September 18, 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month Events at the Library of Congress

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322,
Public Contact: Catalina Gómez (202) 707-6404,
Website: Hispanic Heritage Month

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, various divisions throughout the Library of Congress will host virtual events and digital features, including National Book Festival highlights and the pre-recorded 2020 Américas Awards.

Friday, Sept. 25 – Sunday, Sept. 27 – National Book Festival
Sunday, Sept. 6 p.m. EST; PBS stations (check local listings)
The National Book Festival occurs during National Hispanic Heritage Month and several Hispanic authors have been prerecorded. The 20th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will feature Sandra Cisneros, Angela Dominguez, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Juan Felipe Herrera and Edward Melillo, among others. Visit for additional information.

Wednesday, Sept. 30 - Music Video Premier: Changüí Majadero
noon; Library of Congress video stream channels
Join the American Folk Life Center and the Music Division for the music video premiere of Changüí Majadero. Changüí is the predecessor of son cubano and salsa, a style of music specifically from the region of Guantanamo, Cuba. You can interact with the artist via text chat on Facebook during and immediately after the premiere.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 – Transcribe-A-Thon
All Day; Herencia: Thousands of Spanish Legal Documents
To celebrate the launch of phase two of the Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents transcription campaign, and Hispanic Heritage Month, the Law Library of Congress will be hosting a virtual transcribe-a-thon. You do not need to read Spanish, Latin, or Catalan to participate in this project. You can register for the free event here.

Monday, Oct. 12 - 2020 Américas Award Ceremony
6 p.m.; Library of Congress video stream channels
The Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress with the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) honor the winners of the 2020 Américas Award in a pre-recorded event. This year’s book award winners are: “Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border” by Mitali Perkins and illustrated by Sara Palacios (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019) and “Beast Rider” by Tony Johnston and María Elena Fontanot de Rhoads (Abrams, 2019).

The Américas Award is an annual celebration during National Hispanic Heritage Month of Latin American, Hispanic-American and Latinx creators and their work in youth and children’s literature. Hear from this year’s winners and honor books through this virtual event. Registration is free and recommended through Eventbrite.

Thursday, Oct. 15 - Webcast: “Mendez, Hernandez, and Beyond: A Conversation on Latinx Civil Rights”
6 p.m.; Library of Congress video stream channels
This pre-recorded event introduces a new LibGuide created by Hispanic LC Interns and features a conversation with a panel of experts about civil rights cases that have historically addressed the rights of individuals in the Latina(o) community such as Mendez v. Westminister and Hernandez v. Texas. Participants include Philippa Strum, Ignacio García, and Ian Haney López. Material generated in this webcast will enhance online instruction tools currently under development at the Library. Registration is free and recommended on Eventbrite.

Digital Features

PALABRA Archive: Re-Branding a Historic Collection and New Digital Content
As part of its heritage celebration, the Library announces that effective Oct. 1. Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT) will become the PALABRA Archive. This historical collection of audio recordings featuring the voices of 20th and 21st century Latin American, Iberian, Caribbean and LatinX poets and writers which has been curated by the Library since 1943, has moved to the digital age. “Palabra” and the similar “palavra” mean “word” in Spanish and Portuguese respectively. Both have their origins in the Latin word “parabola” meaning story. This new name celebrates the rich and diverse literary traditions of the Luso-Hispanic world through the voices of its storytellers, poets and wordsmiths.

Research Guides
During the month, the division will release more research guides related to Hispanic Heritage in the United States, including a comprehensive guide to locate and access recordings from The PALABRA Archive as well as a general resource guide on the Library’s LatinX collections and a subject guide highlighting significant civil rights cases championed by LatinX leaders that brought about positive change to the Hispanic-American community.

Story Map
The Hispanic Division will also launch its Story Map “Traveling Words and Sounds: The PALABRA Archive from the Hispanic Division.” The site will be an immersive journey through the Library’s remarkable Latin American photographic collections and some of the recordings from the PALABRA Archive.

New Recordings
In addition to re-naming this collection, the Library continues its tradition of publishing fifty new streaming recordings from this collection during Hispanic Heritage Month. Among the writers newly available for streaming are Chicano author Rudolfo Anaya, Guatemalan Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias, Cuban poet and essayist Nancy Morejón, and a series of recently recorded sessions of Maya poets from the Chiapas region in Mexico. Learn more about the about the archive here.

Fridays, Sept. 18 and 25; Oct. 2 and 9
Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Features
Tune in on every Friday during Hispanic History Month to the Library of Congress 4 Corners of the World Blog to read stories and highlights related to Hispanic culture and Library collections.

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PR 20-062
ISSN 0731-3527