University of Houston Receives Mellon Foundation Grant to Establish Puerto Rican Literature Database
From the University of Houston:
The University of Houston has received a nearly $1.35 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a free, open-access digital portal for anyone to learn about or teach Puerto Rican literature.
“El proyecto de la literatura puertorriqueña/The Puerto Rican Literature Project” (PRLP) includes a database in Spanish and English of approximately 50,000 assets (photographs, manuscripts, poems, videos and archival materials), a digital archive and additional resources that document the material existence and experiences of key Puerto Rican poets in the archipelago and U.S. diaspora. The data collected dates back to 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson enacted the Jones-Shafroth Act extending U.S. citizenship to all residents of Puerto Rico, to the present.
Gabriela Baeza Ventura, executive editor of Arte Público Press (APP) and co-founder of the U.S. Latino Digital Humanities program at UH, will lead the project in collaboration with a collective, or Colectivo, of prominent scholars, writers and translators from Puerto Rico and the U.S. diaspora composed of Raquel Salas Rivera, Ricardo Maldonado, Claire Jiménez and Enrique Olivares Pesante.
The Colectivo’s primary goal is to make Puerto Rican literature widely accessible through the gathering, transcription and translation of poetic materials that until now have been physically archived in different collections, or not archived at all.
In 2019, The Mellon Foundation awarded UH $750,000 to launch the first-of-its-kind U.S. Latino Digital Humanities Program, which gives scholars expanded access to a vast collection of written materials produced by Latinos and archived by the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage (“Recovery”) program and Arte Público Press, the oldest and largest publisher of Hispanic Literature in the nation. Baeza Ventura and Carolina Villarroel, Brown Foundation Director of Research, oversee the digital humanities grant.
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