Internationally Significant Collection Donated to UM, MDC

From left: Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, Jay I. Kislak, and Dr. Julio Frenk

The internationally significant Jay I. Kislak Foundation collection will now have two permanent homes in South Florida – in the Special Collections Division of the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library, in Coral Gables, and at Miami Dade College’s Freedom Tower, in downtown Miami. Assembled over the course of many decades, the Kislak collection includes some of the most important original source materials related to the history of the early Americas, such as two of the earliest published editions of the famous 1493 letter of Christopher Columbus.

The Jay I. Kislak Foundation, University of Miami (UM) and Miami Dade College (MDC) jointly announced the landmark donation of rare books, maps, manuscripts and other historic materials.

Jay Kislak, prominent collector, philanthropist and Miami resident for more than 60 years, has been a lifelong collector of rare books and historic artifacts focused particularly on Florida and the Caribbean, exploration, navigation and the early Americas. In 2004, he and the Jay I. Kislak Foundation donated more than 3,000 rare books, maps, manuscripts and objects to the Library of Congress, whose Kislak Collection now forms the basis of a major exhibition and extensive scholarly and public programs in Washington, D.C.

In UM and MDC, Kislak identified two local partners with the ability and desire to create similarly extensive educational and cultural programming in South Florida. The Kislak-MDC-UM partnership will encompass exhibitions, research, education and public outreach, all designed to serve MDC and UM students and faculty, residents of the local community, and a global scholarly network engaged in the study of Florida, early American history, and the cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America. Through an operating agreement, MDC and UM will collaborate on exhibits, collections care, and events and activities open to the public.

“I think this is an ideal partnership. We have the opportunity to combine the special resources of each institution and create exhibitions and programs that will be enjoyed by Miami-Dade residents and the millions of people who visit here from all over the world,” said Kislak.

“Miami Dade College is the largest and most diverse institution of higher education in the country, and is central to the educational, social, cultural and economic life of our community. Under the leadership of Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, Miami Dade has emerged as a globally recognized institution,” he said.

“The University of Miami is among the nation’s top 50 research institutions, with a library that draws scholars from around the world. With the recent inauguration of Dr. Julio Frenk, this is an ideal time to establish the permanent repository in South Florida to conserve our collections and make them available to scholars and students for generations to come,” Kislak added.

The Kislak gift, representing a combined valuation of approximately $30 million, includes more than 2,300 rare books, maps, manuscripts, pre-Columbian artifacts and other historic materials.

UM and MDC will each receive a selection of important items. Each institution will receive a first edition of the famous 1493 letter of Christopher Columbus, in which the explorer described his New World discoveries to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain.

Other Kislak gift highlights include:

  • A 1486 edition of Ptolemy’s Cosmographia, among the most influential works in the history of cartography. A copy of this atlas was known to have been owned by Columbus.
  • A 1521 volume describing Cuba, by Italian historian Peter Martyr d’Anghiera, who wrote the first accounts of Spanish explorations in the Caribbean and Central and South America.
  • A 1589 volume, The Principal Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation, by English writer Richard Hakluyt, who was known for promoting the British colonization of North America.
  • A two-volume account of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson after the Louisiana Purchase.

The University of Miami’s share of the Kislak materials will become part of the Richter Library’s Special Collections Division, enhancing a collection highly regarded for its holdings of rare books and archives related to the cultural and political history of South Florida, the Caribbean Basin and South America, as well as its Cuban Heritage Collection of materials related to Cuba and the Cuban diaspora from colonial times to the present. The university is currently renovating its special collections center, which will be renamed the Kislak Center, envisioned as a hub of expanded educational and cultural programming, with lectures, fellowships, undergraduate and graduate courses utilizing the collection resources, and a new exhibit gallery featuring a broad range of materials from the Kislak collection.

“We are grateful to Jay Kislak for his extraordinary vision and lifelong devotion to creating a scholarly and culturally significant collection that showcases the rich history of Florida and the Caribbean,” said UM President Julio Frenk. “Our Special Collections will be home to these unique and exceptionally important materials from the Kislak Collection, and working with our partners at Miami Dade College, the University of Miami will have an unparalleled opportunity to engage our community in the history and culture of our hemisphere.”

Miami Dade College plans to create a permanent 2,600-square-foot public exhibition gallery in the Freedom Tower. The exhibit space will be located in the building’s main public area, adjacent to its ballroom and historic New World Mural, which celebrates Ponce de Leon’s 1513 discovery and naming of Florida.

“We are honored and privileged to receive such a significant gift and to work with such great partners. In a community as diverse as ours, we feel the responsibility to embrace and share the arts, culture and history with our students, faculty and residents,” said MDC’s President, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón.

The two Miami institutions also expect to collaborate with the Library of Congress in studying and promoting all Kislak collections and making them accessible to audiences throughout Florida and the region.

“For 500 years, Florida has been a focal point of global exploration and cultural exchange,” Kislak said. “I’m thrilled that Miami’s top two institutions of higher education, along with the Library of Congress, will now be using our collections to reveal the fascinating and important role of our community in world history.





Aida Levitan Elected Chair of the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection

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Aida T. Levitan, Ph.D.

Aida T. Levitan, Ph.D., a nationally recognized marketing communications leader and philanthropist, has been elected Chair of the Amigos of the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) at the University of Miami Libraries, becoming the first woman to take on the role since founding Co-Chair Elena Díaz-Versón Amos served from 1995 to 2000. As Chair, a two-year position, Dr. Levitan will work to generate awareness of the CHC and its archival resources while collaborating with UM Libraries leadership and UM Advancement in fundraising efforts to develop programs related to the CHC’s mission.

The Amigos is a volunteer group founded in support of the CHC’s efforts to document and preserve the history of Cuba and the Cuban diaspora. Former Amigos Chairs include Aldo Leiva, Horacio Stuart Aguirre, Carlos P. Quintela, Ignacio Carrera-Jústiz, José F. Valdivia, Jr., Díaz-Versón Amos, and Henry King Stanford.

Dr. Levitan led the number one U.S. Hispanic advertising and public relations agency and is now the President of ArtesMiami, Inc., dedicated to supporting and promoting Hispanic artists and cultural organizations. She is also President of The Levitan Group, Inc., a consulting firm that provides strategic branding services to international and local companies.

A recipient of numerous national and local awards, Dr. Levitan is Vice Chair of the Smithsonian Latino Center and serves on the boards of U.S. Century Bank and the Spanish Cultural Center. She is Trustee Emerita of the Pérez Art Museum Miami and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.



Now Accessible: The University Communications Collection

The collection, donated in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, is now neatly organized by approximately 4.000 topics and housed in acid free archival folders and boxes. Richter provides optimal environment for storage of our archival collections in the library as well as the offsite storage facility.

The collection, donated in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, is now neatly organized by approximately 4.000 topics and housed in acid free archival folders and boxes. Richter provides optimal environment for storage of our archival collections in the library and at the offsite storage facility.

The University Archives is pleased to announce the addition of a new essential historical resource to our collections, the UM University Communications Collection.

The collection contains historical images, videos, publications, and news clippings of the University from the 1980s to the 2000s, which have never been available at the Archives before. We believe it is going to be one of the most frequently researched materials by the University community to research for their anniversaries and other celebrations.

We appreciate very much the University Communications colleagues who trusted us to transfer such important materials to be archived. They came in 75 large moving boxes in 2013, and the Archives staff and student assistants worked throughout 2016 to sort everything in the boxes, compiled a massive 266-page-long inventory list, and stored them in 135 archival boxes.

Please go to the link below to see the collection record. Also, please click the link provided at “Container List (PDF)” to download the inventory list. Please contact us if you have any questions or need assistance.

Click here for the collection record



Looking for Quiet Study Space?

24-7_banner2-quiet_1194x328The Richter Library is open 24/7 prior to and during exams, from November 30 to December 14. Additionally, UML provides access to study space during the day and evenings in its libraries across the Coral Gables and Rosenstiel campuses. Visit each library’s page for hours and additional information.

