Benson and LLILAS Retrospective Display Runs Throughout May
Items from three collections relating to Benson and LLILAS history are currently on display in the Benson Main Reading Room. This exhibition was assembled in conjunction with a retrospective event honoring Charles R. Hale, outgoing director of LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, who leaves his post at the end of the spring semester.
The Nettie Lee Benson Papers
In 1942, Nettie Lee Benson began working at UT’s Latin American Collection, where she labored tirelessly to acquire materials for the collection. Over her 33 years at the library, the collection grew tenfold, from 30,000 volumes to 305,000 volumes. Dr. Benson served as a representative for the Latin American Cooperative Acquisitions Project (LACAP) and made multiple trips to South and Central America between 1960 and 1962 to acquire materials. She retired from her duties at the library in 1975 and UT Libraries honored her service by renaming the collection to the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.
Nettie Lee Benson also taught many courses at UT in her 26 years as a professor in the Department of History and the School of Library Science, and served on numerous thesis and dissertation committees. She facilitated the publishing of a book of class essays, Mexico and the Spanish Cortes, through the University of Texas Press in 1966. Benson retired from teaching in the library school in 1975, but continued to teach graduate history courses and supervise dissertations until 1989.
Beyond her work at UT, Nettie Lee Benson was also very involved in many professional organizations, such as the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), the Latin American Cooperative Acquisitions Project (LACAP), the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), and the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH). She published articles in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly between 1947 and 1987, and an issue was dedicated to her in 1987. She also received many awards from various organizations for her contributions to Latin American studies and history.
The Charles W. Hackett Papers
The career of Charles W. Hackett figures prominently in the histories of both LLILAS and the Benson. He was the founding director of the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS), now the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS). A professor in the Department of History from 1918 to 1951, Hackett was also one of the founders of the García Library (now the Benson Latin American Collection). Hackett’s report on the activities of ILAS during 1940–1941 is currently on display. View the Hackett Papers finding aid.
The Stanley R. Ross Papers
Stanley R. Ross was a teacher, scholar, and administrator in the field of Mexican studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He served as director of the ILAS from 1968 to1971, after which he became provost for the Colleges of Natural Sciences, Behavioral Sciences, and Humanities in 1971 and provost and vice president of the university in 1973, serving until 1976. Ross’s interview with Dr. Benson is currently on display.
View the Ross Papers finding aid.
Materials from the papers of Benson, Hackett, and Ross will remain on display in the Benson Main Reading Room throughout the month of May.