Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Beginning in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week”, but it was later extended to a month in 1988. Since then, Hispanic Heritage Month has been celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and much more. The month also celebrates the independence days of several Latin American countries, including: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15th, Mexico on September 16th, and Chile on September 18th. They also include holidays that recognize Hispanic contributions such as Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day that is celebrated in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The PALABRA Archive is a collection of original audio recordings of 20th and 21st century Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works. With recorded authors from all over Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other regions with Hispanic and Portuguese heritage populations, this archive has to date close to 800 recordings, a portion of which are available for online streaming.
Historically known as the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (AHLOT), PALABRA has been curated by the Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room since 1943. It includes sessions with figures such as Nobel Laureates Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Juan Ramón Jiménez, and with other noteworthy figures like Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, and Julio Cortázar.
The majority of the recordings from this collection are in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, but the archive also includes sessions in Catalan, Basque, French, Dutch, Creole, and indigenous languages like Náhuatl, Zapotec, Quechua, and Aymara. The majority of the sessions have been recorded in the Library of Congress' Recording Laboratory, although a good portion have been captured abroad and in other venues around the U.S. and Washington, DC.
Meet National Park Service and other Department of the Interior staff as we share our heritage and get just a small taste of the immense diversity of the Hispanic and Latinx experience. Take advantage of this time set aside to learn something new about the many flavors of Hispanic and Latinx Heritage!
Search the Latino American Experience database to find a collection of articles about the experiences of Hispanic/Latinx Americans. Browse by timeline and topic, search special collections like the Aztec Codex collection, and learn about programs like the Bracero Program for migrant workers that started in 1942.