San Bartolo Soyaltepec, Oaxaca

The municipality of San Bartolo Soyaltepec, located in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca, with the support of the Alfredo Harp Helú Oaxaca Foundation, and with the collaboration of ADABI of México AC, decided in 2013 to attend to its documentary collection--its municipal and ecclesiastical archives and library--which contained two copies of sixteenth century musical texts printed in New Spain: a Graduale Dominicale and a Graduale Sanctorale.

Between 2013 and 2015, ADABI restored the two Graduales, and in the same year, these were exhibited at the San Pablo Cultural Center in Oaxaca. They were returned to the community to be under the curation of a neighborhood council that was formed to care for the neighborhood’s bibliographic and documentary heritage. The recently-restored sacristy was transformed to become the headquarters for the collections.

The historical archive of the temple comprises documentation on the confraternities associated with the Catholic temple from the 18th to the 20th century, a small musical collection, and the library contains nine imprints on liturgical and sacramental themes, in which the two Graduales are included, accompanied by an exhibition that describes the importance and history of these two most outstanding examples, donated by the Juan de Córdova Research Library (BIJC), an institution that advises them.

The archive is available for consultation by appointment and approval of the Neighborhood Council chairperson. In addition to the rarity of its Graduales, this is one of the few examples of documentary and bibliographic heritage organization and conservation led and funded by a small municipality, with the support of the BIJC.

Contact: San Bartolo Soyaltepec Neighborhood Council