University Presses Help Rebuild Brazil’s National Museum Library

January 28, 2019 (New York, NY, and Washington, DC)—More than 50 member publishers of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) are working to donate books to the National Museum of Brazil. The Brazilian institution lost most of its collection in a catastrophic fire last fall.

AUPresses members from North America, the West Indies, Europe, and Australia have taken steps to replace currently in-print books that were lost, based on the Museum library catalog. Many also stand ready to donate additional titles in relevant subject areas that weren't already part of the museum library's collection.

Founded in 1818, the Museum housed 20 million irreplaceable historic, scientific, and cultural artifacts before the September 3rdfire. A primary center of Brazilian graduate education, the Museum also contained some 500,000 books, including more than 40,000 volumes in the Francisca Keller Library, the principal anthropology library in Brazil and among the most respected in Latin America.

Christie Henry, director of Princeton University Press, organized the publishers' efforts, working with Princeton's library and Luso-Afro-Brazilian studies program, as well as anthropology professor Federico Neiburg at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, which operates the museum. Together with colleagues in Brazil and the Brazilian consulate, they arranged for customs clearance, shipping, and storage of the donated books. Ingram Publisher Services, which distributes several of the participating presses, also assisted in the shipping of books.

"Our community has responded graciously and immediately, in full support of helping the museum rebuild its book collection and to carry forth our mission of bringing scholarly work to the world," said Henry.

"We have already received more than 2,000 volumes, with over 4,000 more on their way now," reports Neiburg. "Our expectation is to have a richer library than that we lost. We already have a new space for the library and are working on its rebuilding, in collaboration of a team of architects from our own university. We expect to reopen the library by the end of March and to have it functioning by June. And by the end of 2019 we expect to have at least the same number of volumes we had before the fire."

This effort marks only the latest instance of the AUPresses community's assistance to universities and libraries in need around the world. Since the 1990s, AUPresses and its members have worked with the Sabre Foundation (whose operations have now ceased), Books for Asia, and other organizations to support libraries and universities in Eastern Europe, Africa, former Soviet states, Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. AUPresses members' book donations also helped rebuild libraries and institutions ravaged by the Asia tsunami in 2004 and by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

About AUPresses

The Association of University Presses is an organization of 148 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses has advanced the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds integrity, diversity, stewardship, and intellectual freedom as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.

Presses Participating in the Brazil National Museum Library Project

University of Alberta Press
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
American University in Cairo Press
University of Arizona Press
University of Arkansas Press
Beacon Press
Bucknell University Press
University of Calgary Press
University of California Press
Cambridge University Press
University of Chicago Press
University Press of Colorado
Columbia University Press
Duke University Press
University Press of Florida
Fordham University Press
Georgetown University Press
Getty Publications
Harvard University Press
INSTAP Academic Press
University of Hawaii Press
University of Iowa Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
University Press of Kansas
University of Massachusetts Press/Tagus Press
MIT Press
McGill-Queens University Press
Medieval Institute Publications
University of Michigan Press
Michigan State University Press
University of Minnesota Press
University Press of Mississippi
Museum of Modern Art
University of Nebraska Press
University of New Mexico Press
University of New South Wales Press
NYU Press
University of North Carolina Press
Ohio State University Press
University of Pittsburgh Press
Ohio University Press
Princeton University Press
Purdue University Press
RIT Press
Rutgers University Press
Southern Illinois University Press
Stanford University Press
Syracuse University Press
SUNY Press
Teachers College Press
Texas A&M University Press
University of Texas Press
Texas Tech University Press
University of Utah Press
Vanderbilt University Press
University of Virginia Press
University of Washington Press
Wayne State University Press
Wesleyan University Press
University of the West Indies Press
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Yale University Press

 

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