as an investigator (36 hours notice) before you can study documents|
|AHTlax||Archivo Histórico del Estado de Tlaxcala||
Privada Luis Donaldo Colosio 1,
+52 246 464 5612
|AHV||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Veracruz||
Avenida Landero y Coss esquina Esteban Morales s/n,
|AHX||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Xalapa||
Clavijero 10 Altos,
|AIF||Acervo Isidro Fabela||
Centro Cultural Isidro Fabela – Museo Casa del Risco
+52 (55) 56 16 27 11
|www.isidrofabela.org.mx||Housed in a wonderful building in San Angel, Mexico City.|
|AJ||Archivo Histórico del Estado de Jalisco||
Av. prolongación Alcalde 1855,
|AMCol||Archivo Histórico del Municipio de Colima||
Independencia 79, Colonia Centro.
(312) 312 28 57
|AMGuad||Archivo Municipal de Guadalajara Salvador Gómez García||
(33) 1201 7999, 3122 6581
|AMMat||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Matamoros||
(868) 813 59 29
|http://casamata.matamoros.gob.mx/casamata-en-linea/||gracias a Martín Rodríguez Arellano|
|AMMon||Archivo Municipal de Monclova||
25700 Monclova, Mexico
(866) 633 8836
|AMMont||Archivo Histórico del Municipio de Monterrey|
|AMMor||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Morelia||
(443) 322 9530
|AMO||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Orizaba “José María Naredo”||
Sur 9 núm. 224
(272) 728 96 25
|AMPar||Archivo Municipal de Hidalgo del Parral||The best setting in Mexico for an archive|
|AMPue||Archivo Municipal de Puebla|
|AMQ||Archivo Municipal de Querétaro||
Blvd. Bernando Quntana,
(442) 238 77 00
|AMS||Archivo Municipal de Saltillo||Juárez y Leona Vicario, s/n.
Col. Zona Centro,
|AMT||Archivo Municipal de Tampico|
|AMTor||Archivo Municipal de Torreón “Eduardo Guerra”||
Calle Manuel Acuña 140,
(871) 716 0913
|AMTol||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Toluca|
|AMZac||Archivo Histórico del Municipio de Zacatecas||
Calzada Héroes de Chapultepec 1110,
|AMZam||Archivo Municipal de Zamora “Arturo Rodríguez Zetina”||
Hidalgo No. 291,
(351) 51 5 43 53
|ANL||Archivo Histórico de Nuevo León|
|APGonzález||Archivo Pablo González Garza|
|AQ||Archivo Histórico del Estado de Querétaro||
Madero núm. 70,
(442) 227 1800
|ASalvatierra||Archivo Histórico Municipal de Salvatierra||
Calle 16 de Septiembre 311,
|ASDN||Archivo de la Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional|
|ASLP||Archivo Histórico del Estado de San Luis Potosí, Lic. Antonio Rocha||
Mariano Arista 400,
(444) 814 2669
|ATreviño||Fondo Jacinto Blas Treviño in Archivo UNAM||www.ahunam.unam.mx/consultar_fcu?id=3.21|
Archivo General del Estado de Veracruz
|Hermenegildo Galeana s/n esq. Venustiano Carranza,
Col. Francisco I. Madero,
|CEHM||Archivo Centro de Estudios de Historia de México||Important collections include|
|LG papers||Lázaro de la Garza papers||
Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection
|SD papers||Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs of Mexico, 1910-1929|
Each state had its own Periódico Oficial, the official bulletin for the text of important local and national decrees, statutory notices, judgements and, occasionally, an eclectic range of local and international news, historical episodes, informative articles and homilies. They tried to maintain continuity so whenever a rival faction took over it would publish its own version, but with the obvious disruptions and the lack of newsprint there are unfortunately gaps. In addition different factions sometimes produced competing versions.
States were meant to send a copy to the Biblioteca Nacional in Mexico City but, apart from the states neighbouring the capital, this stopped between the removal of Huertista governors and the re-establishment of some kind of order under the Carrancistas.
In the footnotes where a reference is given as Periódico Oficial this means the official bulletin of the particular state in question (the provenance should be obvious from the text) unless specifically stated otherwise.
The Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Publíco published annual Memorias (available to download from https://memoriasdehacienda.colmex.mx/mh/index.php). Less well known is the fact that from the 1880s through to the first decades of the twentieth century it also published annual Memorias de las Instituciones del Crédito. These recorded its oversight of the banks and included legislation, correspondence and the half-yearly reports of the Interventors of the various banks. Some reports are very cursory (for example, those for the Banco de Sonora) but others are very meticulous, recording dates and details of issues and incinerations and other problems with the banks.
All in all, these Memorias are a priceless source of knowledge but also extremely difficult to find.
It is worth digressing with an anecdote. In 2010 I was in Mexico City researching then just the banks of Sonora and Chihuahua. I went to the Secretaria’s library, the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, and finally managed to persuade them of the differences between the commonplace Memorias and these Memorias de las Instituciones del Crédito. Unfortunately it transpired that the latter were to be found in another part of the library, the Capilla Rosa within the National Palace, and this was closed for long-term refurbishment. Nonetheless, they were willing to open up the Capilla for me and for a couple of days I worked in glorious isolation, photographing all the pages that I wanted, watched by a minder from the Secretaría. I wish I could remember his name, and that of his boss, for a gesture that I doubt I would have received from any British or American institution.
At times Mexico had a vibrant press but during the revolution partiality, official or self-imposed censorship, and (in some areas) lack of paper, meant that, with the exception of Mexico City, newspapers were rare, and one had more chance of learning of the fortunes of the Allies on the Western Front than of any fighting nearer to home.
Incomplete (and increasingly fragile) collections of many local newspapers are in local archives, which means the avid researcher has to travel, but the Biblioteca Nacional holds the national collection and has put many titles online (http://www.hndm.unam.mx/index.php/es/)
As I result of my research I have built up sizeable files, sometimes up to a couple of hundred pages, recording the mention of paper currency in state, municipal or private archives, newspapers or Periódicos Oficiales. If you are interested in a particular archive, please contact me.