From the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries, the Spanish Crown sponsored missions staffed by members of different Catholic missionary orders to evangelize the indigenous populations, and engage in social engineering in line with royal policy. The missionaries directed the construction of building complexes that included churches, leaving behind an important historical and architectural legacy. This visual catalog documents the surviving complexes on selected missions on the frontiers of Spanish America in what today is Mexico and parts of South America. It also presents basic historical data on the mission communities, including demographic data, and documents damage to early mission buildings by the earthquakes of September 7 and September 19, 2018.
Robert H. Jackson received his doctorate in 1988 from the University of California, Berkeley with a specialization in Latin American History. His research interests include liberalism and land tenure in the Andean region, historical demography, the colonial caste system in Spanish America, and missions on the frontiers of Spanish America and central Mexico. His most recent books include Conflict and Conversion in Sixteenth Century Central Mexico: The Augustinian War on and Beyond the Chichimeca Frontier (2013), Visualizing the Miraculous, Visualizing the Sacred: Evangelization and the "Cultural War" in Sixteenth Century Mexico (2014), Demographic Change and Ethnic Survival Among The Sedentary Populations On The Jesuit Mission Frontiers of Spanish South America, 1609-1803: The Formation and Persistence of Mission Communities in a Comparative Context (2015), and A Visual Catalog of Sixteenth Century Central Mexican Doctrinas (2016) written with Fernando Esparragoza Amador.