Currently viewing the tag: "John B. Wright"

Moderator: Donna Canevari de Paredes, University of Saskatchewan
Rapporteur: Jill E. Baron, Dartmouth College

John B. Wright, Brigham Young University
Discovering Self through Ancestors’ Diaries

Peter Altekrüger, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut PK, Berlin
De Amor, Crimen y Cotidianidad. Las Revistas Teatrales y Colecciones de Novelas Cortas Argentinas del Instituto Ibero-Americano

Ricarda Musser, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut PK, Berlin
Cultural Magazines of Latin America. An Acquisition and Digitalization Project of the Ibero-American Institute / Berlin

Silvana Jacqueline Aquino Remigio, Biblioteca Españade la Artes del Centro Cultural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru
Las Fotografías como Fuente de Información Genealógica: Breve Mirada al Caso del Archivo Courret

John Wright described growing up hearing family stories about his great-great-grandfather Oliverson.  In 1992, he transcribed James Oliverson’s diaries, consisting of 2 volumes: 1884-1886, 1886-1888, plus a smaller book on business dealings.  In the process of doing this transcription, he also did genealogical research.  He found references to Oliverson in the Brigham Young guide to Mormon diaries and among volumes in the Utah Historical Society, where he found a total of 12 diaries ranging from 1882-1893.  These diaries documented business transactions, such as selling butter, and lumber dealings.  John and his father transcribed the diaries and did research on the period, trying to complete the historical context of the diaries.  In sum, he found that although the diaries were written for personal use, they offer a poignant description of life at the time and offer raw material for reconstruction of the past.

Paloma Celis-Carbajal proxied for Silvana Jacqueline Aquino Remigio, as Silvana was not able to attend SALALM.  Silvana’s presentation described the photographic archives of Courret, a French photographer who lived in Lima, Peru in the 19th century.  Courret was one of the first photographers in Peru.  He arrived in Lima in 1860, where he set up a studio and photographed Limeño society.  Courret won many prizes for his work, and the archive includes around 70 years worth of material.  Peru received many immigrants from 1850-1950, and the photographs register this growth and diversification of the population. The Biblioteca España de las Artes del Centro Cultural de la Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Perú, with the cooperation of the French government, is now digitizing the collection, and efforts will be made to identify the subjects of the photographs.  This effort will involve user cooperation/input, and eventually the resource will be invaluable for investigating social, cultural and family history and immigration patterns in Peru.

Peter Altekrüger presented on a long-term project at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut to collect and digitize Argentine popular literature from the early 20th century, including theater magazines and short novels, or revistas teatrales and novelas cortas.  This project represents 10 years worth of collecting these materials, and benefited from investment from the German government of $300,000, which paid for 10 people, digital infrastructure, the catalog and travel.  The revistas teatrales and novelas cortas represent a popular genre, started in 1917.  Buenos Aires was a center for theater, and these materials were originally sold in the street, in kiosks, for theater-goers.  Writers for the magazines were both known and unknown.  The magazines include portraits of actors, caricatures, comedies, pieces about football, advertisements, and depict the increase of working women, the marriage crisis, tango, quotidian life, eroticism.  In sum, these materials reflect the growth of Buenos Aires in the 1920s, due to considerable immigration.

The collection at the IAI of revistas teatrales comprises 160 titles, or around 6000 issues, and is unique in its breadth and depth.  In 2013, the majority of the collection was digitized and put online.  Digitization is the only means of saving these materials as the magazines were printed on highly acidic paper. Every item is cataloged in the OPAC in addition to the digital presentation.  300,000 pages are digitized, which include maps, photographs.  The IAI put on an exhibit about these materials, which will travel to the Biblioteca nacional de Argentina in 2015.

Digital library of revistas teatrales.
De amor, crimen y cotidianeidad” exhibit 

Ricarda Musser spoke about a new digitization project at the IAI involving Latin American cultural magazines.  The term “cultural magazines” encompasses a wide spectrum, including the humanities, sciences, arts, etc., particularly during the period for this project, 1880-1930.  What is more, the form of the articles in these magazines is diverse: stories, poems, interviews, reviews, and illustrations.  Ultimately they hope to produce a digital library of around 80 Latin American cultural magazines.

For this project, the IAI benefited from funding from a German research foundation that awards grants to research libraries for developing collections and initiating new lines of research. They selected 80 titles from 6 countries, including Caras y caretas (Buenos Aires).  With the funding, they were able to acquire collections and digitize them.  However, they struggled with incomplete sets of magazines and sometimes poor condition of paper.  To fill gaps in holdings, they have sought out the antiquarian book market in Peru and Argentina.  For other items they may try to collaborate with libraries.  Cataloging was performed with IAI money. It will take 36 months to finish the project.  They started in June 2013 with “Nativa” (Argentina) 1924-1973, and all who are interested should contact Ricarda for a complete list of titles.

