Employment History * Director of the Mexican Collection Sutro Library
* Associate Professor of History University of San Francisco
* Mexican History Teacher University of San Francisco
* Director colegio's library

Board Memberships and Affiliations
* Honorary Curator Sutro Library *
Professor Emeritus University of San Francisco

At the heart of W. Michael Mathes' lifelong work is an unmistakable conviction: Know your past, know your future.For 27 years, Mathes taught Mexican history at the University of San Francisco.His interest in the subject was piqued when he was a child living in Baja California."I lived two kilometers from the ruins of a Dominican mission built in 1775," said Mathes, now retired and living in Plainview."You can imagine what that does to you as a kid."Mathes not only mined Baja California's rich history for answers to questions about his immediate surroundings, he also wrote numerous books based on his research.Along the way, he amassed a collection of 45,000 books about New Spain, including rare Mexican colonial imprints published prior to 1821.Today, Mathes is considered one of this country's foremost experts in flushing out the paper trails that yield valuable information about northern Mexico's and Texas' ancestral roots.Mathes will be a featured speaker Sept. 9 at "Embracing the New Millennium," the 21st annual Texas Conference on Hispanic Genealogy and History sponsored by Corpus Christi's Spanish American Genealogical Association.

In addition to being professor emeritus of the University of San Francisco, Mathes is director of the Mexican collection at San Francisco's Sutro Library, a major U.S. genealogical library.Because of his published works and his service in international relations and communications between Mexico and the United States, the Mexican government awarded Mathes the Aguila Azteca medal in 1985, the highest honor that government gives to non-natives.

In 1995, Mathes donated his library of 45,000 titles to Mexico's El Colegio de Jalisco in Zapopan, Guadalajara, a collection of rare books estimated today at $12 million.

Mathes is director of the colegio's library named in his honor - Biblioteca Mathes.

Dr. Mathes was great!And his announcement of the original church record books for Camargo and Reynosa surfacing and available for grabs is wonderful news.

The adventure started when I received an e-mail from a man named Mike in Massachusetts, a documentary film producer working on a new exhibit for the American Family Immigration History Center, a new wing of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York.He was looking specifically for people of Latino/ Hispanic heritage who have made some good progress in their own family history.He had read online a short genealogical article that I had written for Somos Primos.He asked if he could call me about being the subject of a short documentary film about researching my family history. That phone call set in motion a three month series of e-mails and phone calls with Mike and with the film producer, Kate.

Mike and Kate consulted me about possible dates, places to film both here in California and in México City.

Book Review by Dr. W. Michael
www.molokane.org [cached] Book Review by Dr. W. Michael Mathes, Associate Professor of History at the University of San Francisco. The Journal of San Diego History , Spring 1972, Volume 18, Number 2.

California State Library Foundation www.cslfdn.org, 14 May 2006
Two hundred and seven pages in length and extensively illustrated, the publication features an extensive annotated bibliography by Dr. W. Michael Mathes of the Spanish language material held by the Sutro Library in San Francisco. Dr. Mathes is the Sutro Library's Honorary Curator of Mexicana and a highly acclaimed authority on the history of Mexico. His lucid commentary on the war and his descriptions of dozens of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers, and manuscripts represents the first detailed bibliography published in California to emphasize the Mexican side.