Special Collections Receives NHPRC Grant

The Special Collections of the University of Miami Libraries is the recipient of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant for $153,809. The award allows the Libraries’ Special Collections to complete the processing and enhance access to the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records. The records begin with the Pan Am’s founding in 1927, and provide a fascinating perspective on the growth and development of a modern aviation corporation.

Pan American World Airways, Inc. (Pan Am) Records, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

The entire collection totals over 1,600 boxes of materials, including photographs, correspondence, flight plans, maps, business records, and memorabilia.  This is one of Special Collection’s most requested and used collections; it has been used for the writing of books, articles, theses, screenplays, and popular culture events, such as the recent the television show “Pan Am”. The Pan Am Historical Foundation funds the Dave Abrams and Gene Banning Pan Am Research Grant competition awarded to support scholarly research using the Pan American World Records held by the University of Miami Libraries’ Special Collections.

Pan American World Airways, Inc. (Pan Am) Records, Special Collections, University of Miami Libraries

The University of Miami received one of the largest grants awarded by the NHPRC this year.  Other award recipients include UCLA, Purdue, New York University, Stanford University, and Duke.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) supports projects to facilitate the use of historical records held by archives and other repositories and to assure their long-term preservation. The Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, is the Chairman of the Commission. Kathleen Williams is its Executive Director. The NHPRC is the sole federal funding agency whose only focus is the documentary heritage of the United States. Established in 1934, it has awarded grants for preserving, publishing, and providing access to vital historical documents.

Divine Orichas – Works by Alberto del Pozo

"Osain". Orichas Collection, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida

In his drawings, Alberto del Pozo recreates the mythical attributes of several orishas. Each of the illustrations on view in the Otto G. Richter Library lobby depicts a god or goddess from Santería’s pantheon. The deities are shown in a peaceful pose, surrounded by artifacts symbolizing aspects of their personalities. Represented in each work is the image of the Catholic saint that corresponds to the orisha.

The origins of the Afro-Cuban orishas can be traced to the 19th Century slave trade, when thousands of men, women, and children were taken from their Yoruba homes in Nigeria to be sold as slaves in the new world. Many were introduced to Catholic teachings, resulting in a blending of Yoruba and Christian beliefs over time. Due to structural similarities between the two religions, the Yoruba gods were juxtaposed with Catholic saints. This union gave rise to a new system of beliefs known as Lucumí or Santería, the “way of the saints.” This mixing of African and Catholic faiths has continued to attract practitioners.

The Campilli family, in honor of Carlos Campilli, generously donated Alberto del Pozo’s Orichas to the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC). These illustrations are rich treasures of the CHC. Original illustrations in pen, ink and crayon are on display, along with signed and unsigned reproduction lithographs. These drawings bring to life several of the orichas in the Santería pantheon, using color and pattern with brilliant effect. The original orichas on exhibit are Yemayá, Changó, Ochún, Oko, Eleguá, Obá and Obatalá. The reproductions are Babalú Ayé, Ibeyi, Inle, Ochosi, Ochumaré, Ogún, Olla, Orula, Osaín, and Yewa.

Divine Orichas is on view through Summer 2012. For more information or to view all of the Orichas, please visit: http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cubanHeritage/chc5010/

Cantigas de Santa Maria on Display

Created under the direction of Alfonso X “El Sabio” (“The Wise”), King of Castile during the latter half of the 13th century, the Cantigas de Santa Maria was composed as an ode to the Virgin Mary and comprises four manuscripts containing over 400 monophonic songs called “cantigas.” The collection consists chiefly of narratives of the miracles of the Virgin Mary, interspersed by songs of praise. The miracle narratives are illustrated by illuminated miniatures, arranged in panels much like the comic books and graphic novels of today.

The Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library is pleased to have a full-color facsimile of one of these four manuscripts: the richly ornamented códice rico held at the Real Biblioteca de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. This impressive, leather-bound facsimile was produced in 1979 by the Madrid firm Edilán-Ars Libris. One of a limited edition of 2,000 copies, this facsimile is a highly-valued part of our collection and a testament to one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 13th century.

The Cantigas de Santa Maria will be on display in the lobby at Weeks Music Library through the end of August 2012.