José Villegas Collection on Mining, ca. 1825 - 1983 (MSS 0758)

Extent: 6.6 Linear feet (9 archives boxes, 2 flat boxes, and 1 map case folder)

View OnlineA selection of manuscripts and images from this collection have been digitized. Content may be viewed by clicking on links in the container list, or on the Library's Digital Collections website.

Papers of José A. Villegas, a scholar and lecturer specializing in technological development in Latin America. The collection includes Villegas's research materials on 18th and 19th century mining technologies; original and reproduced mine illustrations, sections, and maps; and original documents, primarily correspondence, related to the Mexican mining complexes Real del Monte, Bolaños, Fresnillo, and the Spanish mines of Almadén.

José Alberto Villegas Mendoza (1924 - ) has held various academic and government positions during a career spanning more than 50 years of international teaching, research, consulting, and service. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Villegas moved to Argentina while still young and graduated from the Universidad del Salvador (Buenos Aires) in 1952. He soon published several articles in Estudios Centroamericanos and Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos, moved to New York, and attended Columbia University and Fordham University. Villegas then worked on urban, housing, and environmental issues for the New York City Planning Commission, the LaGuardia Community Project, the Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United Nations (international housing consultant in Mogadishu, Somalia), the Agency for International Development (Ciudad Techo project in Bogotá, Columbia), and Cornell University (holding a faculty position in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis during the late 1960s). His teaching work with urban simulation games at Cornell was profiled in Alvin Toffler's Future Shock (1970), and Toffler later acknowledged Villegas for help in the preparation of the Spanish edition of the same book. During this period Villegas served as a Ford Foundation consultant in Brazil, teaching a seminar course on "Science and Technological Development in Latin America and World Politics" at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, a class that he later hosted at Columbia University.

Villegas worked during the early 1970s at the UNESCO Department of Social Sciences in Paris, and while in Europe the seeds of his 10-year research project on national competition, industrial innovation, technology transfer, and the Mexican mining industry were planted. He began in earnest with a one-year research residency in Spain, primarily at the Archives of the Indies (AGI) in Seville, acquiring copies of original texts and drawings relating to colonial-era mining in Spain, Mexico, and Peru. Villegas then enrolled in the graduate history program at the University of Pittsburgh and continued collecting original and published materials at archives and libraries in Mexico, England, Germany, France, and the United States for a proposed dissertation on "The technological transfer of the steam engine in the Mexican mining industry, 1750-1850" (under the direction of Robert Colodny). In the 1980s he moved to San Diego and was a frequent guest scholar on Latin American studies at UC San Diego.

Papers of José A. Villegas, a scholar and lecturer specializing in technological development in Latin America. The collection includes Villegas's research materials on 18th and 19th century mining technologies; original and reproduced mine illustrations, sections, and maps; and original documents, primarily correspondence, related to the Mexican mining complexes Real del Monte, Bolaños, Fresnillo, and the Spanish mines of Almadén. Many of the reproductions are photographic copies of archival documents from the Archivos General de Indias (AGI), in Seville, Spain. The bulk of the collection is in Spanish, with some documents in English.

Arranged in six series: 1) RESEARCH MATERIALS, 2) MINING ILLUSTRATIONS, 3) REAL DEL MONTE MINING COMPLEX, 4) BOLAÑOS MINING COMPLEX, 5) FRESNILLO MINE, and 6) ALMADÉN MINE.

Container List

RESEARCH MATERIALS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) RESEARCH MATERIALS, 1975-1990: Original writings by Villegas, including dissertation proposals and chapter drafts, a conference paper, a workshop proposal, research notes and bibliography. Arranged chronologically.

Box: 1 Folder: 1
"La Transferencia Científica y Tecnológica en Hispanoamérica" - Outline of thesis, 1975 December 12

In Spanish.

Box: 1 Folder: 2
"The History of the Transfer of Mining Technology" - Research proposal, 1977 November
Box: 1 Folder: 3
Research bibliography and notes for Library of Congress, 1978 July
Box: 1 Folder: 4
Thesis plan and summary of overview meeting, 1978 November
Box: 1 Folder: 5
"La Tecnología y la Minería Mexicana" - Analysis of technological processes at the Bolaños mine, 1978 December

In Spanish.

