September 16, 2015 Online Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape Launches

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Catalina Gómez (202) 707-6404

As part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Library of Congress today launched an online selection of recordings from its Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape, a series of audio recordings of renowned poets and prose writers reading from their work in their native languages. Writers from the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, the Caribbean and U.S. Hispanics/Latinos have been recorded. Available as streamed audio, 50 recordings are currently available at Additional material from the collection will be added on a monthly basis.

“I am so excited that the entire world will be able to hear some of these wonderful writers, such as Gabriel García Márquez and Octavio Paz, that we recorded for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape. Hearing the voice of a writer – according to Chile’s Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral – brings him or her alive,” said Georgette Dorn, the chief of the Library’s Hispanic Division and curator of the archive.

Highlights from the launch include:

• Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges reading from his poems in 1958

• Spanish author Juan Ramón Jiménez reading from his prose and poetry in 1947 and 1949

• Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez reading from his work in 1977

• Portuguese poet Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen reading from her work in 1985

• Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral reading from her work in 1972

• Chicano scholar and author Juan Bruce Novoa reading from his prose in 1979

• Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa reading from his work in 1977.

The Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape at the Library of Congress began in 1943 and contains nearly 700 recordings of poets and prose writers participating in sessions at the Library’s recording laboratory and at other locations around Spain and Latin America. To date, writers from 32 countries are represented in this collection, which includes readings in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, French, Náhuatl, Zapotec, Aymara, English and Dutch.

Most of these recordings were captured on magnetic tape reels, and, until now, were accessible on site only at the Library itself. In digitizing the archive and presenting it online, the Library hopes to greatly broaden its use and value.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, publications, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

The Hispanic Division, established in 1939, is the center for the study of the cultures and societies of Hispanic/Latinos in the United States and Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula and other areas where Spanish or Portuguese influence have been significant. For more information about the Hispanic Reading Room and the Hispanic collections of the Library, visit


PR 15-163
ISSN 0731-3527