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Grant number: PG-258413-18

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University of Missouri, Kansas City (Kansas City, MO 64110-2446)
Stuart Hinds (Project Director: May 2017 to present)

Cuban Small Press Books Preservation

A consultation with a preservation specialist and the purchase of preservation-quality supplies to rehouse the library’s Cuban Small Press Collection containing 129 hand-made art books created and assembled by the Ediciones Vigía art book and literary collective in Matanzas, Cuba. The books reflect modern-day Cuban culture through their stories, poetry, and artwork, as well as through the materials used to create them, including paper made from the outer core of sugar cane. The collection complements the strong interest and curriculum in book arts and book binding in the university’s departments of English and Art & Art History. Custom-built enclosures would protect the books from deterioration and ensure their long-term accessibility to researchers and students.

In 2016, the University of Missouri-Kansas City received a donation of 129 Cuban Small Press Books from Jeanne Drewes, Chief of Binding and Collections Care in the Preservation Directorate at the Library of Congress, which she has collected over a number of years in her travels to Cuba. The limited edition art books published by Ediciones Vigia are hand-assembled by collective members. Because of the paucity of materials available in Cuba, the materials used to construct these works of art are whatever the collective members can glean from their environment. By her own admission, Ms. Drewes recognizes the preservation nightmare these beautiful works pose. The books vary in size and shape and have loose or protruding components adhered to the cover. These books require individual boxes for protection. Ms. Drewes has not only donated the books but also her time and expertise to train an intern to construct customized boxes and trays.

Project fields:
Arts, Other; Hispanic American Studies; Latin American Literature

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,448 (approved)
$4,448 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 6/30/2019