Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

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Tulane is one of three universities in the US which have created separate collections for Latin American materials. Current holdings total some 365,000 volumes. The Latin American Library comprises 20% of total main library holding and occupies one sixth of total floor space. Its holdings rank tenth among institutions surveyed by the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). Combined holding of all Latin American materials at Tulane place us in the top four or five libraries ranked in a l997-8 study of U.S. collections.

The Library is visited by scholars from throughout the world, including many from Latin America searching for information about their own countries. Yearly it honors about a thousand interlibrary loan requests from other institutions. Every year it fields some 1,000 extramural scholar inquiries and its award-winning web-site registers 280,000 “hits.” Vol. 56 of the Handbook of Latin American Studies identifies The Latin American Library as one of the four most important Internet research sites on Latin America.

The historic focus of the Library has been Mexico and Central America, given the nature of the original l924 gift around which the library has evolved. This focus remains and, in fact, the Library of Congress uses the Latin American Library as a yardstick to evaluate its own collections for Guatemala and Belize.

Among the more notable holdings is an archive of almost 30,000 historic photographs, many of them depicting customs, costumes and buildings no longer extant. The photo collection also includes unique glass negatives and lantern slides taken by early photographers.

The Library has an extensive collection of original Spanish Colonial handwritten documents, including the first letter written by Fernando Cortes in Mexico. It is especially rich in its collection of native language dictionaries, grammars, catechisms, legal dossiers, administrative proceedings and notarial records from New Spain. Another extremely important special collection includes over 2,000 rubbings (many of them huge in size) of Maya stone carving. These are the work of Merle Greene Robertson, the inventor of the rubbing technique as applied to this stone work. The importance of this collection increases yearly as the original stone material is pilfered, looted or eroded by acid rain and petrochemical pollution. In many cases it is best full-scale record of particular inscriptions extant.

Perhaps the crown jewel of the Library is its collection of original Mexican pictorial manuscripts in the Native tradition, the largest such collection in the U.S. These pre-columbian and colonial painted manuscripts, codices, lienzos, and mapas are visited by scholars from throughout the world. A notable example of these manuscripts is the Codex Tulane, a beautiful colored Mixtec document from around l550 which offers a mythological history of an area of Oaxaca and recounts details of the regimes of fifteen generations of rulers.

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Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.

Pan-American Life in New Orleans: Exhibition Opening and Reception

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Pan-American Life Insurance Group and The Latin American Library at Tulane University cordially invite you to an exhibit opening and reception to unveil the Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) Collection. The PALIG Collection, generously donated to The Latin American Library, documents the company’s 109 years connecting New Orleans with Latin America. The exhibit will feature photographs, manuscripts, and other materials from the PALIG archives as well as other holdings from the LAL that shed light on the long history of commercial and cultural ties between New Orleans and Latin America.

See the LAL Facebook page for more details and updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/454592075187553/

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

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A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Bala de maracujá.

Latin American Writers Series Fall 2019 Book Display

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The Latin American Library has put together a display of books written by authors participating in the Fall 2019 Latin American Writers Series: Luis Negrón, Power Paola, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Gabriela Weiner. All books on display are available for check out. When you visit, be sure to grab a free bookmark commemorating the series!

CANCELLED: Café con Alberto Barrera

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The Stone Center invites you to Café con Alberto Barrera. This intimate meet and greet will be an opportunity to connect with Barrera, an influential writer and thinker from Venezuela. In addition to his creative work as a poet and novelist, he has co-authored, with journalist Cristina Marcano, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal, the first biography written on this controversial figure. He has also penned Alta Traición and Un país a la semana, two texts that chronicle the tumultuous political landscape in the Venezuela of recent years. Barrera will be answering questions about his non-fiction work during this casual conversation with faculty and students.

Lunch with LAGO featuring a conversation with three recent PhD graduates

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Join the Latin Americanist Graduate Organization (LAGO) on Friday, 11/22 at 12pm for the latest installment of their bi-weekly lunch series. Three recent PhD graduates will be discussing their professional/academic trajectories:

Stefanie Israel de Souza, CIPR Post-doctoral Fellow (https://stonecenter.tulane.edu/articles/detail/2931/Stefanie-Israel-de-Souza)

Hannah Palmer, Program Manager for Academic Programs at the Stone Center (https://stonecenter.tulane.edu/articles/detail/2922/Hannah-Palmer)

Rachel Stein, Research and Instruction Librarian at the Latin American Library (https://stonecenter.tulane.edu/articles/detail/2760/Rachel-Stein-)

The Labyrinth will be serving mini paninis, savory spreads and dips, desserts (including tres leches cake) and fresh juices. Please come hungry!