AUSTIN, Texas—Special collections from Chicano activism in the 1970s to publications devoted to contemporary Latino culture will be on exhibit during the 30th anniversary celebration of the Mexican American Library Program (MALP) on Thursday, Nov. 11, at The University of Texas at Austin.
The public is invited to attend the 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. celebration, which will include exhibits throughout the first floor of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. The event will be held in Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 1, on the east side of campus at the northwest corner of Red River Street and Clyde Littlefield Drive (formerly Manor Road). Parking is available in Lot 38, adjacent to Sid Richardson Hall, with entry from Red River Street.
A reception during the event will acknowledge former students, faculty and librarians instrumental in the formation and development of the Mexican American Library Program, a unit of the Benson Collection established by the University of Texas Libraries in 1974. In addition, David O. Nilsson, a retired special instructor in mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin, will be recognized for creating the first endowment in support of acquiring and maintaining Mexican American and United States Latino research materials by MALP.
The reception is sponsored by the Benson Latin American Collection in conjunction with the University of Texas Libraries and the Center for Mexican American Studies. Music will be provided by Trio Romántico.
The anniversary event celebrates 30 years of continuous growth and diligent efforts to acquire research materials on the burgeoning Latino/Latina populations throughout the United States. These groups, from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, now compose one of every eight U.S. residents and one-third of the Texas population.
Watersheds in U.S. political and cultural development during the latter part of the 20th century called for an energetic and prompt response from an academic institution like The University of Texas at Austin and its libraries. The rising voice of Mexican Americans in Texas reached a crescendo that, by 1974, demanded library materials to support cultural studies programs of the mexicano experience along the Mexico-U.S. border. The University of Texas Libraries responded to requests by the newly formed Center for Mexican American Studies and activist students and faculty of the time.
Building on the Benson Latin American Collection’s archival records and books of Spanish exploration and settlement of the U.S. Southwest, MALP’s scope expanded to meet the changing Latino demographics of the United States. Research materials now number 30,000 volumes, hundreds of newspaper and journal titles, 3,000 microfilm reels on various subjects, thousands of audio-visual materials and more than 100 archival collections.
The archival collections include manuscripts, organizational records, family papers, photographs and art works. Through MALP, the Benson Collection now is the home of the records of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the records of prominent scholars Américo Paredes (anthropologist and folklorist), Carlos E. Castañeda (historian and librarian), Julián Samora (sociologist) and George I. Sánchez (educator). Special collections of original works by artists, photographers and writers such as Amado Peña, Alurista, Diana Molina and Rolando Hinojosa-Smith also are available for research.
Contemporary sources for U.S. urban development since the arrival of Cubans, Haitians, Salvadorans, Guatemalans, Colombians, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are reflected in scholarly publications and dissertations. Beyond printed sources are electronic sources detailing statistical, demographic and economic data, videos of commercial and original cinematography, and recordings of music and poetry and prose readings.
For more information contact: Ann Hartness, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, 512-495-4520, or Robert D. Meckel, 512-475-7847, Office of Public Affairs.