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From the President

SALALM: A Big Extended Family

One of the reasons that SALALM is so unique is that we are like a big extended family.  When someone joins SALALM, she/he becomes a member of an extended family whose relatives are scattered all over Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States.

When one of our members is ill or passes away, the whole family mourns.  Recently, two members of the SALALM family passed way: Howard Karno and tatiana de la tierra.  My personal connection with Howard Karno was somewhat sporadic and brief, mostly at SALALM receptions.  However, his warm and friendly presence together with his contagious laughter was always comforting and reassuring.   Our deep sentiments for this big loss are well expressed in David Block’s “Howard Karno – In Memoriam” post.

tatiana de la tierra.  Who will not remember her down-to-earth name and her affirming presence?  If you ever met tatiana once, you will never have forgetten her.  I met tatiana for the first time at the Buenos Aires book fair, where I learned that she was a compatriota bibliotecaria. However, she was much more than that.  She was an ingenious bi-cultural writer and activist, full of life. In her blog she described her own life as “a novel still being written.”   Adan Griego’s “Colombiana Salerosa – In memory of tatiana de la tierra” post, plus  her blog and this video on YouTube  gives tribute to the life of this remarkable multifaceted colombiana.

Another great loss for the SALALM family is Alan Moss.  Upon hearing of his passing, SALALM colleagues spoke of his camaraderie and described him as “a first-rate bibliographer with in-depth knowledge of publishing in the English-speaking Caribbean.”  These words were included in the “Alan Moss – In Memoriam” post written by Elizabeth F. Watson.

Ties Between Junior and Senior SALALM Members

Thinking about these losses made me reflect on the importance of the connection between junior and senior SALALM members.   Although we have always been proud of the strong ties between newer and older members of SALALM, I strongly believe that these ties need to be constantly nourished and strengthened.   Thus, I would like to make an explicit invitation to those members that have recently joined the organization to be active participants in SALALM.   Throughout the year, we might look for innovative ways of joining the talent and skills that new members are bringing to the organization with the experience and wisdom of senior members. At SALALM’s 58th conference we will include venues to strengthen junior-senior mentoring relationships.

The Theme for SALALM’s 58th Conference

Briefly, the general theme of the conference deals with the intersection of indigenism, pan-indigenism, and cosmovisionism within the context of indigenous studies in the Americas. We are interested in the exploration of indigenous peoples’ thought and action prior to, during, and after colonization.  We will attempt to approach this from indigenous peoples’ perspective.   The title of the conference, the description of the theme and the deadline for submissions can be found on the SALALM conference website.

The Venue

We are very fortunate to have been invited by the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries to have the 2013 conference in Coral Gables.  I traveled to Miami in August, visited The Westin Colonnade Hotel, and met some members of the host institutions. I was amazed to learn about the rich history of this beautiful multicultural city. I also had the opportunity to see some of the unique collections held in the host institutions.  We will find ways to highlight some of these collections at the 58th SALALM conference in Miami.

New SALALM Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected SLALAM Officers, President-Elect Roberto Delgadillo and the Members at Large Paloma Celis-Carvajal and Daisy Dominguez.  I would like to thank Roberto Delgadillo for his invaluable six-year service as the Rapporteur General.  We welcome Suzanne Schadl  and  Craig Schroer who agreed to share the responsibilities of Rapporteur General.

Saludos para tod@s y mis deseos por un exitoso año académico,

Martha E. Mantilla
University of Pittsburgh

Meet the Staff: Lesbia Orta Varona

Thanks to SALALM member Martha Mantilla of the University of Pittsburgh for passing on this article on SALALM member, Lesbia Varona.

Presidential Message October 2011

Dear SALALM members:

I would like to thank Daisy Dominguez and Melissa Gasparotto for all their work on the new SALALM website! As you know, the SALALM Newsletter has been incorporated into the site, and will no longer be published in print form. Several questions remain about content, advertising and updating of the site; these will be addressed throughout the year and at our next meeting. Please contact Daisy or Melissa if you notice any errors or omissions.

Planning is underway for the 57th annual meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. As I hope all you know by now, we will meet June 16-19, 2012, and our theme will be Popular Culture: Arts and Social Change. Please see the complete description on the Conference section of this website. I look forward to your proposed papers, panels and presentations. I am also counting on your assistance in advertising the conference with colleagues at your institutions in the U.S. and elsewhere.