Box: 1 Folder: 6
Research bibliography and notes for Archivo General de Indias (AGI), ca. 1980

Bibliography of AGI reproductions and maps in Series 2.

Box: 1 Folder: 7
Research project and teaching proposal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Guanajuato, 1980 November 11

In Spanish.

Box: 1 Folder: 8
Progress report draft on methodology, 1981 February 23
Box: 1 Folder: 9
Mellon Fellowship work plan and supporting documents, 1981-1982
Box: 1 Folder: 10
"A Historical Model of Technological Transfer in the Mexican Mines" - Conference paper, 1982 March 3-6

Presented at the 10th national meeting of the Latin American Studies Association.

Box: 1 Folder: 11
Mellon Foundation Research progress report, 1982-1983
Box: 1 Folder: 12
"The Technological Transfer of the Steam Engine" - Thesis plan, 1986 December
Box: 1 Folder: 13
Research notes, ca. 1986
Box: 1 Folder: 14-15
Thesis draft for chapters 3-4, undated

"The Introduction of the Steam Engine..." and "The Almadén Mining School..."

Box: 1 Folder: 16
Propuesta de seminario, "Geopolítica del Debate sobre la Decadencia", 1988 June

In Spanish.

Box: 1 Folder: 17
Correspondence, 1980-1981, 1990

MINING ILLUSTRATIONS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) MINING ILLUSTRATIONS, 1730-1975. Arranged in two subseries: A) AGI Reproductions, and 2) Miscellaneous Reproductions and Maps. Index numbers correlate to Villegas's own inventory record of the original locations of documents from two major collections, Mapas y Planos and Ingenios y Muestras, and have been recorded for cross-referencing.

A) AGI Reproductions: Copies of documents from the Archivo General de Indias (AGI) in Seville, Spain. Items are primarily photographic prints of unidentified mine sections, along with some photocopied text.

B) Miscellaneous Reproductions and Maps: Research materials collected by Villegas, including photographs, a blueprint, schematics of mining machinery, and some oversized maps of mining regions and complexes in central Mexico.

Reproductions from AGI

Box: 2 Folder: 1
AGI reproductions inventory by Villegas, 1973 March 17

Handwritten inventory of materials from MyP and IyM, primarily numbers 23-196.

Box: 2 Folder: 2-4
Mine sections, affidavits, correspondence, 1747-1788, and undated

49 MyP photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 4-6, 8-11, 14-20.

Box: 2 Folder: 5-8
Mine sections, operations descriptions, 1648-1807, and undated

46 MyP, IyM photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 21-24, 27-30, 32, 37A, 37B, 41, 42, 46, 47, 50, 51, 53-55, 58, 59.

Box: 2 Folder: 9
Mine sections, maps, affidavit, 1765, 1791, 1797, and undated

13 MyP photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 60- 65.

Box: 2 Folder: 10-12
Mine sections, operations descriptions, 1783-1807, and undated

22 MyP photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 66-72, 74, 78, 84-86.

Box: 2 Folder: 13-14
Mine sections, maps, correspondence, ca. 1730-1749, and undated

28 MyP photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 96-98B, 101-104, 109.

Box: 2 Folder: 15-16
Mine sections, operations descriptions, correspondence, 1780-1838

13 MyP, IyM photographic prints, photocopied text. Index numbers 124, 126-129, 134, 187, 190, 196, 232.

Miscellaneous reproductions and maps

Box: 3 Folder: 1
Mine section, undated

Photocopied illustration.

Box: 3 Folder: 2
Photographs of Perran Foundry (Cornwall) steam engines and schematics, 1815-1820, 1936

22 photographic prints, 1 postcard.

Box: 3 Folder: 3
Schematic for Cornish pumping engine, undated

Original drawing, 19x33", unknown creator (No. 232).

Box: 3 Folder: 4
Photographs of electric power pumps, Knowles Co., undated

1 photographic print, 7 paper reproductions.

Box: 3 Folder: 5
Blueprint of electric pump, Knowles Steam Pump Works (B-790), 1894 October 13

Original drawing, 20x26.5".

Box: 3 Folder: 6
Photographs of Cornwall mines, 1896

Five prints mounted on board.

