THIS JUST IN: Lions, Tigers, and Pegacorns, Oh My!

Age of the Womanimal, published for the Garden of the Womanimal/Caroline Paquita exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

By Yvette Yurubi, Research Assistant

In following this year’s #BeBoldForChange theme for International Women’s Day, we wanted to highlight one of our more recent and unique acquisitions from Caroline Paquita and Pegacorn Press. Caroline and her collaborators have been publishing zines together since the mid-1990s. These works showcase femininity and sexuality in a raw and brazen way, and capture the female body in all of its many shapes, forms, and sizes, while also tackling the experience of being a woman in today’s society. The exaggerated, cartoon-like designs blend with their uninhibited approach to art and serve to capture women not at their most demure, but at their most feral and expressive, unencumbered by traditional gender roles and society’s seemingly impossible-to-achieve beauty standards. There is an elegant absurdity to her work that completely divorces the notion of being a woman from any regulatory definition and instead represents women as untamed, unapologetic, and unashamed of their own female form.

Garden of the Womanimal, published for an exhibition at the Booklyn Art Gallery from April 12 – June 18, 2014.

On the moniker of her independent press, Caroline states that Pegacorn has “embodied the wild spirit that I wanted the press to embrace – a feral beast, and one that wouldn’t just print and release ‘boring’ work by ‘socially acceptable’ people who have always had opportunities to have their work put out. I wanted artists to feel there were no restraints on what they wanted to put out with Pegacorn Press, and that they had the freedom to make whatever they wanted – that they could be as weird or as wild as they wanted.” Her run of Womanilistic, in particular, with its unhinged and frenetic art style, perfectly encapsulates the ideas of unabashed freedom that she wants to encourage. The style achieves this by using close-up ink drawings of the female anatomy and women wearing bestial features in a manner that is explicitly treated as empowering instead of insulting.

Taco Time, from Womanilistic #3

Several women’s issues are conveyed through abstract images in this set of zines. The themes range from body image to sexuality and gender inequality, taking an evocative stance that emboldens readers to not shy away from these topics but rather to lay them all out in the open for discussion. The resulting images and text elicit a dialogue about modern perceptions of gender and trying to transform the norm by rampaging through the idealistic and encouraging self-expression in an unrestricted sense. These zines also offer a welcome glimpse into the celebration of being a woman in a society where the definition is ever-changing and where barriers are constantly being shattered.

We invite you to come enjoy International Women’s Day every day with us here in the Special Collections Department. Located on the eighth floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, the department is a place where anyone can learn more about women’s history by exploring our growing collection of feminist zines and artists’ books.



Science and Art Weave a Story on Climate Change

A traveling exhibit of 26 colorful and intricate climate-focused art quilts by 22 Florida artists, “Piecing Together a Changing Planet,” survived wildfires and a hurricane to open on Wednesday evening at the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami. Continue reading »



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.





UM Libraries Celebrates South Florida’s Caribbean Voices

By Sarah Block

Click the image to view all interviews online.

In his work as a corporate attorney Marlon Hill represents artists and creatives in the South Florida area seeking to build a brand. Outside of the courtroom, however, Hill is an advocate for those who are grappling with issues of identity as individuals in a new land and culture.

“I feel very strongly about helping any student who is going through a process of acclimation, assimilation, and integration,” he explains in his oral history interview at the University of Miami Special Collections as part of its new Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project. “The success of that person and that person’s family is dependent on how those three areas of immigration are. They can make or break a family.”

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Artist Edouard Duval Carrie shared his story at Special Collections in the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project. Highlights from each of the oral history interviews are available on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Hill, a Miami resident originally from Jamaica, said his own struggles in the immigration process as a teenager fueled a desire for mentoring new immigrants, as early as his college years. Today he joins a growing list of South Florida community members of Caribbean origin who are telling their stories in the series sponsored by the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

So far, more than 20 individuals, including photojournalist Carl Juste, TV Producer/host Elizabeth Guérin, and artist Edouard Duval Carrie have taken part in the series, which spans topics surrounding their various experiences and contributions to the South Florida community in such areas as art and media, education, entrepreneurship, and activism.

“Our interviewees are individuals who are actively involved in a creative blending of their immigration experience with their lives in the United States,” said Special Collections’ Manuscripts Librarian Beatrice Skokan, who led the project, at a July 13 celebration of the series that recognized its first group of participants.

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UM Libraries Manuscripts Librarian Beatrice Skokan thanks donors during the reception.

Skokan describes the series as an important initiative for Special Collections and its Caribbean Archive, which houses rare maps, books, and correspondence as well as materials that document modern life and families of the Caribbean basin. “The South Florida region, with its multiplicity of migrations, has become an ideal setting for the historical documentation of hemispheric encounters,” Skokan says. “This is about documenting the experience of people who inhabited Caribbean regions from their point of view—unedited by another’s gaze and interpretation.”

