About the Pan American Institute of Geography and History

The Pan American Institute for Geography and History was set up on February 7th, 1928, at the VI International Conference of Ministers from American States held in Havana, Cuba.

Upon the request of the representatives of the Mexican government, the central office was established in Mexico City, as President Pascual Ortiz Rubio, through a decree dated May 3rd 1930, placed at the disposal of the American nations a building at N° 29 in Ex Arzobispado street in the “Colonia Observatorio” neighbourhood. In 1949, a year after the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) was signed at a Conference in Bogota, the Institute signed an agreement with the Council of the OAS and became the first specialized organization attached to the latter. This agreement was modified and signed in the city of Washington, USA on May the 6th, 1974.

Since it was founded, the Pan American Institute for Geography and History has directly supported and contributed to progress in the sciences within its scope of action.

Outstanding researchers and scientists, also leading figures from the state structures of the member countries, have been important protagonists in the process of this institution’s evolution since its birth.

Many years have passed and, without doubt, the relevance and strategic importance of the Institute has been maintained and consolidated, based on recognition given to its fundamental mission.

The PAIGH maintains links with many different organizations associated with the research areas of the PAIGH, through which contributions are made to the Member States. Among others, there are: ICA, GSDI, PNUMA, EoE, FIG, IHO, GEO, CAF, UN:GGIM, UN:GGIM Americas, SIRGAS, IAG, ISPRS and EUROGEOGRAPHICS. There are also the PSMA (Australia), CNIG-IGN (Spain), UTEM (Chile), and other specialized entities in the Member States.

The Institute has a store of bibliographic material called the "Jose Toribio Medina" collection, containing more than 231,000 volumes and currently held in the "Bonfil Batalla" library at the National Anthropology and History School (ENAH). Moreover, its cartographic assets and heritage are held at the "Manuel Orozco y Berra" map library managed by the Agriculture and Fisheries Information Service (SIAP) of Mexico, constituted by more than 150,000 cartographic documents, of which 53,000 belong to the PAIGH map collection.

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