Restoring the Visual Record of Mesoamerican and Spanish Colonial Cultures: Hidden Artifacts, Rare Books, and Photography Collections at Cal State LA and the USC Libraries.
This three-year collaborative project between the University of Southern California (USC) and California State University Los Angeles (Cal State LA) includes materials from unique collections of Mesoamerican, indigenous, and Spanish colonial artifacts, rare books, photographs, and slides. Only the USC materials are included at this Website. The USC materials come from the Verle and Elizabeth Annis Papers and the Payne B. Johnson Latin American photographs collection. The Verle Annis and Payne Johnson collections preserve their original order. All photographs are organized by archaeological sites and locations. Descriptive information is recorded on cards in the Annis collection, and the 18 sites for each group of slides in the Johnson collection are clearly identified. Payne Johnson retraced journeys by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood, who documented Chichen Itza, Copan, Labna, and other Maya sites in the 1840s. Johnson's photographs from the 1960s-1990s are an invaluable resource for reconstructing changes to these Maya sites after Catherwood’s illustrations and photographs by Annis in the 1930s-1950s. Annis' images preserve architectural features, inscriptions, and sculptural details lost prior to studies by later archaeologists and conservators, and the rise of tourism.
Visit [WEBSITE COMING SOON] to view the Cal State LA materials.
These valuable and rarely seen objects highlight the rich histories and diverse cultural heritage of Mexico and the Central American Isthmus, and the profound contributions to art, science, architecture, and language by the Maya, Toltec, Aztecs, and Shaft Tomb cultures, among other indigenous peoples. They also reveal Spanish colonial influences on cultures and the built environment.