By PAMELA HOWARD-REGUINDIN
On March 24, the Rio de Janeiro Field Office of the Library celebrated its 30th anniversary with exchange partners, consulate colleagues, former employees and Brazilian dignitaries. On hand were Winston Tabb, associate librarian for Library Services, and Georgette Dorn, chief of the Hispanic Division. A U.S. congressional delegation headed by Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-Va.) also joined in the festivities.
The event was held at the U.S. Consulate in Rio de Janeiro. After comments by Consul General James Derham, Mr. Tabb described the "globalization" of the Library's resources and LC's cooperative projects with key Brazilian institutions. Mr. Tabb emphasized that early in the Library's history, books from abroad figured prominently in the collections. "Regular exchange of official documents between countries, established by law in 1840, has enabled the Library to receive some 300,000 documents from 15,000 partners worldwide." Today more than two-thirds of the Library's collections are nonEnglish. As the Library grew, special reading rooms were created; the Hispanic Room was established in 1939."
Mr. Tabb said that the Rio office, like the Library itself, is involved not only in acquisitions but also preservation, such as a joint microfilming project of the Library and the Brazilian National Library. He also noted that the recent adoption of MARC formats in several important Brazilian institutions is an important step in the exchange of bibliographic data between the United States and Brazil.
Ms. Dorn spoke about the numerous Brazilian authors recorded -- often in the Rio Consulate facility -- for LC's Archive of World Literature on Tape. "The Rio Field Office has been of immense assistance to the contributing editors of the Handbook of Latin American Studies," which is edited at the Library. Jose Mindlin, a Brazilian industrialist whose collection of rare books is the largest in Latin America, said that "the existence of an office of the Library of Congress in Brazil is an eloquent demonstration of interest in our country and in Brazilian culture. I know of no other foreign institution that has done the same thing."
Other speakers included Celina Vargas do Amaral Peixoto, director of the Getulio Vargas Foundation; Marta de Senna, chief of staff of the National Library Foundation; Ann Hartness, assistant director of the Benson Latin American Collection of the University of Texas, who represented the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM); and Nelida Piñon, president of the Brazilian Academy of Letters and one of the 91 Brazilian authors in the Archive of World Literature on Tape. The Rio office's longtime book dealer from Uruguay, Juan Risso, presented the office with a plaque in recognition of "professionalism, love for the book and labors in favor of Uruguayan culture."
Then, on behalf of Dr. Billington, Winston Tabb presented Carmen Muricy, senior acquisitions librarian in Rio, with a Meritorious Service Award for 29 years of outstanding performance.
Ms. Howard-Reguindin is director of the Rio Field Office.