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The PALABRA Archive

Pablo Neruda reading for the AHLOT in the Library of Congress Recording Lab, 1966 (Prints and Photographs Division, LC)

The PALABRA Archive was begun in 1943 by the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress to record audio recordings of poets and prose writers from Spain, Portugal, Latin America, the Caribbean and from the LatinX communicty in the United States reading from their works.

Historically known as the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT), the archive has to date, close to 750 authors have been recorded including Nobel Laureates Juan Ramón Jiménez, Vicente Aleixandre, Camilo José Cela, Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Miguel Angel Asturias, Gabriel García Márquez, Octavio Paz, and Mario Vargas Llosa. Other authors of note include Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Elena Poniatowska, Carlos Fuentes, Jorge Amado, and Nélida Piñón.

32 countries are represented in this diverse recorded sound collection which includes readings in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Catalan, Basque, French, Dutch, Creole, Náhuatl, Zapotec, Quechua and Aymara. The majority of the recordings have been done in the Library of Congress' Recording Laboratory. Curators in the Hispanic Division continue to actively capturing the voices of contemporary Luso-Hispanic literary figures.

A portion of the PALABRA Archive is availble for online streaming. 50 newly digitized recordings are made available every year during National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15).

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  March 9, 2022
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