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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Upcoming Events

Kaqchikel Langauge Table

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Join Kaqchikel professors, native speakers, and fellow students from across the country for an hour of language practice and networking.

For more information see the attached flyer:
Kaqchikel_Language_Table_4-1596189342.pdf

Online Summer Book Group for K-12 Educators

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For pre-service, early career and veteran teachers who love reading and learning through literature who want to explore award-winning books for the middle and early high school classrooms. Join us as we read four books that explore stories of coming-of-age from multiple perspectives. Participants will receive a copy of each book and participate in an open discussion with other K-12 educators. We will launch the book group with The Other Half of Happy. The group will meet online and explore the real story behind this award-winning book with the author Rebecca Balrcárcel. Join us this summer as we discover new stories and books for your classroom.

Register here for $15 (includes all 4 books).

All online Zoom meetings are at 7:00 PM CST.

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Sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and AfterCLASS at Tulane University. For more information, please email crcrts@tulane.edu.

Central America, People and the Environment Educator Institute 2021

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This summer educator institute is the third institute in a series being offered by Tulane University, The University of Georgia and Vanderbilt University. This series of institutes is designed to enhance the presence of Central America in the K-12 classroom. Each year, participants engage with presenters, resources and other K-12 colleagues to explore diverse topics in Central America with a focus on people and the environment.

While at Tulane, the institute will explore the historic connections between the United States and Central America focusing on indigenous communities and environment while highlighting topics of social justice and environmental conservation. Join us to explore Central America and teaching strategies to implement into the classroom.

Additional details and registration will be available in the late fall 2020. For more information, please email dwolteri@tulane.edu or call 504.865.5164.