- 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- The Hispanic Reading Room will release 50 previously unpublished audio recordings from the PALABRA Archive, which will be available for online streaming.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 This batch of 50 previously unpublished recordings of authors reading from their works will be available for online streaming.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:
- On Sept. 28, the American Folklife Center and the Music Division will present a concert video premiere by Tlacuatzin Son Huasteco, a trio well-known for playing the traditional Huapango music of Northeastern Mexico, as part of the Homegrown Concerts series.
- The Law Library is promoting, among other items, a collection of Spanish legal documents from the 15th through 19th centuries, and a compilation of Spanish and Mexican law in relation to mines, and titles to real estate, in force in California, Texas, New Mexico and in the territories acquired under the Louisiana and Florida treaties.
- Celebrations throughout some of the Library’s 20 public reading rooms include guest blog posts, a new resource guide about artistic expressions on the U.S.-Mexico border, a story map about the Incan Empire, performances, workshops, lectures, exhibits, a webcast on Latino art and other special events.
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.
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