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Libraries Help Open Access To International Latin American Resources

Rutgers University Libraries collections in Latin American studies have assumed international significance, with the Libraries newly initiated participation in the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project.

The Latin Americanist Research Resources Project aims to expand access to Latin American research resources, through intensive cooperation amongst the projects' forty-five United States partner institutions and seven Latin American partner institutions. Funded by a Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information grant, from the United States Department of Education, the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project encompasses four initiatives:

  • A searchable Web based database, LAPTOC (Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents), sharing the tables of contents of over 800 Latin American journals received by partner institutions;
  • Digital images of presidential speeches from Mexico and Argentina, from the early 1800's to the present day available though a separate Web database;
  • In collaboration with the Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC, social sciences grey literature, produced by research institutes and other non-governmental groups in Latin America, will become available in a Latin Americanist Open Archives Portal;
  • A concerted reallocation of libraries' collections budgets among North American partners to strengthen coverage of Latin American monographs and other resources, totaling more than $170,000 per year.

The Latin Americanist Research Resources Project is part of the Global Resources Network, a joint initiative of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The Global Resources Network seeks to broaden access to international research resources not currently available to North American students and scholars and to make existing dispersed collections more interdependent and complementary.

The Global Resources Network is managed by the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). CRL is a consortium of hundreds of North American universities, colleges, and independent research libraries that acquires and preserves traditional and digital resources for research and teaching and makes them available to member institutions through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery.

The Libraries' service in the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project will benefit from a new agreement with the Library of Congress/Brazil office, bringing needed serials from the region to the Libraries, and from our ongoing participation in two other international research resources initiatives: the Latin American Microform Project, which secures unique or rare research materials on Latin America and captures them on microfilm, and the Latin American North East Libraries Consortium, which promotes collaborative projects that enhance the depth and scope of members' combined collections.

Lourdes Vazquez, the libraries selector and liaison to the Latin American Studies department at Rutgers and an award winning Latin American scholar and writer, will spearhead the Libraries' participation in the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project. Lourdes can be reached at vazquez@rci.rutgers.edu.

Posted February 3, 2005