University of Pittsburgh
April 18, 1999



Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, April 19 -- The University of Pittsburgh Library System has received a $219,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to preserve and make more accessible 2,350 embrittled monographs from its Bolivian Collection.

The grant will help preserve onto microfilm those documents which are out-of-print, scarce, expensive, lightly damaged or stained.

"The competition for these funds was keen," said Rush Miller, director of the University Library System. "The only grants made for microfilming books were to Harvard University, University of Chicago, the New York Public Library and Pitt. It's an indication of the value of this important and brittle collection."

With more than 340,000 volumes, Pitt's Bolivian Collection, part of the larger Latin American Collection, is one of the most extensive in the world; it has more materials on Bolivia than any institution in the country itself. The collection has outstanding holdings on Bolivia's wars and all post-revolution military and civilian governments, as well as microfilmed Bolivian documents on the country's internal affairs, political relations between the U.S. and Bolivia, the Bolivian legislature, and many other areas. The holdings are rich in the humanities and social sciences and are used by scholars from around the globe.

"People from Bolivia, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina come here for their research," said Eduardo Lozano, the Latin American Studies bibliographer for whom the collection is named. Lozano has been building the collection for the past three decades, establishing exchange arrangements with 21 libraries in Bolivia. His purchasing trips to the country and hands-on approach to obtaining materials, in sometimes turbulent political circumstances, has helped make the collection distinctive among universities with Latin American Studies programs.

The National Endowment for the Humanities seeks to support projects that will create, preserve and increase the availability of resources important for research, education and public programming.