Wired Humanities Projects, University of Oregon
Virtual Mesoamerican Archive
Home Repositories Digitized Materials Websites & Articles Scholars Teaching Materials
About the VMA

Principal Investigators: Stephanie Wood and Judith Musick,
Wired Humanities Project, University of Oregon

The Virtual Mesoamerican Archive (VMA) is a portal site designed to offer students, faculty, and other serious learners an alternative to Google, which will produce more than a million and a half search results when, for example, the word "Aztec" is searched. Our intention is to help you gain quick and accurate search results, harvesting quality materials from the websites of collaborating institutions and individuals. This site is being built on a shoestring budget and is growing only gradually, so please forgive any typographical errors or omissions of obviously relevant material that might appear here, and if you would be interesting in helping to underwrite the project, please contact Stephanie Wood (swood@uoregon.edu).

The VMA includes images of three dimensional cultural heritage materials, photographs from ancient and historical settlements, and reproductions of manuscripts (see the Digitized Materials database). The VMA currently targets materials relating to the Mesoamerican cultures of the period 1800 B.C.E. through 1800 C.E. Thus, we include primary source materials that illuminate life for indigenous peoples in the region stretching from modern Mexico south to Honduras from formative times through the late Spanish-colonial period. See our Editorial Policy page for more information about our selection and harvesting methods.

The VMA also offers information about institutions (see Repositories) such as museums, libraries, and archives, that house the kinds of primary source materials that advance Mesoamerican studies. Finally, the VMA seeks to link users with selected scholars sites (see Scholars' Sites) that demonstrate an advanced analysis of primary materials. Our most numerous scholars' sites are online, full-text essay in PDF or HTML format, offered by journals and associations for free. We also include scholars' independently published studies, reference works, and searchable databases.

Some of our collaborating partners may request that we add a layer of password protection to their materials, and in such cases members will be given these passwords. The remainder of our content will be accessible password-free to the general public. Please see our Become a Member page for information about joining the VMA, whether to collaborate in provisioning us with access to your materials or to apply for our passwords.

The Virtual Mesoamerican Archive was conceived by Stephanie Wood and Judith Musick and constructed with the assistance of our staff at the Wired Humanities Project (WHP) at the University of Oregon. We gratefully acknowledge the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Vice-President for Research at the University of Oregon for their generous funding of the WHP, making this site possible. We especially appreciate the vision of Vice-President Richard Linton, who has recognized the need for a humanities computing center here at the University of Oregon. We would also like to express a special thank you to Ryan Clark, Ginny White, and William Henderson for their graphic designs, database construction, and web interface work, and to Ariel Vaughn, for her many hours of labor entering data and her careful attention to detail. Shannon Mudge, a former Graduate Research Fellow, provided considerable help in the expansion of the scholars database, as did our intern (2006-07), Alyssa Engelberg. Finally, we wish to acknowledge another talented intern, Kristin V. Landau, who compiled a very thoughtful list of contributions for our websites and articles database (2007-08).

Our designer, Ryan Clark, a former student, is currently available at ryan@ryanclarkdesign.com.



Advisory Board of the VMA

  • Aguilar, Manuel, Associate Professor of Art History, California State University, Los Angeles
  • Haskett, Robert, Professor of History, University of Oregon
  • Leibsohn, Dana, Professor of Art History, Smith College
  • Máynez Vidal, María del Pilar Isabel, Linguistics Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Smith, Michael E., Professor of Anthropology, School of Human Evolution & Social Change, Arizona State University
  • Musick, Judith, Director, Wired Humanities Project, University of Oregon
  • Smith, Michael
  • Wood, Stephanie, Associate Director, Wired Humanties Project, University of Oregon

If you are a scholar of Mesoamerican cultures and societies, whether pre-Columbian or colonial, and you might be interested in joining the advisory board, please bring this to the attention of Stephanie Wood, swood@uoregon.edu. We seek a diverse group of specialists with different temporal, cultural, thematic and disciplinary interests, whether living and working in modern Mesoamerica or in other parts of the world.



Praise for the VMA

"What a nicely conceived and executed project!"
Joel Skidmore, Mesoweb

"Te felicito por este esfuerzo que sin duda será muy útil e importante para todos los que estudiamos Mesoamérica."
T. Rojas Rabiela, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores (Mexico)

"...stunning and illustrious to say the least."
Citlalin Xochime, New Mexico State University

"...an excellent and very useful resource."
Angus McIntyre, Computer Programmer and Independent Consultant

"...a wonderful reference tool for Mesoamericanists!"
Gabrielle Vail, New College

"...great idea!!"
Matthew Restall, Pennsylvania State University

"It looks like it will be a great resource!"
Bryan R. Just, Tulane University

"I think the VMA is a terrific idea!"
Eileen M. Mulhare, Colgate University


For more information please contact: Stephanie Wood, swood@uoregon.edu, or tel. (541) 346-5771.