Moderator Donna Canevari de Paredes (University of Saskatchewan) asked John Wright what was the most surprising thing you found in the diaries?  He answered that he didn’t know that his great-great-grandfather had lived in Montana for a time.  John kept finding references to “Dylan,” and realized that he was talking about a town in Montana.  The process of transcribing the diaries revealed a real person.

Irene Munster (University of Maryland) asked Peter if any of the titles that you are digitizing were intended for immigrants?  Peter answered that among them include translations of Russian authors, but otherwise does not know.  Ultimately he hopes that scholars will be able to answer this question.  He is surprised already at the amount of interest in these materials; already 30 scholars from Argentina have come to use these materials, studying all manner of topics.

David Block (University of Texas) asked Peter if he started collecting these materials at the suggestion of your researchers, or of your own doing?  Peter answered that this project was originally his own idea.  When they started, they had about 20 titles, and it seemed doable, but with each trip, he found more and more titles and the project grew.  While the bibliographic description seemed good, he later found that it is often wrong, and has been a significant challenge.  Into the future, they may not continue to collect at the same scale.

Monday, June 18, 2012, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Moderator: Suzanne Schadl (University of New Mexico)
Rapporteur: John B. Wright (Brigham Young University)
Panelists: Sean Knowlton (Columbia University), The Role of Comic Books and Graphic Novels in the Civic Formation of Cuban Youth” | Meiyolet Méndez (University of Miami), “Cuban Cartoons for Children: Pop Culture and Education on Screen”| Beverly Karno (Howard Karno Books), Sarah G. Wenzel (University of Chicago) and Wendy Pederson (University of New Mexico), “Purchasing, Selling and Processing Comic Strips and Graphic Novels” | Claire-Lise Bénaud and Suzanne Schadl (University of New Mexico), “Exhibiting Comics: From the Reading Room to Special Collections”

Sean Knowlton discussed the historical context of Cuban comic books and gave an analysis of current comics called historietas.  Cuban comic books have characters that promote a national identity and provided an arena to promote and/or lampoon political realities.  They did not use super heroes.  Knowlton discussed several Cuban comics: the physical quality of Elipidio Valdés, published by Editorial Pablo de la Torriente,  is getting less and less, especially the paper quality.  Yarí follows a young taino cubano living at time of Spanish conquest.  He fights against a cruel man. The message is that Yarí is our brother.  Yami follows the adventurs of a strong, independent woman of ideals who has strong values and works for the good of the community.  Historical comics are also popular.  These highlight heroes of Cuban history—José Martí, Fidel Castro—and promote solidarity with like-minded Latin American regimes in Venezuela and Bolivia—Martí and Bolívar (reminiscent of the relationship between Fidel and Hugo Chávez), Tupac Katari (links Quechua uprising with the efforts of Evo Morales).  These historical comics have a sense of legitimacy because they include bibliographies.  Graphic novels are somewhat limited in Cuba because of lack of supplies.

Meiyolet Méndez discussed how Cuban cartoons provide a forum for political discourse. They promote the values of the Cuban Revolution and serve as a vehicle to impart these values to Cuban children.  In September of 1960, illiteracy was viewed as a chief concern of the new, revolutionary Cuban government.  The Cuban National Literacy Campaign took place in 1960-61.  Hundreds of thousands of literacy teachers worked out in the country side.  The program was propagandistic.  It covered the history and values of the Revolution, in addition to helping people learn to read.  One benefit realized by the program was better understanding of the use of mass media.  Meiyolet described the creation of several government agencies that had responsibility for the media, both TV and Radio, from 1959-1976.  It was the policy that all programming on TV had to promote the ideals of the Revolution.  Early cartoons were geared toward adults and highlighted nature.  Some examples are El maná and Las manos.  Later, cartoons were more geared toward children and essentially took the comics from the page and put them on the screen.  Some examples are: Aventuras de Elipidio Valdés, Zunzún, El Capitán Plín, and Cecilia y Coti.  Before 1976, the content of cartoons was very force-fed.  After, the cartoons demonstrate a more subtle manipulation.  The media obscures the messages.
Beverly Karno described realities associated with graphic novels and comic books:  1) Independent distributors. The artist/writer usually self-published the comic books.  It is very difficult to find and acquire these materials and it involves making a connection with the artist/writer.  These are usually not a commercial venture.  Getting 1-2 issues is pretty common.  A title with 6-7 issues would be very successful.  It is hard as a book dealer because libraries start sending claim notices, but the book dealer doesn’t know where to find issue #3 or when it will be produced.  2) Non-traditional formats.  Some graphic novels and comic books start as print editions, but then change to a different format (DVD is common) and need special software to read it.  3)  Major challenges.  Pricing of graphic novels and comic books is great, very affordable, but it is very labor intensive to acquire these for customers.  The follow up is enormous!

