Seventeenth- through Nineteenth-Century Mexican Convent Records
Convento de Santa Clara de la villa de Carrion (Puebla, Mexico).
Libro de decretos y patent[e]s, de los prelados deste conv[en]to de N[uest]ra Madre S[an]ta Clara de la V[ill]a de Carrion.
Carrion, Puebla, Mexico, 1690–1858; primarily 1700–70.
Manuscript on paper. (BRMS 164)
A compilation of documents concerning the Convento de Santa Clara in Puebla, Mexico, this volume records more than 150 years of the institution’s history. Spanning the years 1690–1858, with the majority of the documents from the colonial period, included are copies of papal and royal grants to the nunnery, additional papal and royal documents, and numerous letters from the nuns’ clerical overseers, all of whom were men. These administrators’ letters document managerial issues such as the organization and mechanics of the convent as well as moral concerns including the religious responsibilities and obligations of the nuns. In various missives composed over numerous decades, convent life and the relationship of the nuns to the world outside the nunnery are explored in detail.
In addition to the written content, the physical features of the volume are also worth noting. Created in the 1690s as a large blank book, the convent overseer envisioned many more documents than those eventually included. Only half of the nearly three hundred leaves have writing. An index with alphabetical tabs was also created in the beginning of the volume, although no entries were ever inserted. Bound in a typical colonial Mexican limp vellum binding, additional materials were originally attached to the covers in order to enclose, preserve, and secure the contents.