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Library of Congress Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Release Date: 26 Sep 2022
Library of Congress Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, highlights the culture, history and contributions of the Hispanic community to the nation.
  • The Hispanic Reading Room will release 50 previously unpublished audio recordings from the PALABRA Archive, which will be available for online streaming.

Library of Congress Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

As Part of the Celebrations, the PALABRA Archive Will Release Recording by U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón and the First Recordings in Mapuche Language


The Library of Congress will release 50 recordings from the PALABRA Archive, including one featuring U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón and the first recordings in the Mapuche language from Chile, as part of its observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The month-long celebration from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 highlights the culture, history and contributions of the Hispanic community to the nation.

On Sept. 28, the Library’s Hispanic Reading Room will release a total of 50 audio recordings from the PALABRA Archive, a collection of close to 850 original recordings of 20th and 21st century poets and writers from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other regions with Hispanic and Portuguese heritage populations. This batch of 50 previously unpublished recordings of authors reading from their works will be available for online streaming.

The release of new archival recordings is one of several digital programs and resources featured for Hispanic Heritage Month at the national library.

“This year, the Library of Congress will commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month with digital collections research guides, story maps, blog posts, events, and audio recordings, which reflect the diversity of the Hispanic community in the United States and of its collections,” said Carlos Olave, director of the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress.

The batch of digital recordings for the PALABRA Archive includes one recorded by Limón soon after Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced her as U.S. Poet Laureate in July. Limón joined a conversation with Argentine poets Laura Wittner and Daniela Auginsky on July 28 in Buenos Aires, as part of a program organized by the low-residency program at Queens University of Charlotte, where Limón teaches.

Other recordings from the collection include four with poets and writers from the Mapuche indigenous community in Chile that were recorded in 2019, and a 1975 recording of award-winning Spanish writer Juan Goytisolo reading an essay on the death of Gen. Francisco Franco that year.

The audio archive includes a recording of Cuban-Jewish-American poet and anthropologist Ruth Behar reading all of the poems included on the recently acquired “Otra piel para otra entraña” book dress, a unique performative work of poetry in the shape of a black bridal gown with 45 scrolls containing poems and illustrations. Designed by Cuban artist Rolando Estevez, the dress pays homage to Cuban women poets chosen by him and American women poets selected by Behar. As part of the National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations, the Library has released a video of Behar wearing and performing the dress/artist book to highlight this singular Library acquisition. The Library will also publish early next month a guest blog post written by Behar.

Additional Hispanic Heritage Month Programs Include:

The National Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period from September 15 to October 15, according to the National Hispanic Heritage Month government website.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services, and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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Media Contact: María Peña, [email protected]

PR 22-085
09/26/22
ISSN 0731-3527

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