Saturday May 26th 2018




Posts Tagged ‘Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez’

Diamela Eltit Papers, 1943-2012, at Princeton University Library

Diamela Eltit papers
Diamela Eltit Papers, 1943-2012, Box 5

It is a pleasure to announce that the Manuscripts Division of the Princeton University Library has recently added the papers of Diamela Eltit to its extensive collection of archives of Latin American writers and intellectuals.

Eltit, a highly regarded experimental writer who wrote her first two novels, Lumpérica (1983) and Por la patria (1986), during the years of the Pinochet dictatorship in her native Chile, also gained notoriety through her participation in the Colectivo de Acciones de Arte (CADA), a group of artists who staged art actions to challenge the dictatorship.  Since then she published several others highly acclaimed literary works including El cuarto mundo (1988), El padre mío (1989), Vaca sagrada (1991), El infarto del alma (1994), Los vigilantes (1994), Los trabajadores de la muerte (1998), Mano de obra (2002), Puño y letra (2005), Jamás el fuego nunca (2007), Impuesto a la carne (2010), and Fuerzas especiales (2013).  Eltit served as a cultural attaché during Patricio Aylwin’s government at the Chilean Embassy in Mexico City, and has also held positions as writer-in-residence at Brown University, Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University, UC/Berkeley the University of Virginia, Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University. She is currently a Distinguished Global Professor of Creative Writing in Spanish at New York University.

Her papers consist of manuscripts, typescript drafts and notebooks related to both published and unpublished works.  In addition, there is a sizeable amount of correspondence from writers, colleagues, family and friends (access to the correspondence is temporarily restricted), as well numerous photographs of Eltit with family, friends, and various literary and political figures.

A still in process finding aid is available here.  Feel free to contact me or the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections for additional information.

Princeton Acquires Papers of Alejandro Rossi

”]The Princeton University Library’s Manuscripts Divisionhas recently added the papers of Alejandro Rossi (1932-2009) to its extensive collection of archives, manuscripts, and correspondence by Latin American writers and intellectuals.

Alejandro Rossi was born in Florence, Italy, to an Italian father and a Venezuelan mother.  He studied philosophy in Mexico, Germany, and England, before settling in Mexico City, where he became professor of philosophy at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 1958. His book on analytical philosophy, Lenguage y significado (1968), confirmed his status as a philosopher, but when Octavio Paz asked Rossi to contribute articles to the literary magazine Plural, Rossi began to enter the world of letters.

The writer Juan Villoro has described Rossi as the consummate conversationalist, a quality that characterizes his prose writing. With his friends Octavio Paz, Salvador Elizondo, and Juan García Ponce, Rossi helped found the influential literary journal Vuelta in 1978. A member of Mexico’s El Colegio Nacional since 1996, and winner of the Premio Xavier Villaurruita for his novel Éden, vida imaginada in 2007, Alejandro Rossi enjoyed a long distinguished career, and with great pride became a Mexican citizen in 1994. He died in Mexico City in 2009.

The archive contains a wide range materials, including notebooks, drafts of writings, correspondence with writers, editors, philosophers, and artists, and materials related to conferences and lectures in Mexico and abroad.  A detailed finding aid, recently created by new SALALM member Jill Baron, is available at

Feel free to contact me or the Manuscripts Division for additional information about this collection.


Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez
Princeton University Library

Welcome, new members!

Bruce Bachand received a B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Spanish from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth 19 ago before setting out to become a Mesoamerican archaeologist. At UMass, he worked as a shelver, serials assistant, and overall book worm for three years in the library to defray college expenses. After graduating, he taught English in Japan for the JET Program and upon returning spent a year or so haunting the Tozzer Library while moonlighting as a clerk at the Harvard Coop bookstore. In subsequent years, he obtained anthropology degrees from Brigham Young University (MA) and the University of Arizona (PhD). He was a Fulbright Scholar in Chiapas, Mexico during the 2009-2010 academic year and is currently a Pre-Columbian reader at the Dumbarton Oaks Library in Washington, DC. Bruce’s scholarly activities have placed him in Mexico and Guatemala for periods totalling about five years. He’s looking for a stable career where his research skills and love of books will transfer, and would like to become a subject specialist librarian. Bruce is completing an MSLS at the University of Kentucky and will be an intern at the Library of Congress next spring. He’s also a new HAPI indexer, and look forward to collaborating with Orchid and the other SALALMistas.

