The Latin Americana Collection supports the teaching, curriculum and research of ASU faculty and students studying the literature, history, culture, art, social sciences, indigenous history and languages of Latin America, Spain and Portugal. These scholars are primarily in the following ASU schools and programs: School of International Languages and Cultures (SILC), American Indian Studies, Art History, The School of Human Evolution and Social Change (SHESC), Transborder Studies, and History, but may also be found in other schools at ASU. We seek to expand access to our materials for all patrons, including community members of the greater Phoenix area, and especially for peoples represented in the collection.

What we collect

  • Works of public intellectuals such as diaries, notebooks, correspondence and manuscripts.
  • Artists' books, small press books and zines.
  • Latin Americana faculty papers, manuscripts and personal working collections.

Featured collection

An archival photograph of Rubén Darío, a Nicaraguan man with a mustache, words are handwritten in Spanish on the bottom right.

Rubén Darío Papers (1882-1945)

The Rubén Darío Papers contain approximately 900 handwritten pages of poetry, essays, short stories, diplomatic memos, and personal letters created by Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916). These manuscripts document Darío's life and work as a journalist, diplomat, and poet between 1882 and 1915.

The Rubén Darío Papers physical collection is housed and archived in the Arizona State University Library's Archives and Special Collections. For a description of the physical archival collection, see the Arizona Archives Online Rubén Darío Papers Finding Aid.

Open Stack collection

A woman reads a book in front of library bookshelves.

This collection combines historically important writings with newer scholarship that analyzes the day-to-day practices of life in Latin America, covering topics such as Indigenous history, race, immigration, independence, revolution, enslavement, plantation agriculture, magic, carnival, religion, medicine, cinema, photography, fiction and poetry.

Latin Americana’s open stack collection can be found on the Lower Level of Hayden Library (pdf).

Latin Americana in Distinctive Collections

A person rests their hand on a book that is sitting on a book cradle, a string of page weights are on the left.

Books printed in Spain or Latin America between 1520 and 1810

The ASU Library holds more than 1200 books printed in Spain or Latin America between 1520 and 1810. These books illustrate the connection between the Catholic Church and the Spanish crown in the era prior to Latin American Independence. One highlight of this collection is the Neptune’s Allegory by the creole nun Sor Juana Ines de La Cruz in New Spain. The writing welcomes a new viceroy to New Spain by casting him and his entourage as mythical Greek figures thus demonstrating the breadth of the literary culture of New Spain.

A cover from an artist's book depicting a woman cut out of a photograph, on a white background, with geometric lines drawn over her face and extending past her head.

Latin American Small Press and Artists' Books

In Latin America, a small number of printers and artists' collectives have been collaborating on Small Press and handmade Artists' Books since the 1990s. These books explore unique techniques, artistry and political discontent. The majority of the books in this collection are from Brazil and Mexico.

A hand holds a written manuscript page as it is being turned over.


The ASU Library holds more than 100 documents from Latin America that span from the 17th to the 21st century. The papers of the Nicaraguan poet and diplomat Rubén Darío are one highlight of the collection. Darío’s poetry helped to modernize the Spanish language at the turn of the 19th century. Darío’s papers contain 900 pages of correspondence, poetry, and writings and revisions in his own hand.


Seonaid Valiant

Seonaid Valiant, PHD
Assistant Archivist


Access the collection

To view materials in the Distinctive Collections, please make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932.

Appointments in the Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available Monday through Friday. Check the ASU Library Hours page for current availability.