The Arturo Taracena Flores Collection
On Exhibit in the Main Reading Room
Guatemalan bibliophile and print material collector Arturo Taracena Flores collected items published or circulated in Guatemala and other Central American countries during the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these items, termed “street literature” because they were intended to be distributed widely and/or posted in public places, are broadsides and circulars published by the government or various political parties and workers' unions, but also include items published by the Church and the press. Much of the material centers around the mid-20th century political turmoil in Guatemala related to the 1944 Revolution and the 1954 coup d'état and liberation movement.
The materials represent a broad range of organizations and interest groups and reflect the ideological impartiality of Arturo Taracena Flores when it came to collecting Guatemalan imprints, for the whole spectrum of political opinion is exemplified. Political parties, labor unions, cultural and religious organizations, government agencies, and groups representing such diverse interests as those of students, campesinos, landowners, urban workers, the military, teachers, small business owners, and women, are all represented.
The Arturo Taracena Flores Collection is housed at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. It attracts the interest of researchers and scholars as they look for clues to the current Guatemalan political situation in the events of the past, and attempt to fit contemporary Guatemala into a regional and world context.