CORAL GABLES CAMPUS

Richter Library
1300 Memorial Drive
Coral Gables FL 33146

  • Main floors and stacks (floors 4-7 and 9) open 24/7 from November 30 –
    December 14
  • The 3rd Floor Conference Room and Information Literacy Lab from November 30 – December 14, 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day throughout the weekend
  • Special Collections (8th floor) and Cuban Heritage Collection (2nd floor) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Paul Buisson Architecture Library
223 Dickinson Drive
Coral Gables FL 33146

Judi Prokop Newman Information Resource Center
School of Business Administration, University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida 33146

Marta and Austin Weeks Music Library
5501 San Amaro Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146

MARINE/ROSENSTIEL CAMPUS

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

We hope that our around-the-clock library access will provide the flexibility in spaces and services you need to conquer exams.



“Pink Powder” Exhibition Extended through January 2017

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Silueta Works in Iowa, Ana Mendieta, 1976, on view at Richter Library. The photograph is part of Mendieta’s series depicting her silhouettes created from the earth over time.

Otto G. Richter Library, 2nd floor

Featuring works by Tracey Emin, Naomi Fisher, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Ana Mendieta, and Susanne Winterling

Pink Powder, an exhibition of renowned works owned by the de la Cruz Collection is now on view at Richter Library through January 2017. The exhibition brings together a group of artists whose work addresses the female form and identity.

Imagery varying from the quiet and ponderous, to the raw and rebellious, subvert the traditional role of the female muse within the canons of art history, literature, and popular culture.

From the “earth-body” work of Cuban-American artist, Ana Mendieta, to the drawings of female bodies as plants by Miami artist, Naomi Fisher; and from the confessional work of British artists, Tracey Emin and Sam Taylor-Johnson, to the autobiographical work of Berlin-based artist, Susanne Winterling; the artists in this exhibition address the female body with an unapologetic intensity and encourage a conversation on the healing power of the visual arts.

This exhibition is organized by the de la Cruz Collection in collaboration with the the Libraries and Miami Institute for the Americas with contributions by the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lowe Art Museum in the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Frost School of Music on the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2016.

 



2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships

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Call for Applications
The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) is calling for applications for the 2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in support of individual research by graduate students and scholars who wish to use the research resources available in the CHC. The goal of the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the CHC and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, American, Latin@, hemispheric, and international studies.

Information about the fellowships, eligibility requirements, and application process is available online at library.miami.edu/chc/fellows. The deadline for applications, which should be submitted electronically on Interfolio, is Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Questions about the fellowships program or application instructions should be directed to chc@miami.edu.

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AWARD CATEGORIES
All recipients must be in residence during the course of the fellowship and may not hold concurrent teaching positions.
Graduate Pre-Prospectus Summer Fellowships
Pre-Prospectus Summer Fellowships will allow doctoral students to determine how the CHC may serve their research needs as they prepare the dissertation prospectus. These are exploratory fellowships to determine if research resources in the CHC will support a dissertation. Fellowships of $1,500 will be granted for one month in residence between June 1 and August 31 of 2017.
Graduate Research Fellowships
Research Fellowships will support doctoral students who wish to use the CHC as a primary resource for a dissertation. Doctoral students applying for these fellowships will have completed their course work and passed their qualifying examinations. Fellowships of $3,000 per month will be granted for periods of one to three months



Join Us for International Games Day

intlgamesday2016-fbeventcover_784x295_v1Join us in celebrating International Games Day, an initiative of the American Library Association. Presented in collaboration with UM’s Department of Cinema & Interactive Media and UM Video Games Club, we’ll have board games, video games, student-created and locally produced games, vintage games, and more. Come learn new games, play your favorites, and share your skills! Learn more »



Presenting the StoryCorps-Warmamas Community Archive

By Patricia Sowers, Director of Warmamas

storycorps-blog_logoThe Afghanistan-Iraq war is described as our country’s longest war. From 2001 to 2014, over 2.5 million men and women were deployed, most of them to war zones. Multiple deployments were not uncommon. Most of those deployed said goodbye to a mother.

Saying goodbye to a son or daughter leaving for war has never been easy. It matters little if it is a first or last deployment—a mother’s anguish is the same. I, too, had to say goodbye to my own son when he announced that he was being sent to the Middle East in a diplomatic capacity. For six years, I lived in secret fear. Eventually I realized that my own feelings of foreboding were dwarfed by what mothers with children in direct combat were experiencing. Their voices were rarely heard and yet were an essential part of our ongoing national narrative on the gravitas of war. There was a need for a place where these women could share their experiences. Warmamas was created out of this need.

