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Latin American Studies Collections

New Year, and New Books!

As we return from our holiday break, I wanted to wish you a belated Happy New Year and share with you some selected images of the recently published books from Brazil, Peru, and Haiti. These books will be cataloged and made available for our readers.

The books from Brazil remain an important collection development priority for UC Berkeley Library. I have been proactively collecting Brazilian books for our faculty and students. Please click on the image below to get a glimpse of what has come in this month.


The pictures of books from Haiti and Peru can be also seen by clicking on the embedded links. One of the interesting books that I am glad to share with you is a 2017 edition of Atlas de comunidades nativas y áreas naturales protegidas del nordeste de la Amazonía peruana.

Atlas de comunidades nativas y áreas naturales protegidas del nordeste de la Amazonía peruana
Author: Richard Chase Smith; Carla Soria; Instituto del Bien Común.
Publisher: Lima, Perú : Instituto del Bien Común, 2017.
Edition/Format: Map : Atlas : Spanish
Natural resources conservation areas — Peru — Amazonas — Maps.
Natural resources conservation areas — Peru — Cajamarca (Department) — Maps.
Natural resources conservation areas — Peru — Loreto (Department) — Maps.

New books from Chile and Nicaragua: Two countries-different histories-different trajectories.

18 December 2017

Dear Readers,

I wanted to wish you a very Happy and Healthy upcoming New Year!. The library is closed per the energy curtailment policy from Monday, December 25th through January 1st. Before I leave for this holiday break, I thought it might be a good idea to share some new acquisitions of books from Chile and Nicaragua. Both countries represent interesting histories with different trajectories. Below are some of the interesting acquisitions from both countries. In Chilean acquisitions, I want us to pay attention to a 2017 book by Ruth Vargas that is entitled Pewmas/Sueños de justicia : Lonkos y dirigentes mapuche versus Chile en la Corte Interamericana : testimonios y evidencia psicoforense de los efectos de la Ley Antiterrorista. The book is an eye-opening tale about what is currently transpiring in the lands of the Mapuches.

Please click on the image below to get the access to the photos of our new Chilean purchases.

The Nicaraguan books are depicted below.

New books from Argentina and Brazil

Both Argentina and Brazil continue as perpetual powerhouses of South American publishing and the cultural production. The sheer diversity of various print materials that both countries produce often is overwhelming and yet serves as an aspirational goal for any Latin American Studies librarian in the North American Setting. The questions of what to collect, when to collect? and What not to collect become an important barometer in the times of changing formats, budgetary realities, and other intervening factors. However, as a librarian, I focus on collecting in consultation with our faculty members and various students. Below are some photos of our recent purchases of the Argentine and Brazilian imprints. I look forward to getting your feedback about our collections of Latin American materials that are located in the Doe Library. I try to strike a balance between both the Humanities and Social Sciences related print items. Happy Holidays!

Please click on the images below to see the rest of the books.

The photos of the books from Brazil are located here.

The Cuban Poster Collection 1960-2000 of UC Berkeley Digitized!

Our library’s Cuban Poster Collection was developed over time by my former colleague Dr. Carlos Delgado who was our librarian for the Latin American Studies. These posters as a group are unique markers of the time and milieu that had created them. These posters highlight different aspects of societal changes within Socialist Cuba and give voice to the silent yet interesting narratives through the images that are displayed. In order to make this collection broadly available to various researchers and scholar who cannot physically visit our campus, our library made a decision to digitize them. There are 482 different items within this collection.
I am glad to report that this digitization has been completed. The California Digital Library is working on some issues with the display of thumbnails. However, I wanted to share this exciting project with you as we approach our holiday season!

The finding aid can be accessed here.

An interesting artist’s book-Al filo : entrevistas literarias Miyó Vestrini (1980-1981)

As a curator for Latin American Studies, I periodically purchase some interesting and esthetically appealing difficult to find books. I believe that these books will add to our collections but with such purchases comes responsibility for preserving these objects of art for the posterity. I must thank my colleagues in Bancroft Library who have accepted this book for long-term preservation. One such book that I purchased is “Al filo: entrevistas literarias Miyó Vestrini (1980-1981).”

It is also interesting to see the processes that went into producing of this artist’s book.

Miyó Vestrini (Nîmes, France 1938 – Caracas, Venezuela 1991) was a Venezuelan prominent poet, journalist and scriptwriter. This edition was published by Ediciones Letra Muerta in 2015.

