Tag Archives: Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection

Celebrating the Benson Centennial kickoff. From left, LLILAS Benson Director Virginia Garrard, Adriana Pacheco, Fernando Macías, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe, and Consul of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez. Photo: Daniel Hublein.

The Benson Centennial Endowment: An Invitation from Adriana Pacheco

“The first time I walked into the fourth floor of the Nettie Lee Benson library, as a recently admitted PhD student, tears ran down my cheeks. I remember that moment, when I was there, alone, looking at that iconic corridor with hundreds of shelves and thousands of books. My tears were for excitement because I understood that that place was going to be a second home for me for many years to come.”

Celebrating the Benson Centennial kickoff. From left, LLILAS Benson Director Virginia Garrard, Adriana Pacheco, Fernando Macías, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe, and Consul of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez.
Celebrating the Benson Centennial kickoff. From left, LLILAS Benson Director Virginia Garrard, Adriana Pacheco, Fernando Macías, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries Lorraine Haricombe, and Consul of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez. Photo: Daniel Hublein.

With these heartfelt words, spoken at a September 6 dinner announcing the centennial campaign for the Benson Latin American Collection, Adriana Pacheco Roldán exhorted assembled guests to join her in a project involving both the heart and the preservation of memory. Pacheco is chair of the International Board of Advisors established by University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves. She and her husband, Fernando Macías Garza, both hold doctorates from Texas. The couple has donated $50,000 to establish the Benson Centennial Endowment, which officially kicks off the countdown to the collection’s 2021 Centennial.

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Pacheco was a keynote speaker at An Evening of Discovery, a gala dinner hosted by the University of Texas Libraries and the Provost’s Office to officially kick off the Benson Centennial campaign. As is fitting for a PhD in literature, she began her speech by evoking Aureliano Buendía, the patriarch of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, who “fought against the plague of memory loss suffered by all inhabitants of Macondo” by labeling every object he could. “For almost 100 years, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection has been a place to keep our memories and our heritage,” said Pacheco.

From left: Lorraine Haricombe, Univision news anchor Enrique Acevedo, and Benson Collection Director Melissa Guy. Photo: Daniel Hublein.
From left: Lorraine Haricombe, Univision news anchor Enrique Acevedo, and Benson Collection Director Melissa Guy. Photo: Daniel Hublein.

Yet the recent tragic loss at Brazil’s National Museum of virtually all of its contents means that we must take responsibility for protecting the treasures of the Benson, Pacheco continued. Again invoking family and generational ties, she laid out a challenge to the assembled guests:  “As we say in Spanish, you are the padrinos, the godfathers and godmothers, of the Benson Centennial Endowment launch, and I invite you to join our efforts: Give now, give today, give later, find somebody willing to give, promote, spread the word, come and visit, join the events, make the Benson Collection part of your lives.”

¡Viva El Payaso! Win Tickets to Operación Clown: Cállate

Just in time to celebrate the opening their new exhibit Frente a Frente: The Mexican People in Independence and Revolution, 1810 & 1910, the Benson Latin American Collection is holding a contest apropos of the anniversaries it is commemorating.

As part of our ongoing promotion of Texas Performing Arts 2010-2011 season, the current contest is for two tickets to Operación Clown: Cállate (Shut Up!), for either the Wednesday, September 15, show in Spanish, or the Thursday, September 16 English version.

From the TPA website:

Operación Clown is renowned for their innovative use of masks, puppets, and cabaret theatre based on theatrical clown technique.

This internationally celebrated theatrical group will bring the acclaimed piece Cállate to the McCullough stage. Narrated with an explosive mixture of melodrama and irreverent humor, this love story set at the time of the Mexican Revolution combines drama, comedy, wrestling and images inspired by the Golden Age of Mexican cinema to fuel a cast of characters based on stereotypes of the period.

For your chance to win, visit the Operación Clown Trivia Question page and fill out a brief questionnaire.

Entries must be received by 3pm on Monday, September 13. One winner will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and announced on Facebook and via email on Monday, September 13 before 5pm.

And regardless whether you win or not (but especially if you do), join your friends at the Benson Latin American Collection in Sid Richardson Hall from 5-7pm on Thursday the 16 for the opening reception for Frente a Frente for a first taste of the exhibit and delicious food from El Naranjo.

Benson First Organization to Win Noted Award

Benson_logoThe Benson Latin American Collection just received notification that they have become the first institutional recipient of the Medalla 1808, an award presented on behalf of Mexico City to persons – and now institutions – for significant contributions to the study and development of Mexican history and culture.

The Benson joins a crowd of such renowned writers and historians as Carlos Fuentes, José Emilio Pacheco and Carlos Monsivais, and being amongst those names is surely a humbling experience.

Congratulations to the Benson for this much deserved acknowledgment.

More information can be found here.

Google, completa

texlibris_google_blacWe can officially celebrate the completion of the Benson component of our partnership in the Google Books project.  This from our colleagues at Google recently:

Since we launched our partnership with the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, we have been working hard to make their unique Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection accessible to readers online. The collection is one of the largest Latin American collections in the world, and is renowned for the scope and breadth of its materials covering Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean island nations, South America, and the Latino presence in the United States. Continue reading

Soto kicks off Benson’s Mexico 2010

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This year is potentially a big one for the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collecction thanks to the confluence of major anniversaries celebrating two important historical events in Mexico’s history.

2010 marks the bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution, and we’ve been working with Dr. Miguel Soto (National Autonomous University of Mexico) to build an exhibit – Frente a Frente: The Mexican People in Independence and Revolution, 1810–1910, which will add to the other myriad celebrations going on around campus. Continue reading