Biblioteca Palafoxiana (Palafoxian Library) [Puebla, Puebla] #WeVisitMexico #MexMonday

As a child, I was a bookworm. I learned library science because I wanted to learn how to classify books and have my own library. I know how to calculate a Cutter number, I know the Congress classification scheme and I am fluent in Dewey classification too. I actually classified properly my Dad’s 10,000 volume library (he was perhaps not that happy with me, but he enabled me nonetheless). So, visiting the Biblioteca Palafoxiana (Palafoxian Library) in Puebla, Puebla, during my recent media trip with the #WeVisitMexico crew was like a dream come true.

Estantes de la Palafoxiana

Photo credit: David Cabrera

From its UNESCO page, I gathered that The Palafoxiana Library of Puebla (Biblioteca Palafoxiana) has 41 thousand books and unique manuscripts; part of a selected bibliographical collection extending from 1473 to 1821 (19,172 records).

The Biblioteca Palafoxiana, founded in 1646, is the first public library in America and faithfully conserves its tradition of intellectual and cultural European heritage. The library seeks a true link with the society that saw its establishment and to be integrated in the universe of information that similar institutions offer in other parts of the world by means of the use of the most modern communication techniques like the Internet ( and the multimedia technology. The Biblioteca Palafoxiana is an open library for knowledge. The Biblioteca Palafoxiana of Puebla is noted for its authenticity and bibliographical wealth, building and bookcases, with more than 41,000 volumes among those that the library preserves as well as world unique manuscripts, there are 9 incunabula. It has a unique wealth that has yet to be determined by the world scientific community. As it is still located in the same building since 1646 it is the only existing testimony in America.

I was really disappointed that we were not able to take photographs inside (we had to take them from afar, and I didn’t have a DSLR with me, so my own photos were pretty bad). However, we were able to browse throughout the Biblioteca Palafoxiana. As a scholar of political science, geography and international relations, it was great to find an entire section dedicated to these fields (though, obviously because of the fact that Puebla has so many churches, we found LOTS of volumes that were dedicated to the Church’s writings).

Despite not being able to take photographs inside (not surprisingly though because I’m sure they want to ensure they can preserve the collection), the Biblioteca Palafoxiana is totally worth the visit. Even more so if you are a bookworm, like me. Glad we paid it a visit! I’ll have to come back again sometime soon.

Disclosure: My trip to Puebla, sponsored by the Mexico Tourism Board, includes transportation, activities and meals. However, my posts are written in my own words and everything I write is entirely my own opinions. Any out-of-pocket expenses are paid out of my own dime. As always, anything that I post on my site is entirely my responsibility and I retain full editorial control.

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Comments (1)

Katherine BurnettJuly 16th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Stunning! I adore books and libraries, and I would absolutely love to be able to visit this library. I’m jealous that you got to visit such a beautiful and historic site.

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