The copy that we have is no. 103 out of 500 copies. An interesting synopsis of her biography can be found here. The images below are used to show our readers how the book looks like and are meant to be used under the fair use clause. At the time of writing this post, there were 8 libraries in the United States that owned copies of this title. Please click on the image below to see further images of the title.

For more details watch the following video that was produced by the publishing house.

Select new books from Haiti.

I am glad to announce that for the past two months, I have been working with a vendor who can supply our library with selected books from Haiti. Today, I received the first batch of Haitian books and I am including some images of these books below. I am super-excited that I can contribute in a meaningful way to our non-Spanish and non-Portuguese collection of print materials from Latin America. This batch of Haitian books contain some interesting Haitian literary prize winners as well as some secondary source materials on the history of the nation. One can see these individual photos here.



Trial of Brill’s Guatemala Collection: Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991)

Dear Faculty and Students,

I have started a trial of Brill’s Guatemala Collection. The details of this trial are below. To access this resource from an off-campus location, please log in using your VPN or our EZ proxy. The trial will end on December 28, 2018. Please provide me your feedback.

Government and Church Documents for Sacatepéquez (1587-1991)

General details:
Site address:    http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/the-guatemala-collection
Product:         The Guatemala Collection
Brill sub-id: 46437
Start date:      28 Nov 2017
End date:        28 Dec 2017

Project Advisor: David Carey Jr., Loyola University Maryland

Populated predominantly by indígenas (indigenous peoples) who speak Kaqchikel-Maya, Sacatepéquez Department offers an excellent window into Latin American and Native American history. Crucial to Guatemala’s colonial and national development, indígenas were largely discounted and denigrated. Despite such discrimination and disadvantages, many found ways to survive and thrive. Often converging at the nexus of modernization and tradition, the documents in this collection convey the complicated hybrid history of a nation striving to present itself as progressive and civilized in an Atlantic world that seldom associated those qualities with indigeneity. The Guatemala Collection houses a rich array of government, church, and civil documents that bear testimony to an indigenous population’s struggle and success with the changing social, economic, political, and religious dynamics of the colonial and independent rule.

The Guatemala Collection comprises ten series. Across these ten series, the documents of the collection are organized into fifty-seven distinct classifications that include such themes as economy, agriculture, forced labor, complaints, crime, annual reports, natural disasters, municipal affairs, education, elections, military, public works, religion, public health, lands and estates, development, resignations and solicitations, regulations, festivities, and maps.

Language: Spanish

Citation: The Guatemala Collection, Brill, Leiden and Boston, 2017 <http://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/the-guatemala-collection>

Recent new books from Chile

We are nearing the end of the year, and I wanted to post some images of newly acquired Chilean books for you. I am trying to work on improving our coverage of Chilean materials in order to build a sustainable Chilean collection at UC Berkeley! I am inspired by the Chilean Student Group and by the leadership at the La Peña Cultural Center in the city of Berkeley.

An upcoming book talk by Professor Tom McEnaney

I wanted our readers to be aware of an upcoming event- a book talk by Professor Tom McEnaney that is scheduled in Morrison Library on Monday, December 4, 2017, at 5 pm. Professor Tom McEnaney and Professor Natalia Brizuela were instrumental with all their help in our organizing of this event at the library.

Professor McEnaney will read from his book- Acoustic Properties: Radio, Narrative, and the New Neighborhood of the Americas.

Please see the blog post below that contains more information about the book talk.


This is one of the first events that I was able to organize in my capacity as the librarian for Latin American Studies with a generous support and help from the faculty and the Center for Latin American Studies.  I want to thank Professors Tom MnEnaney, Natalia Brizuela and Harley Shaiken for encouraging me to grow as a new librarian for Latin American Studies on our campus and for their acceptance.

Argentina- the country of thousands of books and immense cultural production.

I fondly remember the kindness of Argentine people during my informal visit to Entre Ríos  and Santa Fe provinces during my last year at the library school while interning in Porto Alegre, Brazil. However, I had no idea about the richness of the Argentine literature and its robust book production. Today, I am glad to present you with the select images of the newly acquired Argentine books for the main collections. Enjoy, and provide me with your critical feedback. I am living and learning and as I say in Indic tradition-I am imperfect but I am here to work and collect our Latin American books!

Select new books from Argentina.

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