Sarah G. Wenzel discussed acquisitions and collection development issues related to comic books.  The librarian must define the scope of the collection:  1) single story or single author;  2) literary or artistic value; 3) Are you going backwards as well as forward? 4) What has been published? 5) What do you ask the vendor to do?  

Wendy Pederson discussed cataloging and classification issues.  She demonstrated the difficulty of finding a piece by a particular comic book artist on the Internet, OCLC, etc.  If you log into the publisher website, you can find the title of the comic book fairly easy.  She also discussed difficulties in knowing how to catalog a comic book.  Does the illustrator get identified as the creator or would the creator be the writer of the text?  If a comic is an adaptation of a book, does it get classified with the creator of the original story or with the author of the adaptation?  AACR2 would place the adaptation with the author of the adaptation, but does the patron know this?  For subject analysis, what do we do?  It is common to use genre headings.  Karno, Wenzel and Pederson also distributed an annotated bibliography and instruction guide for purchasing, selling, and processing comic strips and graphic novels.
Suzanne Schadl and Claire-Lise Bénaud discussed the innovative use of rotating exhibits to build a bridge between users interested in the books displayed in the exhibit themselves and materials housed in the University of New Mexico libraries Special Collections.  In the fall of 2012, the rotating exhibit will be Mexican comics and caricatures.  In the presentation, Schadl discussed the unique aspects of virtual, physical and boutique spaces in the Library and how they relate specifically to the Library’s Reading Room.  Bénaud discussed the upcoming comic books and caricatures exhibit, giving us a look at some of the interesting aspects of this exhibit, including José Gadalupe Posada’s Don Chepito and the work of the Taller de Gráfica Popular which used its art to advance social causes.

Questions and Comments:
Pamela Graham (Columbia University): Is the way graphic novels get printed or published going to change? Will it be online or print?  Wendy responded that if the goal is to produce printed object, then the art work and the physicality are important.  Beverly Karno responded that the use of Twitter is important.  So is Flickr.  A large portion of graphic artists work is being put on Flickr.
Lisa Gardinier (University of Iowa): Web comics have exploded in the U.S. over the last 10 years.  Sarah Wenzel indicated that much of the web comics cannot be downloaded by the Library. Consequently, that format is not very helpful for developing a collection that can be preserved by the Library.

Cecilia Sercan (Cornell University): Do you include the URL in the bibliographic record for online comics?  Sarah Wenzel responded that online ephemera is being lost because we can’t do much to preserve it.  We do have some URLs available.  Suzanne Schadl indicated that unless the URL is stable, the patron would not be able to use it whether it is in the bibliographic record or not.

Paula Covington (Vanderbilt University): Paula commented that some literature cannot be digitized and put online because the publishing companies own the copyright of all or part of the work.  She gave the example of Jane Austen’s books.  The copyright for the illustrations included in these books is owned by Dell and consequently cannot be included in the digitized version.  Also mentioned was which has Spanish language comics, but they are largely translations of American comics.

The Policy, Research & Investigation Committee (PRI) held its annual meeting on Saturday, May 28, 2011, 2:00-3:00 pm.  Its chair, Cecilia Sercán (Cornell University) was unable to attend.  She asked John B. Wright (Brigham Young University) to act as chair at the meeting.  Attending the meeting were PRI members Mark Grover, Ellen Jaramillo, Gayle Williams and John B. Wright. Wright reported that at the previous Constitution & Bylaws Committee meeting, he and Rafael Tárrago began work on reconciling the Constitution and Bylaws into a single document.  This process will undoubtedly have some ramifications to the organization that will be sent forward to PRI for consideration.  Gayle Williams reported hearing that there will be some comments made at the Executive Board meeting by a Member-at-Large regarding the length of the conference.  Some members believe the annual conference is too long.  The group discussed a deadline for receiving resolutions from the membership.  It was agreed that the deadline will be Tuesday, May 31, 2011, at 12:30 p.m.  The meeting was adjourned. The group met again on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 and drafted the following resolutions to be submitted to the general membership for a vote at the Closing Business meeting.


At the 56th Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 28-June 1, 2008, be it resolved:

1.    That SALALM thank Temple University Libraries; and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries;     and Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Pennsylvania; and Department of Romance     Languages, University of Pennsylvania; and The Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies     Consortium (GPLASC) for sponsoring this year’s meeting.

2.    That SALALM gratefully acknowledge Dr. Paul C. Smith for his sponsorship of this year’s meeting.

3.    That SALALM extend its thanks to Joseph Holub and David Murray as Co-Chairs of the Local     Arrangements for their dedicated and capable organization of SALALM LVI.

