November 30, 2020

The Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas at Austin) Acquires Gabriel García Márquez Archive

UPDATE November 26 Statement From National Library of Columbia (in Spanish)

UPDATE November 26 Colombia to Receive Some García Márquez Effects (via NY Times)

From The Harry Ransom Center:

The archive documents the life and work of García Márquez, an author who obtained nearly unanimous critical acclaim and a worldwide readership.

Spanning more than half a century, García Márquez’s archive includes original manuscript material, predominantly in Spanish, for 10 books, from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967) to “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985) to “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” (2004); more than 2,000 pieces of correspondence, including letters from Carlos Fuentes and Graham Greene; drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech; more than 40 photograph albums documenting all aspects of his life over nearly nine decades; the Smith Corona typewriters and computers on which he wrote some of the 20th century’s most beloved works; and scrapbooks meticulously documenting his career via news clippings from Latin America and around the world.

“García Márquez is a giant of 20th-century literature whose work brims with originality and wisdom,” said Bill Powers, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “The University of Texas at Austin — with expertise in both Latin America and the preservation and study of the writing process — is the natural home for this very important collection. Our students, our faculty and the state of Texas will benefit from it for years to come.”

Highlights in the archive include multiple drafts of García Márquez’s unpublished novel “We’ll See Each Other in August,” research for “The General in His Labyrinth” (1989) and a heavily annotated typescript of the novella “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981). The materials document the gestation and changes of García Márquez’s works, revealing the writer’s struggle with language and structure.

Born in Colombia, García Márquez began his career as a journalist in the 1940s, reporting from Bogotá and Cartagena and later serving as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Cuba. In 1961, he moved to Mexico City. Alongside his prolific journalism career, García Márquez published many works of fiction, including novels, novellas and multiple short story collections and screenplays. He published the first volume of his three-part memoir “Vivir Para Contarla” (“Living to Tell the Tale”) in 2002.

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Other Nobel laureates represented in the Ransom Center’s collections are Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Doris Lessing, George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck and W. B. Yeats.

Supporting the university’s acquisition is LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, a partnership between the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. LLILAS is regarded as one of the strongest Latin American studies programs in the country, and the Benson Collection is recognized as one of the world’s premier libraries focusing on Latin American and U.S. Latina/o studies.

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Future plans relating to the archive include digitizing portions of the collection to make them widely accessible and a university symposium to explore the breadth and influence of García Márquez’s life and career.

“We are delighted that Gabo’s archive will live at the great and unique Ransom Center, where generations of scholars and lovers of his work will be able to deepen their appreciation and understanding of his life and of his literary legacy,” said Rodrigo García, one of the author’s sons.

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller represented the family of Gabriel García Márquez.

The García Márquez materials will be accessible once processed and cataloged.

See Also: Blog Post About Acquisition (Including Image) via Ransom Center

See Also: Coverage From NY Times

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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