Benson Latin American Collection

Latin Americanists Unite to Decipher Spanish Colonial Archive

June 17, 2022

For years, the LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship Office has been experimenting with digital technologies to transform this “unreadable” Spanish colonial archive into accessible humanities data for scholars. However, we tried something new this past year and reversed the equation: We convened colonial Latin Americanists online to transform handwritten words on pages into digital text that they could then use to make the digital humanities (DH) more accessible.

Benson Exhibit Celebrates “El Gaucho Martín Fierro”

April 6, 2022

The Benson Latin American Collection recently inaugurated Martín Fierro: From Marginal Outlaw to National Symbol in the Rare Books Reading Room. Co-curated by Graduate Research Assistants Melissa Aslo de la Torre and Janette Núñez, this exhibition examines the Argentine epic poem El gaucho Martín Fierro and its legacy on the 150th anniversary of the poem’s publication. 

UT Tower Lights Up for Benson Centennial

March 23, 2022

On the night of March 24, 2022, the UT Tower will be lit in honor of the centennial of a crown jewel of our campus—the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. Established as the Latin American library on campus in 1921, the collection is beloved by students and faculty, and visited by scholars from all over the world.

Read the full article at Tex Libris. 

Remembering Heidi Johnson

Feb. 10, 2022

The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA), the University of Texas Libraries and LLILAS Benson extend their sympathy to the family, friends and former colleagues of Heidi Johnson, who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

As the manager of AILLA from 2001 through 2012, Johnson played a central role in building the archive into the internationally recognized language repository that it is today.

An Introduction to the José Vasconcelos Papers

Jan. 27, 2022

The Benson Latin American Collection is home to the archive of Mexican politician, writer, and philosopher José Vasconcelos (1881–1959).

In a short essay, Diego Godoy describes a man of contradictions, “the personification of both the brightness and darkness” of post-revolutionary Mexico.

Read at Tex Libris.

Comic Creator Donates Materials to Benson

Jan. 7, 2022

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s El Peso Hero!

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is pleased to announce Héctor Rodríguez III’s donation of materials pertaining to his comic series, El Peso Hero.

The series was launched in 2011, when Rodríguez saw the need for more Latino representation in graphic novels. The titular superhero, whose name is Ignacio Rivera, fights to uphold justice and morality in the border region. 

Curating a History of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at UT

Sept. 9, 2021

The honorable Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was the first Black Greek-letter organization to be established at The University of Texas at Austin. Sworn in on May 16, 1959, at high noon in the Queen Anne Room, this particular group of women is dripping in legacy, poignant programs, community service, and rich history. As an archivist-in-training, with the unique opportunity to not only archive an oral history but curate it from scratch, I see it as my duty to extract the essence and diversity of these highly valuable experiences among the Delta Xi women.

Centennial Online Exhibit Celebrates Diversity of Thought in the Americas

Aug. 30, 2021

A new online exhibition, A Hemisphere of Knowledge: A Benson Centennial Exhibit, explores the implications of Martí’s words across time and cultures, using a wealth of resources available at the Benson Latin American Collection.

"The Benson at 100" Podcast Celebrates Library's Centennial

Aug. 30, 2021

In honor of the centennial of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the library’s head of collection development, Daniel Arbino, has teamed up with Pilar Zazueta, historian and senior lecturer at the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS), to create a bilingual podcast.

In Memoriam: David Block

June 24, 2021

LLILAS Benson mourns the passing of friend, scholar, and former colleague David Block III, on June 15, 2021. Block was head of the Benson Latin American Collection from 2009 until his retirement in 2014.

Read the complete memorial at: