125th anniversary of death of José Martí-the Cuban Intellectual, Author and Revolutionary!

JOSÉ MARTÍ – Serie Maestros de América Latina (Fair Academic Use Only, Source: UNIPE, Argentina)

Each nation-state has its own heroes whose actions often contribute to the narrative of mythopoetics of what it means to be a nation. Sometimes, songs are sung in their honor and monuments jut up like totems, arches, and pyramids of the antiquities. While the foundational myths and narratives often remain magical, the real actions of these enlightened individuals lead to the achievement of something larger.  José Martí is one such shining example.

The Cuban poet, a revolutionary philosopher, and Latin American intellectual of his times José Martí died one hundred and twenty-five years ago during the Battle of Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895. He led fight against the Spanish. From the Library of Congress hosted narrative, one notes that he lived in New York from 1881 and 1895 and a curious statement summarizes the imperialist tendencies that this nation has existed as follows, “He wrote everything from a magazine for children (Edad de Oro) to poetry (Versos sencillos 1891), to essays on the nature of the United States which he admired for its energy and industry as well as its notable statesmen, particularly the framers of the Constitution. However, he denounced its imperialist attitude toward its southern neighbors.”

Below are some of the electronic books that one can read after authenticating using proxy or VPN.

For works by José Martí at UC Berkeley Library see here.


Open Access in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Digital Resources: Episode 3

This is a third episode of Open Access in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Digital Resources. Today, I want to introduce the readers to the Costa Rican Historical Newspapers that have been digitized by SINABI Costa Rica. SINABI (Sistema Nacional De Bibliotecas: Costa Rica) is a system of Costa Rican libraries.

SINABI’s Landing Page.

There are over 300 historical newspapers that have been digitized and ready to be used for research. These can be accessed here.

Periódicos of SINABI.

The site allows any user to download these as PDF files. For example, “Actualidades: bisemanario de la vida nacional.” This particular periodical was directed and edited by Francisco Soler and among his collaborators were Mario Sancho, Leonidas Pachecho, and Julián Marchena. It included political information. It began publication on December 4, 1916.

There isn’t evidence that the periodical is OCR’ed and can be cross-searched against the other digitized periodicals and newspapers. Nevertheless, Costa Rica’s 300 historical newspaper titles are available for academic research.

Actualidades, Issue 1. 1916.



Trial: Classic Brazilian Cinema Online (Brill) ends on June 6, 2020

Classic Brazilian Cinema Online

Classic Brazilian Cinema Online
Editor: Rafael de Luna Freire
Resource self-description: “A unique collection of digitized historical film magazines from the 1910s to the 1970s, providing students and researchers with easy access to rare and previously dispersed sources documenting the cinematographic history of the largest country in Latin America.”

If you now go to https://primarysources.brillonline.com/browse/classic-brazilian-cinema-online you will find you have complete access to the resource. Brazilian cinema gained international acclaim through the Cinema Novo of Glauber Rocha, Nelson Pereira dos Santos and other directors in the 1960s. Yet Brazil produced numerous films throughout its various regions since as early as 1896. Until now, a proper appreciation of early Brazilian cinema has been hampered by the loss of a significant number of the films, as well as a lack of available printed sources pertaining to Brazil’s movie industry.”

The trial will go on through June 6, 2020

Sources from the Cinemateca do Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro; New York University Libraries; and four private collectors in Brazil
• Unique access to more than 60 magazines • Fan magazines, trade magazines, Cinema Novo magazines
• Covering the period 1913–1974 • Ca. 75,000 full-color images • Full-text search functionality

Fair Academic Use Only.
These images may be protected by the U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C).

Open Access in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Digital Resources: Episode 2

Here is the second episode of the Open Access Digital Resources. We present you with the digital library of Francophone Caribbean, Amazonia, and Guayanas (Bibliotheque Numerique Caraibe Amazonie Plateau Des Guyanes). The self-description can be translated as, “Manioc (Cassava) is a digital library specializing in the Caribbean, the Amazon, the Guyana Plateau and the regions or centers of interest linked to these territories. The site is an open-access collaborative project between the University of Antilles and the University of Guyana.” This digital library provides access to several key digital collections related to the region.

Readings for Cinco de Mayo!

The Battle of Puebla marked one of the most significant episodes in Mexican military history.
CC BY-SA 3.0

Cinco de Mayo represents a victory of David over the Goliath. The battle took place on 5 May 1862. Benito Juárez, then the President of Mexico suspended the debt payments to the Western creditors and the collecting nations menaced Mexico with the war and especially the French Empire that came to disagree with the decision invaded Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is one watershed event in the series of battles where the Mexican nation successfully fought against the French Imperialism and drove out the superior French forces defeated. The events on the French sides have been summarized in several books including in “Révélations sur l’intervention française au Mexique de 1866 à 1867, par F. de La Barreyrie,” and “Le Mexique au début du XXe siècle.” It is interesting to see the language that was used to justify the French invasion of Mexico. And also it intereting to see the societal discourse that was used in the proclamation of the French Emperor Napoleon the third. Does it remind us of some similar language in the recent history that is used by some in our own nation? Here are some of the archival documents that reflect the Mexican view.

Today, while some cherish the celebrations of mariachis, tacos, and margaritas on May 5th, the true meaning of the battle that took place on the Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a genuinely American Holiday. Below are books that one can read to reflect on this 5 de Mayo!

Finally, we leave you with a clip about La Batalla de Puebla by a well-known outcome Mexican historian, Paco Ignacio Taibo II.

New ebooks from Digitalia Hispánica

For the most current and relevant publications from Latin America and Spain, ebooks are not always the first format choice, however we continue to build up the Library’s digital holding as funding permits. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, collaboration among librarians has taken on a new dimension as we work together to provide access to digital and digitized library resources like never before. 

With joint support from the Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences divisions this year, we selected 550 ebooks on a broad range of topics and disciplines in early January of this year. Part of an annual collaboration over the past three years, these digital monographs are brought to us from one of Spain’s most important vendors for ebooks—Digitalia Hispánica. Below we’ve highlighted a few of these newly acquired ebooks from publishers like Arte Público Press, CSIC, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Iberoamericana Vervuert, LOM, Páginas de Espuma, Renacimiento and more.

To browse the entire list of more than 2,600 Digitalia ebooks in Berkeley’s collection, search OskiCat by the handle “Digitalia e-books.”

Liladhar Pendse, Librarian for Caribbean and Latin America Studies Collections
Claude Potts, Librarian for Romance Language Collections



Open Access Latin American and Caribbean Studies Digital Resources: Episode 1

Open Access Latin American and Caribbean Studies Digital Resources: Episode 1

La Biblioteca va a su casa: Fuentes para la investigación sobre los estudios latinoamericanos.

One of the students asked a reference question: What should I do to access the primary resources while the library remains open virtually during this pandemic? The student’s question served as a stimulus to an idea of these episodes was born. Twice a week, the librarian will provide information on open access to a digital resource in Latin American Studies. In this first episode, we want to introduce you to Open Access Digital Primary Sources that are being indexed by the SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials), and these can serve as a starting point for your research. Below is the screenshot of the landing page of the resource. Please click on the icon to get access to the website. The SALALM effort is a collaborative effort, and one can recommend any additional digital resources here.

Latin American & Caribbean Digital Primary Resources
Latin American & Caribbean Digital Primary Resources


The Promise of Multilingualism by Judith Butler

The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition

Reception for The Languages of Berkeley: An Online Exhibition
Judith Butler speaks at the Languages of Berkeley reception in Morrison Library on Feb. 5, 2020. (Photo by Violet Carter for the UC Berkeley Library)

“If we were only to work in English, we would misunderstand our world.
Monolingualism keeps us parochial even if the language we speak
has achieved global dominance.”

In her keynote lecture on Feb. 5 for the exhibit reception for The Languages of Berkeley, Judith Butler said that “At UC Berkeley and in this Library in particular, in language courses and in literature and history courses, students and faculty alike understand themselves to be part of an ongoing multilingual experiment—one that brings with it different histories and cultures, different ways of understanding the social world.” A world-renowned philosopher, gender theorist, and political activist, Butler is best known for her book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990), and its sequel, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’ (1993), which have both been translated into more than twenty languages. Her most recent book is The Force on Nonviolence: An Ethico-Political Bind (2020). She has taught at Cal for 27 years in the Department of Comparative Literature and in the Program of Critical Theory, where she is Maxine Elliot Professor. Among her achievements, she is currently the 2020 president of the Modern Language Association, in which she is, in the words of Professor Rick Kern, “the lead advocate for languages in the United States.”

Butler’s lecture, “The Promise of Multilingualism,” eloquently put into words the inspiration for the exhibition itself. “In learning another language, we practice humility in an effort to gain knowledge and to live in a broader world—one that exceeds the national boundaries that too often divide us,” she said. “The passage through humility gives us greater capacity to live and think in a multilingual world, to shift from one way of knowing to another.” Her entrancing talk that winter evening in the iconic Morrison Library—which followed nine short readings by faculty, students, and librarians in different languages—echoed and expanded on some of the ideas in Who Sings the Nation-State?: Language, Politics, Belonging which she co-wrote with Gayatri Spivak in 2007.

At Berkeley, and in literature, history, and philosophy departments especially, “multilingualism is our location and it means that we never assume one language holds the truth over any other,” she said. By learning and working in other languages, she posited, we experience both dislocation and an enriching humility finding ourselves less capable in another language than the primary one that we speak. For some of us, for whom English is a first language, we have a promising experience that productively challenges the notion that English is at the center of the world. “Each and everyone of us speaks a language that is foreign to someone else,” she affirmed. “At least here, at least potentially what we call ‘the foreign’ is actually the medium in which we live together, the enigmatic basis of our worldly connection with one another.”

