Benson Latin American Collection

Interactive Exhibit Examines Spanish Colonial Bureacracy

Jan. 4, 2021

For almost three hundred years, the Spanish monarchs ruled over an expansive empire stretching from the Caribbean to the southernmost tip of South America. World history narratives situate Spain within a centuries-long clash between major powers over territory, resources, and authority in the Americas that ended with the wars of independence. However, these histories tend to devote less attention to the day-to-day processes that sustained imperial rule. My dissertation explores this question through an analysis of the underlying mechanisms that bound the people to their faraway king.

NEH, UK Grants Fund AI Transcription Project

Jan. 4, 2021

Game-changing innovations that use artificial intelligence (AI) tools will improve access to Indigenous and Spanish colonial archives. “Unlocking the Colonial Archive: Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Indigenous and Spanish American Historical Collections” is a collaborative project led by LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at The University of Texas at Austin, the Digital Humanities Hub at Lancaster University, and Liverpool John Moores University.

LLILAS Benson Hosts Viritual Workshops with Latin American Partners

Nov. 9, 2020

It was the Summer of Zoom. Anyone whose job quickly morphed from being in-person to being entirely online can relate to (a) isolation, (b) feeling overwhelmed, (c) video-conference overload, or (d) some or all of the above. Yet the ability to engage with other people on platforms such as Zoom has allowed some important work to move forward. Such was the case with the recent workshop series conducted with archival partners in Latin America by the LLILAS Benson Digital Initiatives team (LBDI).

Centennial Edition of Portal Out Now

Nov. 9, 2020

LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections is pleased to announce the publication of Portal magazine’s Benson Centennial edition, available online at llilasbensonmagazine.org.

AILLA Launches Free Online Archiving Course

Sept. 8, 2020

The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) is delighted to announce the launch of a free online course called Archiving for the Future: Simple Steps for Archiving Language Documentation Collections, available at https://archivingforthefuture.teachable.com/. The course material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. BCS-1653380 (Susan S. Kung and Anthony C. Woodbury, PIs; September 1, 2016, to August 31, 2020).

LLILAS Benson Launches Curriculum Site 

Aug. 21, 2020

In the spring of 2019, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections partnered with the Urban Teachers Program at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education to develop and provide free, online access to high school lesson plans.

Benson Acquires Archive of Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias

Aug. 21, 2020

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is thrilled to announce the acquisition of the Miguel Ángel Asturias Papers. Asturias, the 1967 Nobel Laureate in Literature from Guatemala, was an instrumental precursor to the Latin American Boom. A prolific writer of poetry, short stories, children’s literature, plays, and essays, he is perhaps best known as a novelist, with El Señor Presidente (1946)and Hombres de maíz (1949) garnering the most acclaim.

Digital Stewardship Provides Failsafe for Archives

July 16, 2020

The UT Libraries’ Digital Stewardship unit supports digital preservation work across the University of Texas Libraries. When Libraries repositories, such as the Alexander Architectural ArchivesLLILAS Benson, or the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America begin new digital projects, the Digital Stewardship unit often helps develop initial processing plans.

Indigenous Language Archive Opens Unique Amazonian Collection

July 13, 2020

The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) is pleased to announce the opening of the Baniwa of the Aiary and Içana Collection of Robin M. Wright. The materials in this collection cover research Wright conducted from 1976 to the present among the Baniwa, a northern Arawak–speaking people who live both in villages in the Northwest Amazon and in urban contexts. The digitization was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Students Bring "Hidden" Pre-Colombian Artifacts to Light

June 5, 2020

Students in Astrid Runggaldier’s Art and Archaeology of Ancient Peru class were tasked with an intriguing project this spring: take a collection of pre-colonial objects that is, for all intents and purposes, invisible, and make it visible using digital tools. Their efforts have come to fruition with a first-of-its-kind online exhibition titled Ancient Coastal Cultures of Peru: People and Animals at the Edge of the Pacific Ocean.