Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute

Tulane University

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Tulane is one of three universities in the US which have created separate collections for Latin American materials. Current holdings total some 365,000 volumes. The Latin American Library comprises 20% of total main library holding and occupies one sixth of total floor space. Its holdings rank tenth among institutions surveyed by the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM). Combined holding of all Latin American materials at Tulane place us in the top four or five libraries ranked in a l997-8 study of U.S. collections.

The Library is visited by scholars from throughout the world, including many from Latin America searching for information about their own countries. Yearly it honors about a thousand interlibrary loan requests from other institutions. Every year it fields some 1,000 extramural scholar inquiries and its award-winning web-site registers 280,000 “hits.” Vol. 56 of the Handbook of Latin American Studies identifies The Latin American Library as one of the four most important Internet research sites on Latin America.

The historic focus of the Library has been Mexico and Central America, given the nature of the original l924 gift around which the library has evolved. This focus remains and, in fact, the Library of Congress uses the Latin American Library as a yardstick to evaluate its own collections for Guatemala and Belize.

Among the more notable holdings is an archive of almost 30,000 historic photographs, many of them depicting customs, costumes and buildings no longer extant. The photo collection also includes unique glass negatives and lantern slides taken by early photographers.

The Library has an extensive collection of original Spanish Colonial handwritten documents, including the first letter written by Fernando Cortes in Mexico. It is especially rich in its collection of native language dictionaries, grammars, catechisms, legal dossiers, administrative proceedings and notarial records from New Spain. Another extremely important special collection includes over 2,000 rubbings (many of them huge in size) of Maya stone carving. These are the work of Merle Greene Robertson, the inventor of the rubbing technique as applied to this stone work. The importance of this collection increases yearly as the original stone material is pilfered, looted or eroded by acid rain and petrochemical pollution. In many cases it is best full-scale record of particular inscriptions extant.

Perhaps the crown jewel of the Library is its collection of original Mexican pictorial manuscripts in the Native tradition, the largest such collection in the U.S. These pre-columbian and colonial painted manuscripts, codices, lienzos, and mapas are visited by scholars from throughout the world. A notable example of these manuscripts is the Codex Tulane, a beautiful colored Mixtec document from around l550 which offers a mythological history of an area of Oaxaca and recounts details of the regimes of fifteen generations of rulers.

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Film Screening: El Súper with filmmaker Iván Acosta

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The 1979 film version of Cuban filmmaker Ivan Acosta’s award-winning play El Súper, which gained critical and international success for its depiction of exiled Cubans in New York City, will be screened. Mr. Acosta will be in attendance and a discussion in English will follow. Iván Acosta is a playwright, filmmaker, and creative director originally from Santiago de Cuba, now in New York City. His creative endeavors include documentaries, plays, films, and books, and he’s served as writer, director, and producer, among other roles.

A small reception will follow the screening. Seating may be limited. Admission is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/04/29/archives/the-screen-el-super-a-cubanamerican-tale-the-cast.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Iván Acosta book presentation: With A Cuban Song in the Heart / Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón

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Iván Acosta will present his memoir, With a Cuban Song in the Heart/ Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón, published by Un-Gyve Press, 2017. At this event, Mr. Acosta will incorporate his favorite Cuban songs in a musical and historical journey. His book features artwork from 280 album covers in his private collection and weaves a rich narrative combining real life experiences from his childhood in Santiago, Cuba along with tidbits of local lore and historical references. His favorite songs will be performed by local performers during the presentation.
This fascinating presentation, starting at 6:00PM, will be held at Tulane University in the Freeman Auditorium of the Newcomb Art Building (in Newcomb Circle) New Orleans, LA, 70118. A book signing and reception will follow on Woodward Way, right outside the Freeman Auditorium and in the Newcomb Art Museum. The book will be available for purchase for $60.00.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/nyregion/public-lives-cuba-on-his-mind-the-dual-life-of-an-artist-exile.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

Celebración Latina at the Audubon Zoo

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In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, please join us at the Audubon Zoo for the 2018 Celebración Latina family festival to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of Latin America. Celebración Latina, presented by Pan-American Life Insurance Group, will be held at the Zoo’s Capital One Stage and Field. It will offer a true taste of the Latin American culture with live music, children’s activities, and authentic Latin cuisine prepared and sold by local restaurants. Local artisans will sell hand crafts, and local social service, health, and education organizations will offer wellness, education, and social service information.

Celebración Latina is included with Zoo admission or Audubon membership. No outside food, beverages, or tents allowed. Portable chairs and blankets are welcomed.

Don’t forget to check out photos from past celebrations!

For more information, please visit the Audubon Zoo website.

Celebración Latina is sponsored in part by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Ron Austin & Associates.

Carnaval Latino and Parade of the Americas

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Join us for the 19th annual Carnaval Latino festival in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month from October 13 – 15, 2018.

The Hispanic culture has thrived in New Orleans for almost 300 years, and Spanish influence can be seen all over the city. To celebrate the best of Latin culture, the 19th annual Carnaval Latino returns to the downtown area.

The Hispanic American Musicians and Artists Cultural Association hosts the festival to celebrate the music, food, art and culture of Latin America. Numerous musicians, both locally and from overseas, perform to honor the rich Spanish heritage in New Orleans.

In addition to live music and fantastic food, the Krewe of Quetzal will kick off the celebration with a New Orleans style parade, Desfile de Las Americas, or Parade of the Americas, on Saturday, October 13th. See the Hispanic community ride in elaborate costumes, throwing souvenirs to the crowds. After the parade, festival goers will then enjoy Latin music, art, food and drink, during Carnaval Latino’s festival at Generations Hall in the Warehouse District.

For more information on the festival and parade, visit Carnaval Latino’s official website.