Skip to main content

¡Viva la Fiesta! Mexican Traditions of Celebration: Home

Bancroft Gallery Exhibit Oct. 2017 - Feb. 2018

¡Viva la Fiesta! Mexican Traditions of Celebration

¡Viva la Fiesta! explores the cycle of traditional religious and patriotic celebrations that have for centuries marked the Mexican calendar. The exhibition draws on unique historical representations of the fiestas and examines their relationship to communal identities, national politics, religious practices, and indigenous customs. These original materials, which are preserved in The Bancroft Library’s Latin Americana Collection and date from the sixteenth century to the present, include early baptismal records in Spanish and Nahuatl, images of Christmas pastorelas and posadas, sermons honoring local patron saints, and accounts of Marian devotions, such as the annual festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

¡Viva la fiesta! explora el ciclo de celebraciones tradicionales religiosas y patrióticas que por siglos han marcado al calendario mexicano. La exhibición se vale de representaciones históricas únicas de las fiestas y examina su relación con identidades comunales, políticas nacionales, prácticas religiosas y costumbres indígenas. Estos materiales originales, los cuales se preservan en la Colección latinoamericana de The Bancroft Library y datan desde el siglo dieciséis hasta el presente, incluyen libros bautismales en español y náhuatl, imágenes de las pastorelas y posadas navideñas, sermones en honor a santos patronos, y relatos sobre las devociones marianas, como la fiesta anual a Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Curator of Latin Americana

Visiting the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft Library is one of the treasures of the campus, and one of the world's great libraries for the history of the Bancroft Library interiorAmerican West and Mexico.

Some Bancroft materials are available online via Calisphere, which also includes primary sources from many other California libraries and museums. Bancroft also maintains additional digital resources.

Before you go:

  1. Be prepared! Read secondary sources and know something about your topic.
  2. Register as a researcher. Registration is free and takes just a few minutes using the Aeon online registration form to register in advance. For more information, see the Aeon guide.
  3. Search OskiCat to locate materials in Bancroft. You can use the pull-down menu in OskiCat to limit your search to the Bancroft Library only. (Remember that there are primary sources in many other campus libraries as well.)
    • It is recommended that you request your materials in advance of your visit and to submit your request at least one week prior to your visit to Bancroft.  You must have an Aeon account to request materials.  For more information please visit the Aeon guide.
    • If the OskiCat record mentions a finding aid (an index) to a manuscript collection, you should use it to help you find what you need in the collection.  If the finding aid is online, there will be a link from the OskiCat record. The finding aids that are not online are near the Registration Desk at the Bancroft Library. You can also search for Bancroft finding aids in the Online Archive of California.
  4. Before you go, plan your visit (and bring a quarter for lockers).

During your visit:

  1. Store your belongings in the lockers provided, located on the right-hand side of the east entrance. Pass the security guard station and proceed up one level by stairs or elevator to the Reading Room and Seminar Rooms (3rd floor).
  2. Check in at the Registration Desk, located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Reference Center.
  3. Go to the Circulation Desk, where you can pick up the materials you pre-ordered.  That is also where you will request additional materials during your visit. 
  4. For research-related questions, ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.

How to Get to the Bancroft Library

The Bancroft is open from 10am to 5pm Monday-Friday (closed on weekends and holidays; shorter hours during the summer and Intersession).  Paging ends 30 minutes before closing; this means that if you want to use Bancroft materials until 5pm, you need to arrive and request your materials at the circulation desk before 4:30pm.

The Bancroft Library is on the second floor of Doe, on the east side (the side closest to the Campanile). See a floor plan of Doe Library 2nd floor (pdf).

Copyright © 2014-2019 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License.