Through these pages, visitors will experience colonial Mexico’s religious and political life, early national political discourse and battles for independence, as well as nineteenth century political discord and foreign invasion. The Escárcega family library was built largely by Gildardo G. H. Morales Díaz of Apetatitlán, Tlaxcala, Mexico [b. 1899 — d. 1987]. It was in Puebla, during the Mexican revolution, that the family lost everything, land and home. The violence of the revolution transformed the young Gildardo and is what led him to dedicate a large part of his life to study and understand the history of Mexico. The family left Puebla and moved to Mexico City with a few belongings and some books. These were the seeds of Mr. Morales’ collection. He started collecting books on the history of Mexico in the early 1920s, building his library over his lifetime by adding to it important manuscripts and broadsides. During his lifetime, Mr. Morales took care of his library with great passion. The exlibris in his books reads, “Verba volant scripta manent,” loosely translated as, “the word flies, the written is permanent.” Mr. Morales was a self-taught bibliophile and was a founding member of the Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia.
After his death, his daughter, Lorenia Morales Rodriguez Escárcega, who earned a Ph.D in history, cared for the library. Since his daughter's death, in 2002, it was cared for by one of her sons, the executor of the collection, Alejandro Escárcega Morales. Alejandro and his five siblings, Miguel, Carlos, Rocío, Patricia, and Lorenia were charged with caring for the collection.
The collection included nearly 2,800 books, 80 documents (broadsides and manuscripts), and about 10 photographs. The collection is named the Morales de Escárcega Collection, in tribute to Mr. Morales and his daughter Lorenia, both of whom cared for the collection during their lifetimes.