November 2010 Item of the Month

Las Hijas de Eva, Puerto Rican women magazine

An issue of Las Hijas de Eva, Semanario consagrado al bello sexo: Literatura, Música, Teatro, Noticias, Modas y Anuncios.

The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center through the years has developed  a very unique collection of Latin American and Caribbean materials that support the research of the Latin American and Caribbean studies program on campus. One of the collecting areas has been on Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rican Collection consists of two different acquisitions– the Geigel family library and the Puerto Rican Civil Court Documents. The Geigel family library, which is the core of the Puerto Rican Collection,  includes over 2,000 volumes of books, pamphlets, government documents (mainly from the US government) and some periodicals, that document the social, economic, political and literary history of Puerto Rico during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

The collection was acquired from the Geigel Family from Puerto Rico in the early 1980s by the recommendation of the then UConn history professor Dr. Francisco Scarano. Owed privately by Doña Luisa Geigel de Gandía, resident of Santurce (San Juan, Puerto Rico), this library represents the collecting efforts of three generations of Geigel family members.


A pictorial riddle

The collections time span covers from 1800 – 1977 but the bulk of the collection is from 1850-1950. The collection includes many first editions of literary books and rare printing of newspapers and magazines from the late 19th century.

For the item of the month, I am showcasing a very unique title, the periodical Las Hijas de Eva (1880), a late 19th century women magazine edited by many well-known Puerto Rican writers and intellectuals, both men and women, such as Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, Lola Rodríguez de Tío, Manuel Tavárez, etc… The magazine followed the same stylistic format found in 19th century Spanish women magazines  and it was digitized as part of a bigger project, the Spanish Periodicals and Newspapers: Women’s Magazine Digital Collection. What make this magazine unique is the fact that it had many women contributors writing articles and poetry which was unusual in late 19th century Puerto Rican society. This weekly magazine includes articles (written by men and women authors), poems, travel accounts and word games and puzzles.

Salto de Caballo--crossword game

Another type of word game, Salto de Caballo.

To find the books and periodicals in the Puerto Rican Collection, you can search for individual titles using the UConn Library catalog HOMER.

For further information about these materials, contact Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.   More information about the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and using the archival collections can be found here.

October 2010 Item of the Month

In September 2008, the Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center began a new online feature, the “Item of the Month,” which showcases an item from the Archives & Special Collections for the University Libraries.  Each month, one of the curators from the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center selects an item from the collections, such as a photograph, letter, manuscript, rare book, or other item to be featured online for the duration of the month.  All items can be also viewed in person (by request) at the John P. MacDonald Reading Room at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Monday- Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm.   The Item of the Month feature has been well-received by University faculty, staff, and students, and serves as a monthly reminder to the University community of the unique historical materials located in the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Connecticut Libraries. 

For October 2010, we’ve selected materials from the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Records pertaining to oil exploration and expansion in the Ecuadorian Amazon.   These materials have been selected in conjunction with the Dodd Research Center’s ongoing Human Rights Film Series, which continues with a screening of the documentary film, Crude, directed by Joe Berlinger.  The film will be shown on Wednesday, October 13, at 4 pm in Konover Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. 

The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) was founded in response to the April 1965 U.S. invasion of the Dominican Republic. This armed intervention by the United States against a popular uprising–classic gunboat diplomacy–preempted the restoration to power of freely elected president Juan Bosch. It also paved the way for the thirty year dictatorship of caudillo Joaquín Balaguer. NACLA’s founders were especially struck by the Johnson administrations’ ability to disseminate its version of events virtually unchallenged, while mainstream opinion makers set the tone of a limited public debate. Moreover, as the U.S. intervention in Vietnam began in earnest, progressive critics and opponents of U.S. policy, both abroad and at home, began seriously to consider questions about the nature of public education, the role of independent media, and how to make critical analysis of the U.S. power structure accessible to a broad and interested public. 

NACLA, which took shape from these questions, was founded in October and November of 1966 in a series of meetings of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the University Christian Movement, and returned Peace Corps volunteers, along with assorted other individuals and organizations. According to its articles of incorporation, NACLA’s role was “to encourage, produce and distribute information designed to identify and explain those elements and relationships of forces in the United States and Latin America which inhibit and frustrate urgently needed profound social and economic change.” The “congress” in NACLA’s name was suggested by the “Congress of Unrepresented People,” a contemporary group of civil rights, antiwar, and labor activists who came together to challenge elite conceptions of the national interest as fundamentally opposed to the real interests of the majority of the American people. 

Most of the materials contained in this NACLA Collection were collected during the first twenty years of NACLA’s history (1966-1986). The special reports, newsletters, and eventually, magazines appearing under the NACLA imprint were the outcome of research and writing done by members of the collective. The materials that they amassed in their files ranged from newspaper clippings to original government documents to revolutionary communiques to corporate proxies. As NACLA established fraternal links with publications, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations across the region, it also acquired a substantial and varied collection of periodical publications, many of which can now be found only in this collection.   (Information from the preface to the finding aid for the collection,

The item of the month below is a selection from the periodical holdings from the NACLA Collection, from August 2, 1987  (NACLA Box 125, Folder 5). 

Action Bulletin from Survival International USA, a non-profit organization that aims to protect the human rights of indigenous peoples worldwide.

First page from the Survival International USA Urgent Action Bulletin.

For further information about these materials, contact Valerie Love, Curator for Human Rights Collections, or Marisol Ramos, Curator for Latin American and Caribbean Collections.   More information about the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and using the archival collections can be found here.   

Further reading: 

Sawyer. Suzana.  Crude Chronicles: Indigenous Politics, Multinational Oil, and Neoliberalism in Ecuador (Duke University Press, 2004). 

Varea, Anamaria and Pablo Ortiz-T.  Marea negra en la Amazonia : conflictos socioambientales vinculados a la actividad petrolera en el Ecuador  (Quito, 1995).