The Library of Congress celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, commemorated each year Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with a series of events, tours and gallery talks. All events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required.
Kicking off the month-long celebration will be a reading by new Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.
In addition, the Library will present other events to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
• The Sones de México Ensemble performs Mexican folk music on Wednesday, Sept. 16, at noon in the Coolidge Auditorium.
• Olivia Cadaval of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage gives a presentation on Latin American-themed Smithsonian Folklife Festival curatorial work at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 22, in the Mary Pickford Theater, third floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
• Music specialists will give interactive presentations on Latin Jazz on Thursday, Oct. 1, and the Puerto Rican cuatro on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Both presentations are at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater.
As part of the celebration the Library will also present a number of lectures dealing with the rich and long history of Hispanics in the United States.
• Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese James D. Fernández of New York University gives a lecture on United States immigration from Spain during the 18th and 19th centuries onFriday, Sept. 18, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater.
• Historian and diplomat Gonzalo Quintero gives a talk on Bernardo de Gálvez, the commander of the Spanish forces that fought the British during the War of Independence, on Monday, Oct. 5, at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater
• Professor of History Michael Francis of the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg gives commemorative lecture celebrating the 450th anniversary of the founding of the city of St. Augustine, Florida, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at noon in the West Dining Room, located on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building.
Specialized and bilingual tours and gallery talks will also be offered to the public.
In addition to the various programs and tours, the Library of Congress will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by launching selections from the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT) online. The AHLOT is a collection of nearly 700 audio recordings of prominent Hispanic writers reading from their work. Established in 1943 by the Library’s Hispanic Division, the archive includes recordings of figures such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Nobel Laureates Gabriela Mistral, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel García Márquez and Juan Ramón Jiménez. A sample from this collection will become available online via streaming audio for the first time.
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 www.loc.gov.
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, visitwww.loc.gov/rr/hispanic/.