Collections of Matter: Material Dimensions of Collection Development

SALALM 61, Panel 8, May 11, 2016, 5:00pm-6:00pm
Moderator: Laura Shedenhelm, University of Georgia Libraries
Rapporteur: Daniel Schoorl, Hispanic American Periodicals Index

Panelists: Beatriz Haspo, Library of Congress
Cheryl Fox, Library of Congress
Peter Altekrüger, Ibero-American Institute
Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez, Princeton University

Beatriz Haspo, Collections Officer, Collections Access, Loan and Management Division, Library of Congress; and Cheryl Fox, LC Archives Specialist, Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress The Carvalho Monteiro Collection: Finding Hidden Treasures at the Library of Congress

Beatriz Haspo: Provided some background on the Library of Congress and introduced the Carvalho Monteiro collection, acquired in 1927. The collection was the private library of António Augusto de Carvalho Monteiro, born in Rio de Janeiro (1848). Monteiro studied at the University of Coimbra, completing a law degree but also studying natural sciences and poetry. He spent time in Petropolis and collected butterflies while pursuing interests in biodiversity. The collection had no list of titles and most books were identified by stamps. It became a collections management project to identify the items from the Carvalho Monteiro collections from the general collection. Search and access protocols were put in place along with preservation efforts. There is now a finding aid and rehousing efforts are ongoing. An internship program established with BYU enabled interns to spend time processing images from the collection that are now accessible in a database.

Cheryl Fox: Discussed more of the details of the acquisitions of the Carvalho Monteiro collection, including the initial sale which was through Maurice L. Ettinghausen on behalf of Maggs Bros. Ltd. Archer Milton Huntington established the Hispanic Society of America in NYC and also funded the Hispanic division, as well as a subject specialist. Different people have written about the collection over the years and several works have been dedicated to Carvalho Monteiro, who died in 1920 in Portugal.

Peter Altekrüger, Library Director, Ibero-American Institute, Berlin Bandits, Gauchos and Songs: The ‘Biblioteca Criolla’, a History of Collecting and Research

Robert Lehmann-Nitsche (1872-1938) was a German scholar who spent his career in Argentina. He studied philosophy, natural sciences, and medicine before becoming a professor of anthropology at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. His main interest was in Argentine folklore and popular culture. He also researched indigenous languages and completed some of the first sound recordings in Argentina (242 phonograph cylinders) of indigenous peoples and gauchos. In 1930, Lehmann-Nitsche retired from academia and returned to Germany with his collection, which was originally loaned to the Ibero-American Institute and eventually acquired. The Biblioteca Criolla has been integrated into the IAI library. The collection has imprints and musical scores from 1880 to 1925 from Argentina and Uruguay, which are being digitized. Currently 3-4 scholars from Argentina are able to work with the collection at the Institute with grant funding from the German government. The website for the collection is in German, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Elvia Arroyo-Ramírez, Processing Archivist, Latin American Manuscript Collections, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Hacia el sur: La militancia poética y la poesía militante de Juan Gelman

The Juan Gelman collection consists of 20 boxes that had materials typical of the personal papers of an author but also 10 boxes that were labeled “Research.” The contents of these boxes were documents dedicated to human rights abuses that occurred in Argentina, including legal documents, testimonies, and other documents as relating to the disappearance of Gelman’s pregnant daughter-in-law María Claudia and his son Marcelo. The collection has many letters that Gelman sent in his efforts to recover the remains of his family members. There are also born digital materials (including DVD’s and CD-ROMS) that are being processed using a disk reader with a virus scanner. The legal efforts that the Gelman family pursued are well organized throughout the papers but how to provide access is a question that is rather sensitive due to privacy issues and the issue of the reunification of Gelman with his granddaughter Macarena before his death in 2014.

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