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/

UM Libraries’ Digital Preservation Project Brings Miami’s Cuban Theater History to Light

Coral Gables, FL. (May 15, 2012) – The University of Miami Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) announces the completion of a major project that preserves and enhances access to sources of Cuban and Latino theater through digitization. This project was made possible through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The digital preservation of these materials led to the creation of an online exhibition titled “Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980.

“Knight Foundation has enabled the UM Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection to preserve important performing arts materials for future scholarship and research,” said William Walker, Dean and University Librarian. “This project makes hidden collections discoverable to performing artists, students and the artistic community worldwide.”

“The performing arts are integral to our community’s cultural vitality. Performance, however, is by nature ephemeral. Documenting and preserving our local theater history through the university’s project is an important way to promote Miami’s collective identity, memory and history,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.

Approximately 2,000 items were digitized for preservation from collections of ephemera and the papers of theater directors, actresses, playwrights, and companies. As the project progressed, a community’s story unfolded. The selection of playbills, posters, photographs, and recordings illustrate the story of the Cuban diaspora community and the larger context of the multi-ethnic Miami community.

Dr. Lillian Manzor, Associate Professor in the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences Modern Languages and Literatures Department and Dr. Beatriz Rizk, instructor with Miami Dade College’s Teatro Prometeo, were asked to curate the online exhibition, which is now available via the project’s website at http://scholar.library.miami.edu/miamitheater/

“These materials have allowed us to unveil the role Cuban theater played in the transformation of Miami’s socio-cultural and economic fabric,” said Dr. Manzor.

Over the years the UM Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection has increased access to its rare and exceptional materials through digital scholarship development. The UM Libraries and faculty member Dr. Manzor have developed an additional resource for documenting Cuban performance: the Cuban Theater Digital Archive (http://cubantheater.org/).

The exhibition Cuban Theater in Miami: 1960-1980 and the Cuban Theater Digital Archive enhance the UM Libraries’ commitment to expanding access to materials and the preservation of such important collections. Currently, the UM Libraries’ Digital Collections (http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm/) includes over 70 digital collections with over 50,000 cross-searchable items. These rich collections include sheet music, photographs, media, manuscripts, correspondence, interviews, books, periodicals and other materials. Many of these collections have substantial resources covering events and history within South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean.

About the University of Miami

The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. www.miami.edu

About the Cuban Heritage Collection

The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami collects, preserves, and provides access to primary and secondary sources of enduring historical, research, and artifactual value which relate to Cuba and the Cuban diaspora from colonial times to the present. The Collection supports the teaching, learning, and research needs of the University of Miami and the broader scholarly community.

About the UM Libraries

The University of Miami Libraries rank among the top 50 research libraries in North America. With a combined collection of 3.3 million volumes, the Libraries are strategically focused on building the University of Miami Virtual Library, growing the Libraries’ special collections, and engaging the Libraries in the research, teaching, and learning enterprises of the University, especially through the application of transformative technologies and new media. The Otto G. Richter Library sits in the heart of the campus and serves as the central library for the University. The rare and rich primary sources held in the Libraries’ Special Collections and Cuban Heritage Collection provide the foundation for original scholarship. The Libraries’ collections are especially strong in manuscripts, images, and books from the diaspora of Cuba, the Caribbean and Latin America. The Libraries Digital Scholarships and Programs is responsible for the creation and expansion of digital technologies, services, and unique resources that facilitate and enhance learning, teaching, and research. Other University of Miami Libraries include the Paul Buisson Architecture Library, the Judi Prokop Newman Business Information Resource Center, the Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library. The University also has independent medical and law libraries. The Libraries provide support and services for approximately 10,400 undergraduates, 5,200 graduate students, and 13,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff.

Eureka! How Using Special Collections Can Enhance Your Writing, Publishing, and Research Skills

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 6 pm
Wesley Gallery | 1210 Stanford Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146 

Special Collections at the Otto G. Richter Library houses an outstanding array of scholarly resources including collections of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, architectural drawings, prints and other research materials. Special Collections acquires, preserves and provides access to rare and unique scholarly resources. It serves as a scholarly resource for students, faculty, and staff at the University of Miami as well as local, regional, national, and international scholars. But just how does all of this translate into enhancing an individual’s work?