4.    That SALALM thank the following individuals for their efforts in assisting with Local Arrangements activities: Carmen Febo-San Miguel (Taller Puertorriqueño), Jlia Zagar (Eyes Gallery), Pamela Harris (Swarthmore College Library), Aleta Arthurs, Charles Cobine, Jeanne Lanza Curcio, Ancil George, Nancy Gulsoy, William Keller, Carlos Rodriguez, Michael Rosse, Lori Rowland, Catherine Rutan, Bryan Wilkinson, Thomas Wilson, Kristin Winch (Univeristy of Pennsylvania Libraries), Ann Farnsworth-Alvear, Ana María Gómez López (Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Pennsylvania), Nam Narain (School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania), Matilde Duenas (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), Ronald Webb (Latin American Studies, Temple University).

5.    That SALALM thank the SALALM Libreros for sponsorship of its wonderful Liberero’s Reception at the Chapel of the Four Chaplains.

6.    That SALALM express its gratitude to the following individuals and groups for their support to this year’s conference:  Books from Mexico, Gale-Cengage, Puvill Libros, Retta Libros, Susan Bach Books from Brazil, Casalini Libri, Vientos Tropicales, Libros de Barlovento, Digitalia, Iberoamericana-Editorial Vervuert, Libros Sur and The Latin American Bookstore.

Gayle Williams reported for PRI at Executive Board Meeting #2, held Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

p dir=”ltr”>Panel 7, June 1, 2011, 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Moderator: Lynn Shirey, Harvard University
Presenter: Alexandra Halkin. Americas Media Initiative
Rapporteur: John B. Wright, Brigham Young University

Alexandra Halkin is a documentary filmmaker and founding director of the Americas Media Initiative-Cuba Media Project, a new initiative to distribute Cuban independent and community videos in the US.

Halkin indicated that university librarians have helped get a lot of these films distributed and then noted having directed Living Juarez. Halkin discussed the real resistance to President Felipe Calderón’s policies on the war on drugs. She then explained having had no production money, just money for research. This is an advocacy film. Halkin noted that she would like to work in Juárez to create a feature film, but that is not possible because of security issues in protecting the film crew and the characters (the groups of youth).

Living Juarez looks at the events and aftermath of events in the Juárez neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar where in January 2010, a group of youth attending a birthday party were brutally murdered. Calderón characterized the youth as gang members. The outraged families personally confronted Calderón at public forums in Juárez during his visits to the city after the massacre.

Living Juarez tells the story of the real victims in Calderón’s Drug War: regular people just trying to survive in a city overrun by senseless violence and corruption. The neighborhood of Villas de Salvárcar is organized and speaking out against the arbitrary and frequent abuses that are committed by the armed forces against civilians and particularly the youth in Juárez.

Questions & Comments:

Anne Barnhart (University of West Georgia) asked “How do you produce films?” Halkin replied “Filmmakers get 60% and we get 40%.”

Martha Mantilla (University of Pittsburgh) asked “What about the safety of the people who appear in the documentaries? Will they be at risk?” Halkin responded, “I don’t produce any video of someone who can be at risk.”

Halkin next presented two episodes of TV Serrana that was founded with funding from UNESCO, the Cuban government, and the National Association of Small Farmers. These episodes cannot be sold via the Internet.  TV Serrana is a television project that has helped rural Cubans in the Sierra Maestra Mountains produce nearly 500 documentaries since 1993. The idea is to show people a vision of Cuba that they’ve never seen before.

We watched an episode called “The Four Sisters.” It was made in 1997 and lasts 15 minutes. It tells the story of four elderly Cuban sisters who are still living in the home of their parents. Each sister plays a role in maintaining the home and the livelihood of each. They take care of one another.

The next episode was called “¿Adónde vamos?” It was made in 2009 and lasts 20 minutes. It is very controversial. TV Serrana is able to present a critique of Cuba in Cuba. The director of this episode grew up with TV Serrana. She is now its famous director. It tells the story of farmers who grow loads and loads of fruit. They pick it, bag it, and prepare it for shipment. The bags of fruit sit by the side of the road, ferment, and rot waiting for government transportation to pick them up for distribution. The farmers are feeling quite cynical, wondering what is to be done.

Questions & Comments:

Barnhart asked “How has this evolved?” Halkin answered, “UNESCO started the series and it is now quite a good model for what is happening with good television programming in Cuba.”

John B. Wright (Brigham Young University) asked, “Has the exposure of some of these problems in Cuba helped anything change?” Halkin replied, “TV Serrana has been an advocate for communities to government officials. Transportation to market of food produced in the country is still a very big problem, but at least the people feel they have been able to communicate some of their grievances to the government.

Laura D. Shedenhelm (University of Georgia) asked, “Looking at your list of products, I see prices. How do you do invoices? We don’t do purchase orders.” Halkin replied “Most items are prepaid.”