Benson Latin American Collection

UT Alumna, Art Historian Establishes Endowments for LLILAS Benson

Sept. 21, 2022

Art historian Dr. Virginia E. Miller, a UT Austin alumna, has generously included support for LLILAS Benson in her estate. The bequest designates the creation of two program endowments: Virginia E. Miller Endowed Excellence Fund in Latin American Art Studies, to support the study of Latin American Art via LLILAS, and Virginia E. Miller Endowed Excellence Fund for the Benson Library, to support any function of the Benson Latin American Collection. 

Digital Initiatives Team Visits Colombian Partners

Sept. 12, 2022

Two members of the LLILAS Benson Digital Initiatives team recently visited Buenaventura, Colombia, to work with archivists and community leaders at Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), a grassroots collective of organizations founded in 1993 that is working to transform the political, social, economic, and territorial reality of Colombia’s Black, Afro-descendant, Raizal, and Palenquera communities through the defense and revindication of their individual, collective, and ancestral rights.

LLILAS Benson Receives $2.1 Million Department of Education Grants

Aug. 25, 2022


LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections has been awarded Comprehensive National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants from the U.S. Department of Education. The total award is $2,183,792 for the 2022–2026 cycle. This includes $1,027,492 ($256,873 annually) for NRC activities and $1,156,300 ($289,075 annually) for FLAS fellowships. The grant will be managed by LLILAS Director Adela Pineda Franco in the role of Project Director.

Latin Americanists Unite to Decipher Spanish Colonial Archive

June 17, 2022

For years, the LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship Office has been experimenting with digital technologies to transform this “unreadable” Spanish colonial archive into accessible humanities data for scholars. However, we tried something new this past year and reversed the equation: We convened colonial Latin Americanists online to transform handwritten words on pages into digital text that they could then use to make the digital humanities (DH) more accessible.

Benson Exhibit Celebrates “El Gaucho Martín Fierro”

April 6, 2022

The Benson Latin American Collection recently inaugurated Martín Fierro: From Marginal Outlaw to National Symbol in the Rare Books Reading Room. Co-curated by Graduate Research Assistants Melissa Aslo de la Torre and Janette Núñez, this exhibition examines the Argentine epic poem El gaucho Martín Fierro and its legacy on the 150th anniversary of the poem’s publication. 

UT Tower Lights Up for Benson Centennial

March 23, 2022

On the night of March 24, 2022, the UT Tower will be lit in honor of the centennial of a crown jewel of our campus—the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. Established as the Latin American library on campus in 1921, the collection is beloved by students and faculty, and visited by scholars from all over the world.

Read the full article at Tex Libris. 

Remembering Heidi Johnson

Feb. 10, 2022

The Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA), the University of Texas Libraries and LLILAS Benson extend their sympathy to the family, friends and former colleagues of Heidi Johnson, who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, February 2, 2022.

As the manager of AILLA from 2001 through 2012, Johnson played a central role in building the archive into the internationally recognized language repository that it is today.

An Introduction to the José Vasconcelos Papers

Jan. 27, 2022

The Benson Latin American Collection is home to the archive of Mexican politician, writer, and philosopher José Vasconcelos (1881–1959).

In a short essay, Diego Godoy describes a man of contradictions, “the personification of both the brightness and darkness” of post-revolutionary Mexico.

Read at Tex Libris.

Comic Creator Donates Materials to Benson

Jan. 7, 2022

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s El Peso Hero!

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is pleased to announce Héctor Rodríguez III’s donation of materials pertaining to his comic series, El Peso Hero.

The series was launched in 2011, when Rodríguez saw the need for more Latino representation in graphic novels. The titular superhero, whose name is Ignacio Rivera, fights to uphold justice and morality in the border region. 

Curating a History of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at UT

Sept. 9, 2021

The honorable Delta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. was the first Black Greek-letter organization to be established at The University of Texas at Austin. Sworn in on May 16, 1959, at high noon in the Queen Anne Room, this particular group of women is dripping in legacy, poignant programs, community service, and rich history. As an archivist-in-training, with the unique opportunity to not only archive an oral history but curate it from scratch, I see it as my duty to extract the essence and diversity of these highly valuable experiences among the Delta Xi women.