Join the head of Special Collections, Cristina Favretto, and a panel of UM faculty and students on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 for an engaging roundtable, Eureka! How Using Special Collections Can Enhance Your Writing, Publishing, and Research Skills. The panelists will share their experiences using the rare, unique and fascinating materials held in Special Collections at the Otto G. Richter Library. Find out about their discovery process, their new-found enthusiasm for using primary source materials for their research and how using special collections can expand academic success. Speakers include Dr. Renee Fox, Dr. Richard Simpson, and Dr. Ashli White as well as their students.

Light refreshments will be served.

3rd annual Edible Books Festival


Feeling Creative?

If you’ve answered “yes”, you’ll want to participate in the UM Libraries 3rd Annual Edible Books Festival. Prizes will be awarded for “Wittiest Pun”, “Most Edible“, and “Best in Show”. Entries will be displayed in the Richter Library lobby. Around 2pm, everyone will grab forks and “eat our own words”.

Monday, April 2, 2012
Noon – 2pm
Otto G. Richter Library Lobby

To Register: Send an email to um.ediblebooks@gmail.com. Include your name (or team name with list of members), title of entry, and title of book inspiring entry (if applicable).

For more information visit the Edible Books Day Festival website.

Spring Research Series

University of Miami Libraries is pleased to present its Spring Research Series. From creating videos to finding the best venue for publication, the Library can help you learn new skills to improve your instruction and research. Learn to use the Library’s wealth of images and videos with “Visual Resources”, create your own maps with “Simply Map” and your own video presentations with “Movie Making Basics”. Organize your research with “EndNote” or “RefWorks” and increase its visibility with “Getting Your Research Recognized”. For those interested in the inner workings of Electronic Theses and Dissertations, we have “ETDs: From Beginning to End”.  Click on our website link below to look at the schedule, updates and additional classes.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Legacies: Five Hundred Years of Florida History

Legacies: Five Hundred Years  of Florida History

An exhibition showcasing Floridiana through books,maps  and ephemera held by UM Special Collections

Exhibition displayed on the 1st, 2nd, and 8th Floor
On view through Spring Semester 2012



In conjunction with the “Florida at the Crossroads: Five Hundred Years of Encounters, Conflicts and Exchanges” conference to be held by the Center for Humanities, the Otto G. Richter Library is showcasing materials documenting over five hundred years of Florida history in an exhibition titled Legacies: Five Hundred Years of Florida History. Materials displayed on the 1st, 2nd, and 8th floor include rare books, photographs, archival documents, maps, and ephemera from the Special Collections Department.

The exhibition, which is open to the general public, documents Florida during various colonial periods, but also shines light on the State’s native inhabitants. Materials on the 8th floor display colorful Florida propaganda such as postcards, cookbooks, and fiction from over the past century, which were used to promote the state to tourists and speculators.

University of Miami Libraries Announces Launch of New Website

University of Miami Libraries Announces Launch of New Website

The University of Miami Libraries is proud to announce the completion of its redesigned website. With the re-engineered navigation menus, visitors will be able to navigate the site more easily, utilize enhanced search tools, access social media, and connect quickly to library news and events. The revamp of the site follows an extensive Beta period where students and faculty were asked for feedback regarding functionality and ease of use. The new site takes into consideration those comments and is designed with a fresh, friendly interface for an improved user experience.

The current site will remain in place through the spring semester, but a link on that site will allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the new site. Following this introductory period, the new site will replace the current site in May 2012.


Now on Display – The Cuba-Florida Connection

Now on Display – The Cuba-Florida Connection: Materials from the Cuban Heritage Collection

We invite you to visit us to view our latest exhibition, The Cuba-Florida Connection: Materials from the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Ties linking Cuba and Florida date back to the sixteenth century, when the Spanish Empire ruled them both. In the subsequent centuries, Cubans would travel to and from Florida, strengthening connections and building communities. This exhibit documents over two hundred years of contact and interaction between Cuba and Florida.

This exhibition was organized by Meiyolet Méndez, Education and Outreach Librarian, Lesbia Orta Varona, Bibliographer & Reference Librarian, and Maria Estorino, Deputy Chair & Chief Operations Manager at the CHC. It will be on display through the spring 2012 semester in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on the second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.