Special Collections


Welcome to the Special Collections of the Latin American Library at Tulane University.  Our mission is to acquire, preserve, and provide access to primary source materials related to Latin America and the Caribbean that support the research needs of the Tulane community, the greater New Orleans area, and Latin American scholars from around the world.  There are several distinct divisions of collecting:  rare books and pamphlets, printed ephemera, manuscript collections, maps, rare newspapers, and visual materials.  In all, the holdings of the Latin American Library’s Special Collections total over 6,600 linear feet of unique and rare material.
The collections are topically wide-ranging but have special strengths in the following areas:  Mesoamerican anthropology, archaeology, and history; indigenous languages of Mesoamerica; Mesoamerican codices and painted texts; early modern Spanish America, including rare printed works relating to the first encounters and later travel accounts of the New World; history, society and the arts for all periods of Central America and the Southern states of Mexico; the history of travel and tourism in Latin America; art and art history of the region.  Hard copy versions of our finding aids for all of our holdings in Special Collections are available for consultation at the Latin American Library office.  They can also be searched electronically and downloaded from our Special Collections Database
Students, faculty, scholars, and members of the general public are welcome to visit and make use of our reading and seminar rooms at the Latin American Library on the 4th floor of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library upon initial registration. We also offer individual and group consultation and work with faculty to provide class sessions integrating special collections materials into their course curriculums and classrooms.   
Please contact the Curator of Special Collections, Dr. Christine Hernandez or the Director, Dr. Hortensia Calvo for more information and assistance.

Quick Links

Guidelines For Researchers
Duplication/Permissions Services
Special Collections Database
Visiting Tulane

The Curator's Corner

Item Spotlight:  Radionovelas are back on the air!

This month and next, we celebrate the Latin American Library's most recent digital collection, the Louis J. Boeri and Minín Bujones Boeri Collection of Cuban American Radionovelas, 1963-1970, published now on the Tulane University Digital Library. Most of us recognize the Spanish term telenovela which means television soap opera.  Radionovelas are those soap operas that are transmitted via radio.  From the 1930s to the 1950s, Cuba was one of the leading centers of production for Spanish language radio dramas.  After the Revolution of 1959, that center shifted to Miami, Florida as many of Cuba's gifted writers and performers emigrated abroad.  America's Productions, Inc. (API), based in Miami and led by Louis J. Boeri, became a major producer and distributor of a variety of Spanish language radio programs that included soap operas, suspense dramas, thrillers, comedy shows, and variety programs among others.  These popular programs present a form of serialized storytelling aimed primarily at female audiences, and provide important insights on the rise of the U.S. Spanish-language media, the construction of a U.S. Hispanic audience and feminist media criticism in particular, as well as the history of Spanish and Latin American radio and advertising, popular culture and performing arts in the post-1959 Cuban diaspora, among many other topics.

The Radionovelas digital collection features three full length soap operas and select episodes from five other radio programs available now for the first time since they were last broadcasted during the late 1960s.  Among the selections are episodes of Se soltó el loco con Pototo starring Leopoldo Fernández famous for his portrayal of "Tres Patines" in the well-known radio program, El tremendo corte.  In addition to the audio selections, the collection includes examples of API's marketing materials, brochures, and program synopses, like the example above.  The digital collection will continue to grow as more titles and episodes are digitized.

To consult these and other materials from the physical collection and to find other resources about Cuban and Cuban American writers and artists, contact us to view and listen to them in the Latin American Library's Reading Room or search our database using the Quick Link above.

Christine Hernández, Curator of Special Collections