The need for academic and research level books from Central America has become more relevant in the light of several events that are affecting the whole region. For example, today it was reported that Guatemala’s Police Archive is under threat of destruction. I understand that we do have a digital surrogate of the same archive at the University of Texas. The project was made possible due to international collaboration among various partners. The question then arises, how should one at UC Berkeley’s Library go about collecting the books from Central America when the region seems to be constantly undergoing political and economic changes. What role can a librarian like me play in collecting and preserving the print heritage of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama in light of the constant budgetary new normal?
The answer lay in the fact that I consulted with the faculty and the students, and other interested colleagues in the library who are interested in seeing that this collection thrives. Today, I continue to selectively build our Central American collection. Here are some of the books that we have received from Guatemala. These include several bilingual titles in Spanish and Maya, as well as several works of award-winning poets. Please click here or on the icon below to access the whole album. There are several difficult to find “Cartonera items” that will be cataloged with the note: Latin American cartonera collection. CU