The Arts & Humanities Division of the UC Berkeley Library and the Berkeley Language Center (BLC) hosted the reception for the online exhibition. University Librarian Jeff MacKie-Mason gave introductory remarks, and Rick Kern, director of the BLC and professor in the Department of French, introduced the keynote speaker. Romance Languages Librarian Claude Potts, who is the lead curator for the exhibition, involving more than 40 contributors, moderated the event. Four of those who read short texts in their original languages also contributed to the online sequential exhibit, which launched in February 2019 and will reach completion this summer, with approximately 70 entries representing most of the languages that are currently taught and used in research at Berkeley.

Virginia Shih for Vietnamese (South/Southeast Asia Library) – 13:40
Curator for the Southeast Asia Collection

Ahmad Diab for Arabic (Department of Near Eastern Studies) – 17:08
Assistant Professor

Yael Chaver for Yiddish (Department of German) – 23:50
Lecturer in Yiddish

Jeroen Dewulf for Dutch (Department of German and Dutch Studies Program) – 31:30
Director, Institute of European Studies
Interim Director, Institute of International Studies
Queen Beatrix Professor

Sam Mchombo for Chichewa (African American Studies) – 38:58
Associate Professor

Deborah Rudolph for Chinese (C.V. Starr East Asian Library) – 48:31

Marinor Balouzian and Natalie Simonian for Armenian (Armenian Studies Program) – 53:21
Undergraduate Students

Emilie Bergmann for Spanish (Department of Spanish & Portuguese) – 58:19

Robert Goldman for Sanskrit (Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies) – 1:07:05
Catherine and William L. Magistretti Distinguished Professor

See also the Library News story “Want to explore a language? At Berkeley, the possibilities are (nearly) limitless.” 

Or the blog post “We All Speak a Foreign Language to Someone” by Caitlyn Jordan for the Townsend Center for the Humanities.


The Languages of Berkeley [fan]
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The Languages of Berkeley is a dynamic online sequential exhibition celebrating the diversity of languages that have advanced research, teaching and learning at the University of California, Berkeley. It is made possible with support from the UC Berkeley Library and is co-sponsored by the Berkeley Language Center (BLC).

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Readings for Ramadan (Ramzan/ رمضان‎‎)

©Spanish.ucam.ae/news/ramadan-kareem (Fair Academic Use Only)

UC Berkeley’s Library welcomes everyone to partake in learning that a typical US public university offers as its core mission of education. In light of the current COVID-19 shelter in place and in light of the beginning of the holy month for Islam: Ramadan or Ramazan, we wanted to highlight some of the e-books from our Latin American Studies and other collections that might be of interest when the shelter in place is eventually eased. Islam’s presence in Latin America remains well-documented. We have focused mostly on the ebooks that one can access using the calnet id. Some books are available in print, and one can read them when the library eventually reopens. We are only indicating a limited number of academic research level books below due to the limitations of a blog post. These books do not reflect any official views of the University Library or UC Berkeley.

Crescent over Another Horizon: Islam in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino USA, edited by Narbona, Maria del Mar Logroño, et al., University of Texas Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/berkeley-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3443793.

DeLong-Bas, Natana J. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. : Oxford University Press, , 2013. Oxford Reference. Date Accessed 24 Apr. 2020 <https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref:oiso/9780199764464.001.0001/acref-9780199764464>.

Daftary, Farhad, and Wilferd Madelung. Encyclopaedia Islamica. Leiden: Brill, 2009. Internet resource.

Medina, Arely. Islam-latino: Identidades Étnico-Religiosas : Un Estudio De Caso Sobre Los Mexicanos Musulmanes En Estados Unidos. Tijuana, B.C. : El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, 2019. Print.

Al-Musili, Elias. An Arab’s Journey to Colonial Spanish America : The Travels of Elias Al-Mûsili in the Seventeenth Century, Syracuse University Press, 2011. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/berkeley-ebooks/detail.action?docID=4649059.

Khan, Aisha. Islam and the Americas. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015.


Oxford research encyclopedias. Latin American history

The Library is glad to announce that we were able to subscribe to the Oxford research encyclopedia of Latin American History. The publisher’s description provides the following glimpse about its contents:

“The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History is a comprehensive digital research encyclopedia that describes regions’ peoples and experiences from pre-Columbian to contemporary times. Its essays make the region’s compelling past come alive by using the latest analyses, and by taking advantage of opportunities not available to traditional printed encyclopedias, such as incorporating sights and sounds, and offering links to original sources”–Publisher’s website, viewed 14 November 2018. The encyclopedia can be accessed here after authenticating using the proxy or VPN if one is accessing it from an off-campus location.


Each entry also links out to the additional relevant external resources such as an entry on the Battle of Ojinaga: Images within the Wheelan Collection.