Jill Baron

Jill Baron is an archivist for Latin American literary manuscript collections at Princeton University.  In this position, which she has held since September 2011, she has processed the personal and working papers of writers such as Mario Vargas Llosa, Lorenzo García Vega, Saúl Yurkievich, Alejandro Rossi, and the nineteenth-century letters of Gabriel Iturri (friend and character study for Marcel Proust).  She has a B.A. in French and Comparative Literature from Bryn Mawr College, and spent many years working as a chef, including a long sojourn in kitchens in Andalucía, before moving to New York to pursue an MFA in fiction and poetry at The New School.  She received her MLIS from Rutgers University in December 2011, where she gained invaluable mentoring from Melissa Gasparotto and other Rutgers librarians.  At Princeton she takes great pleasure in working with manuscript materials, participating in the vibrant Latin American studies community, and working for Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, fellow SALALMista.


Daria Carson-Dussán | Photo by Evie Hemphil


Daria Carson-Dussán joined the WU Libraries staff this year as the new Romance Languages & Literatures / Latin American Studies Librarian.  Daria graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in English Literature and a fine arts certificate in art history from UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning.  In 2005, she received her M.L.S. from the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University.  She began her professional career as a reference librarian at Indiana State University and worked at Franklin College as a reference/instruction librarian.


Lisa Gardinier is the new Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian at the University of Iowa.  She recently finished a M.A. in Latin American studies at the University of Arizona, including an internship at the CEPAL headquarters library in Santiago, Chile. She completed her M.L.S. at Indiana University, including an internship with Luis González.  Her first post-M.L.S. job was as the technical services & information literacy librarian at Cochise College in Douglas, AZ.  Most of her experiences and academic interests in Latin America are in Chile and the Southern Cone or the U.S.-Mexico border.  She is looking forward to participating in SALALM and being a part of a great professional community.


Sara Levinson joined the Resources Description and Management section at UNC Chapel Hill as an original cataloger in 2009, working mostly on Spanish and Portuguese language materials both in the main collection and, more recently, in the Rare Books Collection. Sara graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Spanish and Anthropology. She received her M.L.S. from the Palmer School in 2000 and began her professional career at the New York Historical Society cataloging some of their massive backlog. She later cataloged at Touro College while working part-time cataloging serials in the special collections in the Tamiment Library at NYU.

Berlin Loa


Berlin Loa is a graduate of the Knowledge River Program at the University of Arizona School of Information Resources and Library Science.  Her professional background is in non-profit management, fundraising and program development.  Her undergraduate degree is in English Literature with a thematic minor in anthropology, folklore and Africana studies. Berlin is currently participating in an internship as a Museum/Archives Technician and looks forward to developing a career in collections that represent Latino, Native American or Africana cultures.



José Ignacio Padilla


José Ignacio Padilla received his B.A. in Latin American Literature at the Universidad de San Marcos in Lima. He then moved to Princeton, where he completed a Ph.D. in the Spanish Department. His research has always focused on Latin American Poetry and Visual Arts. Three years ago he moved to Spain and started working at Iberoamericana Vervuert where he collaborates in editorial projects, but mostly works as the manager of the bookstore.





Deb Raftus | Photo by John Pai

Deb Raftus is the Romance Languages & Literatures Librarian and Assistant Instruction Coordinator at the University of Washington Libraries in Seattle.  She serves as liaison to the divisions of French & Italian Studies, Spanish & Portuguese Studies, and the Center for European Studies.  Her interests include the role of libraries in digital humanities scholarship, 21st century reference services, mentoring, and learning communities.



