Chile at the Stanford Libraries

September 20, 2016
Adan Griego
We-tripantu, Cunco, 2014. Hector González de Cunco Photographs

Stanford's libraries house an extensive collection on various aspects of Chilean culture. The personal library of Fernando Alegría, leading exile figure and Stanford professor for over 30 years, gives it in-depth humanities coverage with over 2900 unique titles of chapbooks, first editions and other literary publications. Items are located in the circulating collection with the more rare/unique placed in Special Collections. In addition, the 100 boxes containing Alegria's literary archive document many of the country's socio-political and cultural events before the 1973 coup as well as the exile years. The Hoover Archives also hold several collections from these years.

Chile's president Salvador Allende and Nobel-laurate Pablo Neruda.

Documentation from/about the dictatorship period (1973-1990) is supplemented with similar coverage of the 2005, 2009, and 2014 presidential elections. The more recent student protest movement of 2011 and visual works of other anarquist collectives also provide a rich visual collection of political ephemera. 

A vast digital archive of the Frei Tagle presidency and artist books from various ateliers/talleres round up the unique holdings of more than 21,000 titles of books, journals and other special items, making it one of the top Chile-related collections in North America. Those holdings continue to grow with an average 350 new titles added annually. Through the library's catalague holdings can be viewed in varios ways: most recent, old-to-new, only journals, etc.  

Historical maps of Chile can also be found in The David Rumsey Map Collection, including images depicting everyday life in the late 1700s, like the "Dress of the Inhabitants of Conception" or the "Inhabitants and Monuments of Easter Island." More contemporary aspects of Chilean society are documented in Héctor González de Cunco's photographs

We-tripantu, Cunco, 2014. Hector González de Cunco Photographs

The Stanford-Chile connection also goes beyond the Libraries: since 1990, the Bing Overseas Study program in Santiago has hosted over 1,500 undergraduates. 


*Chile's president Salvador Allende and Nobel-laureate poet Pablo Neruda. Fernando Alegría Papers. Box 75, Folder 1.

*We-tripantu, Cunco, 2014. Héctor Gonzázez de Cunco Photographs. (c) by the artist, used with permission.



*Text originally appeared in Facebook (September 11, 2014) and has been updated.