Box: 3 Folder: 7
Iron patterns and price list form, Coalbrookdale Company, 1847 May 30
Oversize: MC-028-01
"Plan Section of Rincón Grande Mine," Waterlow & Sons, London (C. y D.), 1847 March 18
Box: 3 Folder: 8
Postcards of mine equipment and themes, undated
Box: 3 Folder: 9
Photographs of unidentified Mexican mine, undated

18 photographic prints, 2 slides, 1 negative.

Box: 3 Folder: 10
Photographs of mines in Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand, undated

Four prints mounded on board.

Oversize: MC-028-01
Reproduction of February 1857 map of Guanajuato and some of its mines, 1973

In Spanish.

Oversize: MC-028-01
Reproduction of 1750 Guanajuato River map, 1975

In Spanish.

REAL DEL MONTE MINING COMPLEX

Scope and Content of Series

Series 3) REAL DEL MONTE MINING COMPLEX, 1825-1907: Original documents gathered by Villegas in the course of his research on this Hidalgo, Mexico mine, with a small number of reproductions. The Real del Monte mining company, a British mining venture during the mid-1800s, was sold in 1849 when the company's losses reached five million pounds; Mexican purchasers, however, were able to produce a profit in ensuing years. Arranged in three subseries: A) Mining Operations, B) Correspondence, and C) Harvey & Company and Other Documents.

A) Mining Operations: Financial records, operations descriptions, legal agreements, maps, and photographs.

B) Correspondence: Original archival documents. The series includes letters written by the mine commissioners James Vetch, Charles Tindall, John Rule, along with other managers; and letters from mining supply companies drafted on formal letterhead stationery.

C) Harvey & Company and Other Documents: Original correspondence, financial records, and contracts exchanged with the notable Hayle Foundry in Cornwall, England.

Mining Operations

Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 1
Financial records - Records of expenditures, abstracts, and returns, 1829-1832

Some documents in this folder have been digitized.

Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 2
Financial records - Records of expenditures, abstracts, and returns, 1829-1832
Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 3
Invoices for goods shipped from London to Veracruz, 1838-1856

Some documents in this folder have been digitized.

Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 4
Records of disbursements and statements of sundries, 1839-1851
Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 5
Accounts for Haciendas San Miguel and Santa Maria Regla, 1855-1862
Box: 3 Folder: 11
Inventory and cost report, 1856, 1890-1892

Some AGI reproductions.

Box: 3 Folder: 12
Regulations and operations description, 1854-1857, 1869, 1885

Some AGI reproductions.

Box: 3 Folder: 13
Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 6
Maps, 1889
Box: 3 Folder: 14
Photographic prints, 1894 and undated

All items in this folder have been digitized.

Box: 3 Folder: 15
Photographic prints, 1894 and undated

Some items in this folder have been digitized.

Box: 3 Folder: 16

Correspondence

Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 7
1825

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner James Vetch.

Box: 4 Folder: 1-4
1825-1873

Documents in Box 4, Folder 2 have been digitized.

Oversize: FB-184 Folder: 8-9
1827-1828

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner Charles Tindall.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 5
1828-1829

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner Charles Tindall. Some documents in this folder have been digitized.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 6
1828-1829
Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 7
1829-1831

Includes correspondence by Henry Lorck.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 8-10
1829-1833

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner Charles Tindall.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 11-13
1834-1841

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner John Rule.

Box: 4 Folder: 5-8
1842-1848

Includes correspondence by mine commissioner John Rule.

Box: 4 Folder: 9
1849
Box: 4 Folder: 10
Box: 4 Folder: 11-13
1850-1852
Box: 4 Folder: 14
Box: 4 Folder: 15-16
1853-1854
Box: 5 Folder: 1-5
1855-1867

Documents in Box 5, Folders 3 and 4 have been digitized.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 14
1864-1865

Includes internal correspondence.

Box: 5 Folder: 6-9
1873-1877

Includes correspondence by William Stoneman.

Box: 5 Folder: 10
Box: 6 Folder: 1
1873-1874
Box: 6 Folder: 2
1875-1877
Box: 6 Folder: 3
1872-1875

Includes correspondence by Oetling Gebrüder (from Hamburg to Pachuca).

Box: 6 Folder: 4-6
1878-1885

Includes 3 maps and letters from the Smithsonian Institution. Documents in Box 6, Folder 6 have been digitized.

Box: 6 Folder: 7
1882-1886

Includes correspondence by Oetling Gebrüder (from Hamburg to Pachuca).

Box: 6 Folder: 8-10
1885-1887

Includes correspondence by Rodolfo Muñoz.

Box: 6 Folder: 11-12
1887-1888

Includes correspondence by Oetling Gebrüder (from Hamburg to Pachuca).

Box: 7 Folder: 1-3
1888-1890

Includes correspondence by Rodolfo Muñoz.

Box: 7 Folder: 4-6
1890-1899

Documents in Box 7, Folders 4 and 5 have been digitized.

Box: 7 Folder: 7-9
1900-1907

Includes correspondence from mining supplies companies on formal letterhead.

Harvey & Company and Other Documents

Box: 7 Folder: 10-15
Correspondence, 1829-1902

Includes one folder of correspondence primarily by John Phillips.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 15
1845-1846
Box: 8 Folder: 1
1845, 1850-1851, 1857

Includes financial records and contract.

BOLAÑOS MINING COMPLEX

Scope and Content of Series

Series 4) BOLAÑOS MINING COMPLEX, 1826-1828: Includes two maps, operations reports, and original correspondence from a group of Mexican mines. Arranged chronologically.

Box: 8 Folder: 3
Plan of the town and mines sections of El Barranco and Cocina mines, 1826 October 14

Reproduction of plan surveyed by mine commissioner, captain James Vetch.

Box: 8 Folder: 4
Map of El Barranco and Cocina mine sections, undated

Reproduction "copied from an old Mexican plan."

Box: 8 Folder: 5-6
Report, Vol. 1, 1827-1833

Bear Creek Mining Company, Tucson, Arizona.

Box: 8 Folder: 7-8
Report, Vol. 2A, 1834-1839

Bear Creek Mining Company, Tucson, Arizona.

Box: 8 Folder: 9
Report, Vol. 2B, 1840-1845

Bear Creek Mining Company, Tucson, Arizona.

Oversize: FB-142 Folder: 16
Correspondence, 1828

Includes correspondence by Damian Floresi.

FRESNILLO MINE

Scope and Content of Series

Series 5) FRESNILLO MINE: Includes financial reports, schematics of machinery, maps (including an oversized map of the mine site in Zacatecas, Mexico), articles on the operations of the mine, and some photographic prints. Materials are a mix of original documents and reproductions, arranged chronologically.

Box: 9 Folder: 1
Financial reports, 1835-1849

Reproductions provided by Eng. Justo Wong S., employee of Fresnillo Mine.

Box: 9 Folder: 2
Schematics of machinery and map of Zacatecas mines, 1860

Reproductions from los Anales Mexicanos (U.T. G2, G.506, Rn 13).

Box: 9 Folder: 3
Articles on mining operations, with Spanish translation and illustrations, 1923, 1942, 1985

Includes some original documents.

Oversize: MC-028-01
Map of mining areas, undated

Anglo Mexican Mining Co. and United Mexican Mining Co.

Box: 9 Folder: 4
Photographic prints, undated

Seven prints of various sizes.

ALMADÉN MINE

Scope and Content of Series

Series 6) ALMADÉN MINE: Operations reports, financial statements, correspondence, illustrations of mine sections and some photographic prints relating to this Ciudad Real, Spain, mine. All materials are reproductions of originals from the AGI, or other Spanish archives.

Box: 9 Folder: 5-7
Operations report, shipping manifest, and financial statements, 1783-1799

AGI reproductions; includes memoir by Agustín de Betancourt y Molina.

Box: 9 Folder: 8
Invoices, 1849-1852

Reproductions from the Archivo Histórico Nacional (Spain), annotated by Villegas.

Box: 9 Folder: 9-13
Correspondence and financial statem ents, 1787-1793

AGI reproductions; includes food expenses, annotated by Villegas.

Box: 9 Folder: 14
Diary entries by the governor of Juancavelica on his stay in Almadén, 1806 January 21

AGI transcription of the original manuscript (Audiencia de Lima, Legajo 778).

Box: 9 Folder: 15
Illustrations of a transversal view of the mine, 1842 November

Reproductions, Laboreo de Minas, Lamina V.

Box: 9 Folder: 16
Photographic prints, undated

Six black and white prints, AGI reproductions (unlabeled).