Monday, April 20, 2009

A Testerian Catechism

Testerian Catechism c.1524

In the early period of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, before religious instructors had learned the languages of the indigenous peoples, they used pictorial stories describing basic teachings to spread the Christian Gospel. These catechisms were called Testerians, after Father Jacobo de Testera, a Franciscan priest who pioneered this method of teaching.

This is one of the "exhibits" in a new website sponsored by the Library of Congress and UNESCO entitled The World Digital Library (WDL)

The purpose of the site is to make available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.

The WDL was developed by a team at the U.S. Library of Congress, with contributions by partner institutions in many countries; the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); and the financial support of a number of companies and private foundations