Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

Record Book of the Spanish Examining Board

Manuscript Collection: MC184

Collection Summary

Creator: New Spain. Real Tribunal del Protomedicato
Title: Record book of the Spanish Examining Board
Dates: 1688-1891
Abstract: This register, in Spanish, records the names and education of people seeking a license to provide medical care in New Spain during the years 1688 to 1691.
Identification: MC184
Quantity: 1 volume (18 p.)
Language: Materials are in Spanish.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the practice of medicine in Spain was regulated more closely than in any other European country at the time. The protomedicato, which first began as a royal institution, became a centralized system established to examine physicians and surgeons, midwives, bone setters, apothecaries, dealers in aromatic drugs, barbers, pharmacists and others in the medical field.

This structure and regulation over medical personnel was continued in New Spain, where all those who wished to be licensed had to appear in Mexico City. Applications which included educational background were submitted by candidates seeking a license to legally practice medicine in New Spain, which could only be done in the capital. As a result, there were only a small number of university trained practitioners who competed against a large number of "illegal" native healers.

Scope and Content Note

This Spanish record book comprising 18 pages appears to have been the official record book of the Senior Examining Board for all doctors, surgeons, pharmacists, barbers, herniotomists, and bone setters in New Spain. Each section is devoted to a different candidate with entries dating from 1688 to 1691.


Not applicable.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

New Spain. Real Tribunal del Protomedicato
Medical education--Mexico--17th century
Physicians--New Spain
New Spain

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], Record Book of the Spanish Examining Board, MC184, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Emil Hurja, June 1939.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2012.


Fields, Sherry. Pestilence and Headcolds: Encountering Illness in Colonial Mexico. Columbia University Press, 2008. 3 August 2012


box folder
145.4 1 Record Book 1688-1691