The Library of Congress has the largest collection of Hispanic materials in the world, including rare items of Mexican origin. The institution's curators, some of the world's most knowledgeable experts, highlight a few of the Library's most treasured artifacts.


"Litigating Land: Aztec Law and Surveying"

John Hessler, curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection for the History of the Early Americas at the Library of Congress, unveils the dramatic story behind an early Aztec map (1539) and describes the revolutionary Aztec technology that created a 15th/16th-century facial sculpture.

400th Anniversary of Printing in the New World

Four hundred years ago, in 1539, occurred the most significant happening in the history of American printing – the arrival in Mexico of the first known commercial printer and his press.” Daniel De Simone, curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection of the Library of Congress, discusses the significance of the first press in America and those who made it possible.

De Las Casas

Library of Congress Hispanic Division specialist shares insights into the history of the early Americas and Spanish historian and social reformer Bartolomé de las Casas.

History of the Mexican Revolution

The Library of Congress has the only existing copy of the film, "The History of the Mexican Revolution," a compilation documentary shot by several newsreel cameramen over a span of nearly 30 years. These compilation histories represent the first documentaries in Mexico's rich cinematic history. Mike Mashon, head of the Library’s Moving Image Section, talks about the historical and cultural importance of this film and the Library of Congress Motion Picture Laboratory’s efforts to preserve it.

The Ramírez Madonna

The Madonna drawing by Martín Ramírez, considered one of the best “outsider” artists of the 20th century, is part of the Prints and Photographs Collection at the Library of Congress. Completed in the early 1950s, the drawing was found in 2009 by Library staff when they were processing additions to the Library's Charles and Ray Eames Collection. Ramírez created his art work while hospitalized for schizophrenia at Stockton State Hospital in California. The drawing underwent months of extensive preservation work by Library staff.


Subscribe today and listen to interviews with select conference participants in advance of the celebratory two-day event, including novelist/poet Carmen Boullosa, author Sandra Cisneros and celebrated linguist Miguel León-Portilla.


Authors of Mexican descent, who appeared at the 2013 National Book Festival, share their thoughts about the culturally diverse richness of their ancestral homeland.

Alfred Corchado
Alfredo Corchado was born in Durango, Mexico, and grew up in California and Texas. He is the Mexican bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News and has received many honors for his reportage.

Matt de la Peña
The novels of Matt de la Peña have garnered numerous awards for their realistic, unvarnished depiction of young adults. His novels include "Mexican Whiteboy" and "I Will Save You."

Pati Jinich
The host of PBS's popular cooking show "Pati's Mexican Table" is Pati Jinich, who was born and raised in Mexico. Jinich says she grew up in a family of "accomplished cooks and food maniacs." She launched "Mexican Table" in 2007, at the urging of the director of the Mexican Cultural Institute.

Juan Felipe Herrera
Juan Felipe Herrera is the Poet Laureate of California. He is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for "Half the World in Light" (2008) and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. His latest collection is "Senegal Taxi (Camino del Sol)."

Rafael López
Rafael López is an illustrator who grew up immersed in the culture of Mexico City. His style is influenced by Mexican surrealism and traditional sayings and myths. He has won two Americas Awards and a Pura Belpré Honor for his children’s books. López illustrated the 2012 National Book Festival poster.