María Victoria Fernández is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin completing a dual-master’s degree in Latin American Studies and Information Studies. She is interested in archives and special collections librarianship with a focus on Latin American cultural heritage materials and is currently working at the Benson Latin American Collection as a Digital Scholarship Graduate Research Assistant. María Victoria is specifically working on the Reading the First Books: Multilingual, Early-Modern OCR for Primeros Libros project, an NEH-funded digital humanities initiative developing computational tools for the automatic transcription of books printed in the Spanish Americas before 1601 found in the Primeros Libros de las Américas collection. Through her work on this project, she has merged her academic interests in history of the book, digital humanities, sixteenth-century Latin American history, and indigenous studies.
Prior to this position, María Victoria was a Reference Services Graduate Research Assistant at the Harry Ransom Center and completed an internship in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division of the Benson Latin American Collection as an SAA/ARL Mosaic Fellow. She has also interned at the Library of Congress Hispanic Division as an editorial assistant for the Handbook of Latin American Studies.
María Victoria holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Latin American Studies from Dartmouth College. During her time at Dartmouth, she worked at Rauner Special Collections Library as an archives student assistant and Edward Connery Lathem ’51 Special Collections Fellow, processing archival collections, conducting a born-digital materials survey, and assisting the library’s education and outreach program design and facilitate undergraduate class sessions.