Princeton University Library is proud to have among its Special Collections several magnificent portfolios by the Puerto Rican printmaker, painter, installation artist, and writer Antonio Martorell, one of the 12 recipients of the 2021 National Medals of Arts awarded by President Joseph R. Biden on Tuesday, March 21, 2023.
The first Martorell portfolio acquired by the library was Salmos, a set of 17 woodcuts by the artist with handwritten texts by the Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal printed in 1971. Spanish language readers can access here an excellent essay by the renowned art critic Marta Traba about this work.
Princeton University Library, home to the Sergio Ramírez Papers, has been honored to receive his visit on several occasions during the fall semester to review his archive and other bibliographic treasures with students, visitors, and family. Ramírez is one of the most distinguished Latin American living writers, having published more than 50 books and received numerous literary awards, most notably the Cervantes Prize in 2017.
A prominent figure in the 1979 revolution that overthrew the Somoza family dictatorship in Nicaragua, Ramírez served as Vice President of the country from 1985 to 1990. He retired from politics in 1997 and soon after published Adiós muchachos, an acclaimed personal memoir and analysis of the Sandinista Revolution. Since then, he devoted himself chiefly to his literary projects. In recent years, he has also become one of the most important critical voices against the Daniel Ortega regime. After the Nicaraguan government threatened to arrest him and banned his most recent novel, Tongolele no sabía bailar, he has lived in exile in Spain. This fall, Sergio Ramírez is at Princeton as a Visiting Professor hosted jointly by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).
The Central Library of the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and Princeton University Library have partnered to make digitally available to researchers, students, and the general public, the Colección Documental sobre la violencia política en el Perú, an extensive collection documenting the tragic period of terrorism and political violence that plagued Peru in the late twentieth century.
The collection, compiled by Gustavo Gorriti Ellenbogen during his years as an investigative journalist during the period, consists of a vast array of documents including political brochures, flyers, reports from political organizations, periodical publications, newspaper clippings, personal documentation, books and literature of the time. It is probably the most complete and detailed documentary collection for the analysis of the terrorist phenomenon in Peru.
Records of Resistance: Documenting Global Activism 1933 to 2021, Princeton University Library’s latest exhibition, includes images that range from sacred Passover Haggadot that embody Jews’ spiritual resistance to their oppressors during and immediately after the Holocaust, to dramatic photographs of marchers on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965, to vibrant posters, pamphlets and photographs created by protesters taking to the streets of Lahore, Pakistan and Santiago, Chile, only a few years ago.
The exhibition content originating in Chile relates to the nation-wide mass protests known as the Estallido Social (social outburst), a series of nation-wide mass protests that went on steadily from October 2019 to March 2020 and made painfully visible the deep social discontent of broad sectors of Chilean society.
The ample selection of exhibition catalogs, brochures and books by and about experimental artists such as Carlos Altamirano, Eugenio Dittborn, Paz Errázuriz, Alfredo Jaar, Ronald Kay, Carlos Leppe, and Nelly Richard, among others, allowed students to look closely at and discuss how, after the Military Coup of 1973, Chilean artists reconceptualized traditional artistic practices, languages, techniques and genres.
Princeton University Library is pleased to announce the acquisition by donation of the papers of Puerto Rican dancer, educator, choreographer, and independent scholar Alma Concepción. Concepción was first soloist of Ballets de San Juan, a member of the Carmen Amaya Company, Antonio´s Ballets de Madrid, and the Taller de Histriones mime company in Puerto Rico. She was the founder of Taller de Danza, a children’s movement and dance community organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. She was instructor of Spanish dance and ballet at the Princeton Ballet School and the Ballet Hispánico of New York, as well as Visiting Faculty at Fordham, Princeton, and Rutgers University. She has also been a long time and dedicated contributor to People & Stories / Gente y Cuentos, a grassroots literature program dedicated primarily to underserved communities.
Items address a wide variety of timely topics including indigenous rights, women’s rights, anti-racism, and COVID-19 public education. Also included are several political campaign propaganda pieces for the 2022 general election.
The papers of Jorge Díaz, one of the most distinguished members of Chile’s literary Generación del 50 and an extraordinarily prolific playwright, are now available for research in Firestone Library’s Special Collections.
Jorge Díaz wrote more than one hundred plays for adult audiences and thirty-seven for children. Some of his best known plays include El cepillo de dientes (1960), Topografía para un desnudo (1965), Toda esta larga noche (1976), Las cicatrices de la memoria (1984), Nadie es profeta en su espejo (1990), Canción de cuna para un anarquista (2003), and El Quijote no existe (2005). In addition to theater, he wrote short stories, poems, radio and TV scripts. He published more than 50 books in Chile, Spain and other countries.
Special Collections recently acquired three rare villancicos authored by Juana Inés de la Cruz. A self-taught poet, philosopher, and dramatist, she is considered one of the preeminent figures of Mexican and Spanish American colonial literature as well as a precursor of feminism in the Americas. The three items, published in Mexico in the last quarter of the 17th century, are among the earliest publications authored by de la Cruz.