TexLibris: A Visit to Eldorado

One of the partnerships that emerged from the LLILAS Benson Mellon-funded project “Cultivating a Latin American Post-Custodial Archival Community” involved extensive collaboration with EAACONE, Equipe de Articulação e Assessoria às Comunidades Negras do Vale do Ribeira, located in Eldorado, Vale do Ribeira, São Paulo, Brazil. (EAACONE’s name translates as Team for Articulation and Assessment of Black Communities of Vale do Ribeira).

Read the full post in English and Portuguese

Exhibition: Spirit of Viche Black Ancestral Traditions in the Colombian Pacific

Spirit of Viche: Black Ancestral Traditions in the Colombian Pacific is an exhibition organized by LLILAS master’s student Camille Carr in collaboration with Benson Exhibitions Curator Veronica Valarino. Viche is an artisanal drink distilled from sugarcane whose recipe was brought to Colombia by enslaved African women and has been passed down through generations. Carr’s research and acquisition of materials was funded by a 2023 Archiving Black América–Black Diaspora Archive Acquisitions Grant and resulted in the  Scenes of Black Life and Cultural Expression in the Colombian Pacific archival collection.

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Exhibition: Liberating Black Art

In partnership with Art Galleries at Black Studies (AGBS), the BDA is pleased to present Liberating Black Art on view at the Neill-Cochran House Museum.  This show presents artworks from the Black Diaspora Archive in conversation with two local, private collections. Collectively, these works highlight the distinct yet cohesive, approach of artists in using creativity as an antidote to systemic erasure and misrepresentation and as a means of celebrating the cultural legacy of people of African descent.

Read more about the exhibition here.


Podcast: Immigrant Narratives & Caribbean Print Culture as Counter Narrative

Rachel E. Winston, Black Diaspora Archivist, highlights Calypso Souvenir Booklets from the Benson Latin American Collection in the podcast, We Were Never Silent: Immigrant Narratives & Caribbean Print Culture as Counter Narrative. This episode is part of a six-part series, Counter Narratives in Practice, created by fellows from the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage  at Rare Book School.

Tex Libris: The John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Archive

Image used to herald the opening of the newly renovated Chase Building

Jeremy Thompson is a Diversity Resident Librarian at the University of Texas Libraries.

The John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Archive is stewarded by the Black Diaspora Archive and can be accessed through a variety of avenues. The oral histories and photographs can be accessed online via the University of Texas Libraries Collections portal, here. The analog artifacts of the collection have been described in the collection’s TARO finding aid and can be requested in the Benson Latin American Collection’s rare books and manuscripts reading room. For more in-depth history about the Chase Building, visit CCE’s showcase on it and their series of videos centered around the building and its surrounding communities. Collections like the Chase Building Archive provide us the opportunity to learn how Black communities and spaces come about, and warn us about the diaspora that looms with their absence.

For more on the history of the John S. and Drucie R. Chase House and the archive, read Jeremy’s full article here.

Texas Slave Trade Mapping Project Receives Mellon Foundation and National Archives Grant

Photos L to R: Dr. Berry, Moore, Winston.

A historical archive project that traces the routes of Texas’ domestic slave trade has received a grant of $119,326 over two years to expand its digital presence. The Texas Domestic Slave Trade (TXDST) project was founded by Daina Ramey Berry, Chair of UT Austin’s Department of History, and Rachel E. Winston, Black Diaspora Archivist at UT Libraries. The TXDST project manager is Sheena Moore, a senior administrative associate in the Department of History. The grant is funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), which is a collaboration between the Mellon Foundation and the National Archives that aims to expand cultural diversity in American history.

More information can be found in announcements by the College of Liberal Arts Public Affairs and the Department of History.

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