New guide to papers of historian Friedrich Katz
The Friedrich Katz Papers are now open for research. Friedrich Katz (1927- 2010) was an historian of Mexico. He was a Professor of History at the University of Chicago from 1971 until his death in 2010. He was born in Vienna and spent time in Mexico as a refugee during the 1940s, which inspired his interest in the country’s history.
Katz's early work focused on indigenous civilizations, while he later transitioned to studying the revolutionary era, peasant movements, and Francisco “Pancho” Villa, always with an effort toward understanding Mexican history in an international context. He is perhaps best known for his book “The Life and Times of Pancho Villa,” which was the product of decades of research and won numerous awards for writing in Latin American history.
In 1988 he was awarded the Orden Mexicana del Águila Azteca, the highest honor that the Mexican government awards to non-citizens. In 2004, the University of Chicago’s Katz Center for Mexican Studies was named in his honor.
The largest portion of the collection consists of Katz’s copies of archival documents, books, and articles, which he gathered over more than forty years of research at institutions throughout the Americas and Europe. The collection also includes correspondence, research notes, writings by and on Katz, and a smaller amount of personal, teaching, and conference material.