Tad Suzuki has been an academic librarian at University of Victoria  (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) for the last 17 years and was only recently appointed to Hispanic & Italian Studies. His academic backgrounds are anthropology/linguistics, theology, and biblical studies. A practicing artist specialized in highly realistic acrylic canvas, his other subject area for the library is Fine Arts. Tad has been teaching himself Spanish off and on for the last several years, and just recently spent two weeks in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala for language training. While there, he also spent a weekend with a Q’anjob’al Mayan family in Santa Eulalia in the north-western region of Huehuetenango.

Lorenzo García Vega Papers, 1969-2008 at Princeton University Library

Lorenzo García Vega Papers, 1969-2008 at Princeton University Library

Princeton’s Manuscripts Division has recently added the papers of Lorenzo García Vega to its extensive collection of archives, manuscripts and correspondence by Latin American writers and intellectuals.  A detailed description and  finding aid is already available.

Lorenzo García Vega was born in 1926 in Jagüey Grande, in the province of Matanzas, Cuba.  A poet living in exile since the late 1960s, García Vega is best known for his involvement in the literary group Orígenes.  Over his lifetime, he has published nearly two dozen works of poetry and prose, and in 1952 won Cuba’s Premio Nacional de Literatura.  García Vega became a polemical figure with the publication of Los años de Orígenes (1978), a book that offered an alternate view of the famed literary group than the one traditionally held by the Cuban reading public.  Reviled for his representation of José Lezama Lima, the group’s founder, García Vega has since suffered a kind of double exile:  the first from Cuba, and the second from the Cuban literary and intellectual milieu to which he formerly belonged.  Despite this, writers such as Antonio José Ponte and Victor Fowler celebrate García Vega’s work, abundant with repetition and often fragmented or elliptical, for its innovation and literary radicalism.

Prominent within the Lorenzo García Vega Papers are twenty-nine notebooks in which García Vega recorded daily diary entries, ideas, drafts of poems, stories and correspondence, fragments of poems and stories, recollections of dreams, quotations, and responses to literature and art.  The correspondence in the collection includes letters received by García Vega, dating from 1969 until 1996, though undated letters from Héctor Libertella regarding the manuscript of Devastación del Hotel San Luis (2007) may date into the 2000s.  Most notable are multiple letters from Guido Llinás, Octavio Paz, and Manuel Díaz Martínez.

For a complete list of archives and correspondence by Latin American writers and intellectuals at the Princeton University Library, and links to finding aids, please go to


Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez
Princeton University

Princeton Acquires 34 Severo Sarduy Works

Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), Untitled, no date. Mixed media on paper. 53.5 x 35.5 cm.

Thanks to the assistance of the Executive Committee for the Program in Latin American Studies, the Graphic Arts Collection of the Princeton University Library recently acquired thirty-four paintings and drawings by the novelist, critic, poet, and visual artist Severo Sarduy (1937-1993). Artifacts from his studio accompany the paintings, along with several works by his friends Roland Barthes, Jorge Camacho, and José Luis Cuevas.

View some highlights posted by Graphic Arts Curator Julie Mellby at


Fernando Acosta-Rodriguez
Princeton University

New guide to the Latin American ephemera collections at Princeton

Dear colleagues,

I recently finished putting together this guide and thought that it would be of interest to some of you:

It lists by country and subject area all of the collections of Latin American ephemera that the Princeton University Library has developed since the late 1960s (approximately 350) and links to item level finding aids or catalog records that for the most part describe in considerable detail the contents of the collections.



Latin American Posters Collection at Princeton

Please visit to search Princeton’s extensive and growing collection of Latin American posters. The posters included in this digital project were created by a wide variety of social activists, non-governmental organizations, government agencies, political parties, and other types of organizations across Latin America, in order to publicize their views, positions, agendas, policies, events, and services. Even though posters produced in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Venezuela are the most abundant among the more than two thousand currently available on the site, almost every country in the region is represented. In terms of topics, some of the best represented are human rights, elections, gender issues, indigenous issues, labor, ecology and environmental issues, development, public health, and education. The Latin American Posters Collection is a component of the larger collection of Latin American ephemera that Princeton University Library has developed since the 1970s. Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions about the collection.


Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez
Princeton University

New Latin American Ephemera Finding Aids at Princeton

I am glad to announce that all of the finding aids to our most recent collections of Latin American ephemera are now up (they correspond to Supplement VI of the Princeton University Library’s Microfilm Collection). You will find below a list with the title of every collection linked to its corresponding finding aid.  Each finding aid includes a general description and an itemized inventory of the contents of the collection.  Please note that all of our finding aids can be cross searched using the search interface at

You will also note that we included runs of a handful of stand-alone serial titles.  Finding aids are not available for those.

In case that it’s of interest, I am attaching a narrative description of the overall collection that I prepared a while ago.  All of the collections are available through interlibrary loan or for purchase.  Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions.


Latin America




  • Brazilian Catholic Church pamphlets, III, 1935-1994  [This last one is an older collection which had not been previously distributed. A finding aid isn’t available, but Worldcat record is highly detailed.]

  • Jornal dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra, 1997-2008



  • El Punto Final, 1998-2008
  • El Siglo, 1997-2008


Colombia and Venezuela





  • El Caimán Barbudo, 1988-2007
  • La Tribuna de La Habana, 1988-1989


Mexico and Central America








Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez
Princeton University

Juan José Saer Manuscripts, 1958-2004 at Princeton University Library

The Manuscripts Division has recently added the manuscripts of Argentinean writer Juan José Saer to its premier collection of archives, manuscripts, and correspondence by Latin American writers and intellectuals.  The collection contains numerous notebooks, notes, and drafts of Saer’s novels, essays, short stories, poems, and interviews.  Several items in the collection are unpublished.  Also included are background materials for Saer’s posthumous novel, La Grande, and some photographs.  A detailed finding aid is already available.

Juan José Saer, the son of Syrian immigrants to Argentina, was born in Serodino, a town in the province of Santa Fé, on June 28, 1937.  He studied law and philosophy at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral in Santa Fé, and taught film history and criticism at the same institution.  He moved to Paris in 1968, where he taught literature at the University of Rennes, and lived in that city until his death in 2005.  Although Saer spent most of his literary life outside Argentina, much of his fiction was set on the area of northern Argentina known as el Litoral.  Among his literary works are the novels Cicatrices (1968), El limonero real (1974), Nadie, nada, nunca (1980), El entenado (1983), La ocasión (1988), La pesquisa (1994), and the book of poems El arte de narrar (1977).  Saer is considered by some critics to be the most important Argentinean writer of the post-Borges generation.

Feel free to contact me or the Manuscripts Division for information additional information about this collection.

Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez
Princeton University


Opening Remarks from SALALM’s President Fernando Acosta Rodriguez

Some of the very productive discussion that have taken place at SALALM have already been posted by others, but I wanted to share with us all the remarks from SALALM’s president at yesterday’s opening session.

“Good morning, bienvenidos, bemvindo, welcome to the 55th meeting of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). My name is Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, I am serving this year as President of SALALM, and I am also the Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies at the Princeton University Library.

I want to start by thanking very specially our hosts in Providence, the Brown University Library, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Brown, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Local arrangements group lead by Patricia Figueroa for making this conference possible and for their amazing generosity and hospitality. It is a pleasure to visit your beautiful campus, its libraries, and the city of Providence.

I also want to offer my special thanks to the Princeton University Library, which was another generous sponsor of this event, and to the vendors that have sponsored the coffee and bagel, ice cream and smoothie breaks that will make our conference a more enjoyable one. They are, in alphabetical order, Gale-Cengage Learning, Iberbook Sánchez Cuesta, Iberoamericana-Editorial Vervuert, Libros Centroamericanos, Puvill Libros, Retta Libros, and Susan Bach Books from Brazil.

