Between 1578 and 1584, various Spanish officials were asked to supply a survey of territories throughout Mexico. They used a standard list of questions which asked about local histories, resources, and the geography of a given area. Many of the documents for Mexico were compiled and published in a series of volumes by Francisco del Paso y Troncoso in 1905. A more recent series edited by René Acuña was published by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1986.
Also known as Historia Universal de las cosas de Nueva España. Written by Fray Bernadino Sahagún in the a 16th century, the codex is a 12-volume encyclopedic text documenting the cultural practices and belief systems of indigenous Mexicans. It was written in both Spanish and Nahuatl and has been cited by scholars as the most comprehensive "ethnography" of indigenous lifeways prior to the Spanish conquest. The English translation by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble is called the "General history of the things of New Spain." Sahagún discusses the New Fire Ceremony in Book Seven called "The sun, moon, and stars, and the binding of the years."