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[Catedral, Quito, Pichincha district, Ecuador]

Archive of Hispanic Culture

Photographs of Latin American art and architecture

Prints and Photographs Division

Collection digitized? Generally, no. Selected images are included here to give a sample of the collection.

The Archive of Hispanic Culture is a photographic reference collection for the study of Latin American art and architecture. The collection, available in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room, illustrates indigenous art works dating from the colonial period through the twentieth century as well as artistically influential monuments in Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, and the United States. During its most active period, 1940 to 1944, the archive was supported in part by the Rockefeller Foundation and amassed over twelve thousand photoprints, thirty-four hundred transparencies, and forty-nine hundred photographic negatives (these figures include duplicates). Work was continued on a reduced scale until 1947. While most material was acquired by gift, purchase, or exchange with other institutions, the archive commissioned photographic surveys in several regions. The photographs are arranged by medium -- architecture, decorative arts, sculpture, painting, and graphic arts -- and subdivided by location, type of object, or artist. A card index lists corresponding slides and negatives for many items. The formation of the archive was accompanied by the preparation of A Guide to the Art of Latin America (Washington [Govt. Print. Off.] 1948. 480 p. Z5961.S72S5; reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1971), edited by Robert C. Smith and Elizabeth Wilder.

Some items for which copy photography has been requested can be searched in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.

Note: Information for this entry was compiled in the late 1970's for inclusion in: Special Collections in the Library of Congress: A Selective Guide. Compiled by Annette Melville. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980. The entry has not been revised, except to add information about digitized images and online catalog records.


U.S. Library of Congress. Reference Department. Guide to the Special Collections of Prints & Photographs in the Library of Congress (Washington: 1955. NE53.W3A52), compiled by Paul Vanderbilt, no. 34.

Smith, Robert C., "The Archive of Hispanic Culture," QJLC, v. 1, October/December 1943: 53-57.


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  October 22, 2010
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