Many of the department’s most rare and historical Caribbean materials, dating back to the 1700s, were donated by some of UM’s earliest supporters, underscoring one of the region’s and the University’s enduring strengths. At his January inauguration, President Julio Frenk described a “hemispheric” aspiration as one of four defining visions for the future of the University.

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Oral history donors Marlon Hill (second from right) and Elizabeth Guérin (right) with guests at Special Collections’ Caribbean Voices reception.

The ongoing series is now accessible to students, scholars, and the general public for research on a variety of topics related to South Florida’s Caribbean diaspora. It currently features individuals of Haitian, Dominican, Bahamian, Venezuelan, Cuban, and Colombian origins, among others, with the intent of continued growth as new funding becomes available.

Interviews, which were conducted by Julio Estorino and Lucrèce Louisdhon-Louinis along with Skokan, are accessible from UM Libraries’ website. Additional oral history projects of UM Libraries include the Haitian Diaspora Oral Histories; the Cuban Heritage Collection’s Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project and Human Rights Oral History Project; and collaborations with National Public Radio’s StoryCorps, including StoryCorps Historias and StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative (carried out with the nonprofit Warmamas), which is currently in process.

Current participants of the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project include:

Elizabeth Baez, Artist/Educator

Firelei Báez, Artist

Ronald Bilbao, Legislative Specialist

Lucy Canzoneri-Golden, Artist/Educator

Tiberio Castellanos, Journalist

Edouard Duval Carrié, Artist

Elizabeth Guérin, TV Producer/Host

Roberto Guzmán, Linguist/Writer

Marlon Hill, Attorney

Carl Juste, Photojournalist

Fr. Alejandro López, Priest

Gepsie Metellus, Community Leader

Francisco Portillo, Immigration Activist

María Rodriguez, Activist

Ruby Romero-Issaev, Producer/Marketing Director

Nora Sandigo, Immigration Activist

Althea “Vicki” Silvera, Archivist

Patricia Sowers, Nonprofit Director

Nixon St. Hubert (DJ Nickymix), DJ/Producer

Federico Uribe, Artist

Dr. Freddie G. Young, Educator/Community Leader

This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts, and the State of Florida. If you are interested in learning more about this collection, or to recommend someone for this project, please call 305-284-3247.

Event photos by Mitchell Zachs.



Join Us for Caribbean Voices on July 13

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University of Miami Special Collections cordially invites you to a reception in appreciation of those who made possible the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | 6:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library, 8th Floor
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

In 2015, 20 influential Miamians took part in the inaugural series of oral history interviews known as the Caribbean Diaspora Oral History Project. By sharing their stories, these individuals have helped the University of Miami Special Collections continue its important work of documenting the history of the Caribbean and its diaspora for the future use of students, scholars, artists, and community researchers.

Please join us for a reception to celebrate the completion of this inaugural series and recognize the individuals who have made it possible.

#CaribbeanVoices
Find Special Collections on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for special sneak peaks of the project—featuring a new oral history donor each day!

This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-4026 or richterevents@miami.edu with questions about directions and parking.

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Notes from the Miami Zine Fair

By Jay Sylvestre, Special Collections Librarian

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Zine Fair attendees on the plaza at HistoryMiami

On Saturday, April 30, Special Collections and the UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective shared a table at the 3rd annual Miami Zine Fair. The Zine Fair, organized by Exile Books and hosted by HistoryMiami, featured 140 tables of zine makers, artists, and poets. The event drew more than 1,500 people who came to purchase and swap zines, chat with their favorite zinesters, or simply learn more about zines.

 

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Special Collections Librarian Jay Sylvestre at the zine table.

Special Collections assembled a zine about zines that we called Zineology #1. With more than 6,000 zines in our collection we knew we couldn’t share details about each one so we decided to approach the collection thematically. Zineology highlighted several of our distinct zine collections along with zine subject areas like music, perzines (short for personal zines), gender and sexuality, science fiction, and Florida zines.

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The UM Gender, Sexuality, and Visual Studies Collective

The initial focus of the zine collection was on Florida or Florizines, but it quickly became clear that just as zines serve to subvert and expand the conversation, we knew we couldn’t limit the collection geographically. Florida zines will always be a particular focus, but the amount of variety in the eclectic world of zines requires that we collect zines about anything and everything from here, there, and everywhere.

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Zine artist and Special Collections Library Assistant David Rodriguez (right) recently donated this zine he presented at Zine Fair to our collection.

