Benson Latin American Collection
University of Texas at Austin
The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection is one of the premier libraries in the world focused on Latin America and Latin@ Studies. In partnership with the Teresa Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies (LLILAS), the Benson Collection offers a global destination for research and study, featuring over a million volumes as well as a wealth of original manuscripts, photographs, and various media related to Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Latina/Latino presence in the United States.
Named in honor of its former director (1942-1975), the Benson Collection contains over 970,000 books, periodicals, pamphlets, and microforms; 4,000 linear feet of manuscripts; 19,000 maps; 11,500 broadsides; 93,500 photographs; and 50,000 items in a variety of other media (sound recordings, drawings, video tapes and cassettes, slides, transparencies, posters, memorabilia, and electronic media). Periodical titles are estimated at over 40,000 with 8,000 currently received titles and over 3,000 newspaper titles. Initially endowed with a superb collection of rare books and manuscripts relating to Mexico, the Benson Collection now maintains important holdings for all countries of Latin America with special concentrations on the countries of the Río de la Plata, Brazil, Chile, Peru, and Central America. The Mexican American Library Program, a department of the collection established in 1974, has gathered extensive research materials in all subject areas related to the U.S. Southwest and Latino culture in the U.S. In sum, the book collection of the Benson Collection represents approximately ten percent of all of the volumes in the University of Texas Libraries, the fifth largest academic library in the United States. While the purchase of private libraries laid the foundation for the Benson Collection, the acquisition of current publications is now the major factor in its growth. Researchers from the U.S. and abroad have been attracted to this remarkable resource through the last eight decades, coming to consult materials accumulated from all parts of the world, in many languages, dating from the fifteenth century to the present.