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Patricia Sowers (center), Director of Warmamas, converses with StoryCorps-Warmamas oral history donors at Special Collections.

None of us were prepared for the kinds of stories we heard. They were beautiful, they were painful, they were inspiring. Some were tragic. They all told a story of strength. There was a story about a mother who takes to bed for three days when her son tells her he has joined the Marines; the mother who sends her second son off to war but refuses to let her third one go; the mother who talks about developing patience when there is no letter for months; the school-teacher whose son returns with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and yet shows a determination to get well that she never expected; the mother talking by phone to her son in Afghanistan and suddenly hearing a bomb explode as his camp is attacked; another mother determined to fly to Kabul when she hears her son is injured; the mother who called an admiral at the Pentagon to complain that her son hadn’t written for six months; the mother who doesn’t cry as her daughter leaves for Iraq so as not to upset her. There are many stories about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how one mother has struggled with her son’s suicide by creating a foundation to help other at-risk veterans.

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An oral history interview is conducted at Special Collections for the StoryCorps-Warmamas Community Archive. Photo courtesy of Patricia Sowers.

Many mothers expressed surprise that anyone would be remotely interested in their experiences. They have come to understand, however, that their stories have value and are part of the larger story of war and peace and that perhaps one day a stranger or even a grandchild would want to listen.

Warmamas is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded in Coral Gables by Gail Ruiz, local artist and attorney, Philip Busey, UF agronomist and political activist and myself, an English teacher at Miami Dade College and hand-wringing mother. Warmamas began by filming, documenting and publishing mothers’ stories and later partnered with the University of Miami and StoryCorps in 2014 and 2015 as part of the Military Voices Initiative which focused on veterans and their families. The veteran narratives are stored at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC and are also—along with the Warmamas’ mother interviews—part of UM Special Collections’ StoryCorps-Warmamas Community Archive.

We are presently interviewing mothers of veterans of all wars. Most interviews are videotaped in the mother’s home. Audio recordings of veterans of any war can be done at the veteran’s home or at the studio in Richter Library.

For more information, please contact:

Patricia Figueroa Sowers, Director
Warmamas
Email: pfsowers@bellsouth.net
Phone: 305-461-5193

You can also watch her full oral history interview here.



Curate Your Own Identity at the ID Project

 

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This pop-up exhibition is a platform for exploring identity through art and the written word.

The ID Project opened on October 27 at the Lowe Art Museum as a pop-up exhibition and experimental space that encourages visitors to reflect on and explore notions of identity. The exhibition encompasses a display of identity-centric artists’ books and zines for purchase and browsing, with a focus on questions such as: Who am I? Who are you? Who are we?

The ID Project is the result of a unique partnership with the Lowe, co-curated and co-created by Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts Director and Chief Curator of the Lowe; Cristina Favretto, Head of Special Collections at University of Miami Libraries; and Amanda Keeley, Founder of EXILE Books, and occupies the space of the Lowe’s former Store.

During the opening on October 27, guests engaged in a variety of activities to “curate their identities,” including:
• Making and decorating a 3D paper mask with different materials
• Using mirrors to study their reflection and draw their self-portrait
• Creating and sharing a 10-line bio-poem with friends, other guests, or….just for them
• Using a special app to develop their own personal musical beat on an iPad
• Placing color beads in vessels to express reactions to six selected artworks in the Lowe
Writing Class Radio, who was on hand to facilitate writing true stories about personal identity

On view through April 2017, The ID Project will be accompanied by a series of “identity salons” that invite visitors to tackle this fundamental concept from a wide range of angles, including gender, sex, culture, race, age, and socio-economic status. In addition, special programs will address the theme of identity, and complement the Lowe’s dynamic exhibitions currently on view, all of which speak to the notion of identity and Walt Whitman’s truism: “We contain multitudes.” The schedule of salons and programs will be announced.

“Identity shapes our lives, both independent and collective,” says Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts Director and Chief Curator of the Lowe. The ID Project provides an exciting platform for expressing ideas about how we define ourselves and how we see others, and serves as a flexible viewing and making space for education, enrichment, and enjoyment,” she adds.

The ID Project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.