We met so many people at the Zine Fair that we ran out of business cards and gave away almost the entire first run of Zineology. We had countless conversations with people about the existence of our collection; many of whom had no idea that UM Special Collections has such an extensive zine collection. Participating in an event like the Zine Fair was the perfect venue to share this information. We lost track of how many new potential researchers we met, but we know that we’ve already been contacted by a few people from the fair about adding their zines to the collection.

If we met you on Saturday at the Zine Fair and you would like to add your zines to the collection please give us a call!

 

 

 

 

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Stop by the Richter Library 8th floor and pick up a copy of Zineology #1 for detailed highlights of the zine collection.



Join Us for “Jet Set Frontiers in the Middle East” by Dr. Waleed Hazbun on May 20

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University of Miami Special Collections cordially invites you to

Jet Set Frontiers in the Middle East
by Dr. Waleed Hazbun

Friday, May 20, 2016
Presentation 12:30 p.m. | Lunch to follow

Otto G. Richter Library, 3rd Floor Conference Room
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.

Join Dr. Waleed Hazbun in a presentation of his book project based on ongoing research of the World Wings International, Inc. Records. Dr. Hazbun, the first recipient of Special Collections’ World Wings International, Inc. Research Grant, is using the collection to explore the expansion of American commercial airline networks through the Middle East since the early post-World War II era. The book focuses on challenges that commercial airline networks faced with the rise of regional conflict, air piracy, and violence targeting Americans and American institutions abroad. In this presentation Dr. Hazbun will discuss the project and highlight interesting and important discoveries from his work with the World Wings International, Inc. Records.

About World Wings International Inc.

World Wings International, Inc. is the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants who seek to maintain the historic Pan Am tradition of global humanitarian assistance, safeguard Pan Am’s place in aviation history, and promote friendship among its members through cultural and civic activities. The organization’s records, housed at Special Collections, include administrative records as well as scrapbooks, photographs, membership and annual meetings files, correspondence, and financial records dating back to 1946.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-4026 or richterevents@miami.edu with questions about directions and parking.

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New Collection Celebrates and Preserves Urban Art in Florida

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A unique collection generously donated by Barbara Young in honor of her late husband, artist and teacher Robert Huff, is now available for research. The Robert Huff Collection includes a vast array of exhibit catalogs dating back from the 1980s to the present. Of interest are the sheer number and variety of exhibits that cropped up all around Miami, showcasing different artists with their own brand and identity that contributed something valuable and new to the art scene.

At the forefront of the collection is one name splayed across many of these exhibit catalogs – Robert Huff himself, a former art professor and chairman at Miami Dade College. His stunning, three-dimensional visual style was celebrated throughout the decades as a welcome presence in Miami as his use of bright colors intersects with architectural designs to create pieces that are unexpectedly harmonious in spite of their disparate elements. Segmenting lines and geometrical shapes present in many of his artworks are where these elements meet and interact to create layered images that paint an urban jungle for its audience to be lured into, inviting them to traverse deeper into the story he tried to tell in each piece.

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These catalogs serve as a celebration of his prominence and success here in Miami and will hopefully evoke the curiosity of future young artists and researchers who wish to delve deeper into his work and those of his contemporaries. We invite you all to come stop by and take a look through the exhibition catalogs to experience the way the urban art movement has shaped Miami’s cultural scene as a whole.

Capturing Florida’s local art scene is one of our key collecting areas here in Special Collections as we feel it has something unique and culturally significant to offer current and future generations. We are striving to document as much of it as possible before historical materials are lost or disappear into the ether (as so many websites do), so materials such as our newly acquired Robert Huff Collection have become crucial to our initiative to preserve Florida’s modern history with the same eclectic flair that we experience in our day-to-day lives living here in this energetic and artistically vibrant city.



Join Us for a Presentation of Life, Love, and a Hijacking: My Pan Am Memoir by Wendy Sue Knecht on January 19

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University of Miami Special Collections cordially invites you to a presentation of the book

Life, Love, and a Hijacking: My Pan Am Memoir
by Wendy Sue Knecht

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Reception 6:30 p.m. | Presentation to follow

Otto G. Richter Library, 8th Floor
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to asc.library@miami.edu or call 305-284-3247

As a “naïve, frizzy-haired college student” Wendy Sue Knecht joined Pan American World Airways in pursuit of a career filled with travel, adventure, and opportunity. Knecht will present her memoir Life, Love, and a Hijacking and share select readings from her book and a trailer for the film Neerja, based on the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73. Life, Love, and a Hijacking recounts Knecht’s own arrival in Pakistan on Flight 73 hours before the hijacking, the event, its aftermath, and the tragic story of heroic flight purser Neerja Bhanot. Knecht’s reading is part of ongoing efforts by Special Collections and the Pan Am community to document and share the stories of people connected to the historic airline.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-3247 or asc.library@miami.edu with questions about directions and parking.

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