Latin American Collection at Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt’s collection of Latin American materials is one of the library’s principal strengths.  Vanderbilt established the first Institute of Brazilian Studies in the United States in 1947; hence, Brazil, particularly Brazilian history, has been a focus of the collection.  The Colombian collection offers scholars a rich array of highly varied resources; most notably, the J. León Helguera Collection which includes 19th-century broadsides, programs, pamphlets and newspapers, among many other rare materials.  The recently acquired Manuel Zapata Olivella Collection is comprised of the acclaimed Colombian anthropologist, novelist, and physician’s manuscripts, papers, transcriptions and recordings-a treasure trove of Afro-Colombiana.  The  library participates in the Global Resources Project and focuses on Guatemalan and Mesoamerican anthropology and archaeology.  A more recent area of development is Andean archaeology and anthropology, especially in Bolivia and Peru.  Other special collections include early travel accounts of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Simon Collier tango collection and the ever expanding digital collection, Ecclesiastical and Secular Sources for Slave Societies, including Brazil, Colombia, and Cuba.

See the Jean and Alexander Heard Library site for information on collections and services. See the Research guide for Latin American Resources, and for questions about the collection please contact  Paula Covington (

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