I am happy to report that the University of Miami and Florida International University have issued a joint invitation to SALALM for the 58th annual SALALM meeting in 2013. The Executive Committee has accepted this invitation on a provisional basis, pending the vote of the full Executive Board next June. We are very grateful to be able to rely on this early offer, which will aid considerably with future planning!

Please note that a new SALALM Scholarship has been established “to encourage professional and leadership development in Latin American and Caribbean Studies librarianship.” It is intended for master’s candidates in information or archival studies programs in the US. $1000 will be awarded annually, commencing in December 2011. The award will include a one-year SALALM membership. Please see the application on this website, and share it widely with colleagues in your area.

Lynn Shirey
Harvard University

Archivist for the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries

The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries seeks an Archivist to process manuscript collections and archival materials and help plan, organize, and implement systems and procedures for maintaining physical and intellectual control over such collections with the goal of preserving and improving access to these collections.

To learn more: http://www.library.miami.edu/about/employment/faculty_chcarchivist.html

 

María R. Estorino
Deputy Chair & Chief Operations Manager
Cuban Heritage Collection
University of Miami Libraries
PO Box 248214
Coral Gables, FL 33124-0320
305-284-5854 (o)
305-284-4901(f)
http://library.miami.edu/chc/

Cuban Heritage Collection Photographs Now Online

Last year, the University of Miami Libraries acquired the Tom Pohrt Photograph Collection, an invaluable collection of photographic images of Cuba in the 19th and 20th centuries. With funding from the Goizueta Foundation,we digitized the entire collection, which includes album prints, daguerreotypes,* ambrotypes, and stereographs. We are excited to announce that the digital collection is now available for online viewing at http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc5252/ (the finding aid is here: http://proust.library.miami.edu/findingaids/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=1058).

Tom Pohrt, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is an author and illustrator of children’s books. He is also a collector of Cuban photographs, documents, and memorabilia. We asked him to write a guest article about his photograph collection:

The motivation behind my collecting historic photographs of Cuba began out of simple curiosity. I wanted to know more of Cuban history and its people.

A longer answer to this might come from having parents who instilled in me a sense of curiosity and the value of knowledge for its own sake. My father was a life long collector of American Indian artifacts. The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody, Wyoming are now home to this collection. The exposure growing up around my father’s passion in this aspect of American history had a rich and profound effect on me.

As an artist I have always had a great love of the visual arts, including photography. About twelve years ago I stumbled across and purchased some photographic studio portraits of Havana residents, taken in the early 20th century. I was taken by these images and wanted to know more of their story.

Like many of my generation, I grew up reading and hearing of Cuba during the years of the Cold War. I had a passing knowledge of the “Spanish American War” but that was the embarrassingly limited extent of what I knew of Cuba. Eleven years ago I had my first opportunity to travel to the island, to see and explore some of its history firsthand. It left a lasting impression and since [then] I have returned many times.

This collection was put together by purchases made from other collectors and dealers from around the world. Books and photographs were also found in the odd rare book and antique shop. Early on I decided to let the photographs I was finding direct the focus of my collecting. Soon I found that part of the strength of this collection lay in the mid 19th century photographs I was coming across. As a comprehensive history of early photography in Cuba has yet to be written, I felt this period demanded special attention.

These rare images represent a significant collection of mid 19th century photography of Cuba. Aesthetically beautiful, they are also of great importance as historical documents.

There are examples here of Cuban studio photographers as well as American itinerant photographers.

Examples of the American Civil War photographer George Barnard, whose Cuban stereo-view represent the earliest known images of slavery on the island, form part of this material. His views of Havana also give us a glimpse of life at the time.

There are 71 photographs from an album taken between 1859 and the early 1860′s documenting lighthouses from around the island, with views of Havana and outdoor views taken along the island’s northern coastline. While the photographer remains unknown there is evidence that these may have been taken by photographers (most likely Cuban) working for Charles DeForest Fredricks. C.D. Fredricks & Co. was one of the premier photographic studio in Havana in the mid 19th century.

With the wealth of historic material at the Cuban Heritage Collection, I felt this was the natural home for this material. I was also greatly impressed by the CHC Digital Collections. This service provides easy access both to scholars and to the general public.

* Learn more about one of the daguerreotypes contained in this collection: http://library.miami.edu/uml/chc/2010/03/09/rare-daguerreotype-from-havana-dated-1852-acquired-by-chc/

 

Rudolf Theodoor Kemper
University of Miami

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