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.

For a guide to our finding aids and discovery tools, visit: How to Search Special Collections @ The Latin American Library


Quick Links

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

The Curator's Corner

Item Spotlight:  Elías Barreiro Collection

My spotlight this summer is on a brand new addition to our manuscripts holdings at the Latin American Library.  We are delighted to serve as the repository for the personal and professional papers of internationally renowned Cuban-American guitar maestro and longtime Professor of Guitar Performance at Tulane, Elías Barreiro (b. 1930). 

The Elías Barreiro collection measures 18 linear feet of material and documents the maestro’s professional career spanning over five decades and three continents.  It contains personal correspondence, photographs, original scores and arrangements for guitar by Barreiro; CDs of his music recordings; correspondence, diverse ephemera in the form of recital and concert programs, flyers, posters, and postcards, photographs, LPs and books from his personal library about music, and newspaper clippings documenting Barreiro’s concerts in the US and abroad as well as those of his mentor, renowned Spanish classical guitar maestro, Andrés Segovia.

Born in Santiago de Cuba, Elías Barreiro studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and did his post-graduate work with Andrés Segovia in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.  He performed extensively in Cuba and abroad as a recitalist, a soloist with orchestra, and with chamber ensembles.  During his tenure as professor and head of the guitar program at Tulane University, Elías Barreiro has numerous recordings to his credit, and he has edited and arranged scores for over forty books on guitar music published by Hansen Publications, the Willis Music Company, Editions Orphée, and now exclusively by Mel Bay Publications.  He has participated in juries at both national and international competitions and has won numerous awards, including the 1992 Mentor Award given by the Guitar Foundation of America; a lifetime achievement award in music conferred by the New Orleans International Music Colloquium; and a Proclamation Award for outstanding service to the community issued by the City of New Orleans. Professor Barreiro’s distinguished legacy in the field of classical guitar continues to thrive among generations of students he mentored, as captured in the photograph image above taken by an unknown photographer at Tulane University, c 1990s.   

To consult these and other materials from the physical collection and to find other resources about Cuban and Cuban American musicians, performers, 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