I have to admit that in many respects, the theme of this year’s conference, The Future of Latin American Library Collections and Research: Contributing and Adapting to New Trends in Research Libraries, is not really a response to new or recent developments. I say that because many of these developments, at least those having to do with the incorporation of digital technologies into libraries, originated more than two decades ago, and research libraries have been both adapting to and implementing them since then. Latin American Studies and area studies librarians, the collections for which they are responsible, and also scholarly research and teaching in these disciplines, have of course always been a part of this process, even if sometimes from the fringes of the research library world.

On that note, please allow me to read a couple of quotes:

1. “Area studies collections, which had comprised the library vanguard, are perceived as relics of an outdated library philosophy emphasizing ownership over access, and of disciplines somewhere between quaint and archaic in their dependence on print formats.

Scholarly communication in general, as well as for area and LAS, is becoming ever more complex. The evolving process is straining all aspects of the traditional system. For research libraries, reduced buying power and diminished coverage are among the most immediately dramatic results. Our efforts to anticipate, react to, and utilize these changes will become increasingly crucial as we attempt to maintain the information base necessary for our scholars.”

2. “The increased availability of information in digitized format is leading to shifts in research libraries’ acquisitions patterns, reducing the portion of library budgets available for conventionally published materials…

Developing current and future cooperative arrangements among libraries is an important component of the project. The issues include: …delivery mechanisms for full text as well as bibliographic information to scholars throughout North America; and the need to further understanding broadly among librarians and scholars that the physical location of foreign language collections need not limit their utility geographically.

The first quote is from an article titled “Latin American Studies, Information Resources and Library Collections: the contexts of crisis,” by Dan Hazen, from Harvard University who is probably sitting somewhere around here. The second one is from an article by Jeffrey Gardner titled “Scholarship, research libraries and foreign publishing in the 1990s”. Both appeared in the Papers of the 36th Annual Meeting of SALALM, which was cohosted by University of California-San Diego, and San Diego State University, in June of 1991, almost twenty years ago.

So, fundamental concerns, key questions, aren’t new. What is different today is that we apparently are in a juncture where technological capacity and know-how, economic incentives and constraints, as well as personal preferences and biases among the various categories of stakeholders, are truly converging into new dominant models of access and of scholarly communications. The shift has already taken place in many disciplines, in the natural and physical sciences in particular, and is rapidly gaining steam across the social sciences and the humanities.

It truly is time then, as our colleague David Block invited us to do two years ago during the SALALM meeting at New Orleans, through his paper titled “Where are we; Where we may be going, What will we do there?”, to examine what all of these apparently systemic changes mean from the perspective of Latin American Studies, and of other area studies too.

This is essential because the conditions and circumstances that characterize our area of responsibility (the academic field of Latin American Studies, and in a broader sense, the intellectual-creative expression production that originates in the region – two things that aren’t exactly the same) do not, at least in my opinion, always fit well with the new models being implemented. To be sure, major changes in publishing, scholarly communications, and distribution are also taking place across Latin America, of course, but these are not always be related to the same set of circumstances that have driven change across the research libraries that most of us work at.

Some questions for us then are, what can we do to avoid or minimize the possibility of an increasing disconnect, in some areas, between the Latin American reality that we wish to document and to represent, and the systems of collection development and scholarly communication that scholars rely on? Conversely, how do we take better advantage of new technologies and other factors to reduce long existing documentation gaps? How can we achieve this when most Latin American Studies librarians are tremendously overstretched as they have had to undertake an increasingly wider range of duties and subject areas, not to mention the cases where even libraries with venerable Latin American Studies traditions have left vacancies unfilled for prolonged periods of time, leaving us wondering if these are permanent decisions? How do we achieve this when, amid talk of the need to globalize education, Latin American and area studies programs apparently lose weight and presence in many of our campuses and are slotted into generic international categories?

We are not going to answer these questions during the next three days, but I think that the program will help us to examine them, and many other related ones, from a wide variety of perspectives. At a minimum, it will at least help us to be better informed and to learn from each other’s experiences, ideas and strategies. Ideally, it will stimulate us to think about and propose new ways of acting in coordination to successfully adapt to and influence future developments affecting our field. We’ll see. ”

Many thanks to Fernando who endured my many pleas to have his remarks forwarded to me so that I could include them here.

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