Audio Visual Materials
Patrons can check out compact discs, DVDs, and CD-ROMs from the circulation desk in the main reading room (for information on limiting searches by format or library location see the UT Library Catalog User's Guide.). Visitors to the Benson Collection may also borrow these materials for use in the library.Archival and delicate format items such as phonodiscs, reel-to-reels, cassettes and video tapes are accessible for use only in the Rare Books and Manuscripts room.
Holdings include over 6,500 recordings of both Mexican American and Latin American music. Included in its strong holdings of Mexican American and Northern Mexican recorded music are the Migrant Border Ballad Project Collection, field recordings of folk ballads from the Rio Grande Valley; the Rio Record Shop Collection with extensive inventory files and over 500 phonodiscs of Mexican American popular music of the 1960s to 1981; and the Joe Nicola Collection of 800 phonodiscs of norteño, conjunto, and ranchera music of the 1940s to the 1960s. Other sound recording collections—though non-musical—include oral history recordings of prominent Mexican Americans, the archives of Longhorn Radio Network ("A esta hora conversamos", "The Mexican American Experience", and “The Latin American Review”) and the archives of "Latino USA" from UT Austin's KUT radio station.
The Latin American recordings are primarily of art music by major Latin American composers and of indigenous folk music, although representative selections of protest and popular music are also acquired. Sound recordings from all regions of Latin America are included, but the largest sections are of Brazilian, Mexican, and Argentine music composed and/or recorded in the mid to late twentieth century. The Benson Latin American Collection's musical resources have been strengthened by the acquisition of the Dan Dickey, Stanley Ross, and Marjorie and Francis Burgess collections which emphasize popular music from the 1930s to the present. Representative music from other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean is also collected, for example, the Johannes Riedel Collection of Ecuadorian folk and popular music transcripts (1938-48) and allied materials. More recent acquisitions include the Appleby Brazilian Collection, comprised of 2,000 scores, several hundred sound recordings, and books; the Marion Verhaalen Collection on Camargo Guarnieri and Twentieth-Century Brazilian Music which encompasses scores, recordings, and correspondence of prominent Brazilian composers of the past three decades.
See G. Béhague, "Music in the Benson Latin American Collection," The Library Chronicle, 22, no. 3 (1992): 109-115.