Missions Data Bases Information

Mission Initiative Metadata Base Record Search

The record search feature is the first phase in developing a single-portal, comprehensive data base for southwest United States and Mexican missions. This data base will eventually produce a comprehensive inventory of mission sites and related documents and records in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California by means of a metadata protocol to map and connect data on mission sites that already exists in diverse databases. 

Over time, various agencies and institutions have developed internal data bases to organize information important and relevant to those units. The primary data resources reside in the Arizona State Museum (AZSITES, DRSW); National Park Service (Tumacácori NHP, Spanish Colonial Research Center, Pecos NHP, Salinas Pueblo Missions NHS, San Antonio Missions NHP); and, Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Historica (INAH). International resources also include the Mexico North network and State governments in Coahuila, Nueva Leon, Tamalipas, Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja del Norte. Independent resources are found at Cornerstones Community Partnerships in Santa Fe, and the California Missions Studies Association.

The first phase consists of a key-word finding aid to documents in the Spanish Colonial Research Center, a partnership between the National Park Service and the University of New Mexico. The center has accumulated over 85,000 pages of microfilmed Spanish colonial documents and approximately 4,500 maps, architectural plans, and sketches of North America from Spanish and Mexican archives. Additionally, the Center has compiled computerized indices of its collections and prepares transcriptions and translations to form its research sources. This record search provides access to the titles of these documents and various descriptors, such as author, place and year of publication, and key place and people names within the document.

The Center is housed at the University of New Mexico: Spanish Colonial Research Center, Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131

Additional Data Bases Linked to the Metadata Project

National Park Service Mission 2000 (Tumacácori National Historical Park, Tubac, Arizona)

Tumacácori National Historical Parkprovides a searchable database of Spanish mission records of the Pimería Alta (southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico) containing baptisms, marriages, and burials from the late seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. http://home.nps.gov/applications/tuma/search.cfm Names of persons associated with each event (i.e., priest, baptized, parents, godparents, husband, wife, witnesses, deceased, etc.) and personal information about each person are included. The ethnicity of names include O’odham, Yaqui, Apache, Seri, Opata, Yuma, Mexican, Spanish, Basque, Catalán, Gallego, Andalusian, Valencian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Bohemian, Italian, and others. Mission 2000 is an on-going project taken from the original mission records and contains over 8090 events and 22,031 names of people and their known personal information. A majority of the present information comes from the Guevavi, Tumacácori, Cocóspera and Suamca Mission registers and the Tubac Presidio register. More information in the future will be included from Arizpe, Átil, Bisanig, Caborca, Cieneguilla, Cucurpe, Cocóspera, Horcasitas, Magdalena, Oquitoa, Pitiquito, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, Tubutama, and Ures.

Another Data Base of Interest

Documentary Relations of the Southwest and Biofile (Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona)

Documentary Relations of the Southwest (DRSW) provides the research tools and finding aids to the written record that began with the arrival of the Spanish explorers in the 1530's. The 1,500 microfilm reels of documents, many of them collected by the Jesuit Historical Institute, include the diaries of explorers and reports of missionaries and soldiers. They date from the first written accounts of contact with indigenous peoples in the 16th Century to the Mexican declaration of independence from Spain in 1821. The place names, architecture, food, and many of the Southwestern cultures have their origin in the history of this region. The 'Southwest' in this case covers Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and northern Mexico: all of what was northern New Spain.

The DRSW Master Index and most of the documents cataloged in the index are housed at the Office of Ethnohistorical Research at the Arizona State Museum and that the Master Index is directly accessible online at www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/oer In addition to the approximate 8,000 secondary works on history, anthropology, and ecology of the region, the Ethnohistorical Research Office is host to the DRSW Master Index, a computerized index to over 17,000 document clusters dating from the 1540s through the 1820s. It contains an estimated 500,000 pages of microfilmed and digitized hand-written material. The documents were microfilmed or digitally copied at dozens of archives in Mexico and Europe -- 31 archives are coded in the Index. 

The DRSW Master Index includes a précis for each document cluster. It is searchable by a variety of fields: Persons, Places, Ethnic Groups, Military Groups, etc., and it's considered to be a premiere on-line source for Spanish Colonial history.