The Brazil LAB helps mobilize the Princeton community to support the Social Anthropology Program of Brazil’s Museu Nacional
The Brazil LAB (Luso-Afro-Brazilian Studies) at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) has been helping the Princeton University community mobilize and express its solidary with the Museu Nacionaland its Graduate Program in Social Anthropology in the face to the tragic fire that devastated these distinguished institutions on September 2, 2018.
Initial efforts have focused on the rebuilding of the collection of the Francisca Keller Library. Princeton University’s Firestone Library is exploring ways to make digital copies of rare books available. This initiative is headed by the librarian for Latin American Studies Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez and the metadata librarian Luiza Weiner.
Princeton University Press has welcomed the opportunity to collaborate in this reconstructive effort and is providing hard copies of books the Francisca Keller Library needs, both replacing lost ones and adding new ones. The Press’ Director Christie Henry has also reached out to the wider academic press community in the United States. “The response has been staggering in all wonderful ways,” she says. In close consultation with the professors from the Museu Nacional, Henry and her colleagues have devised a system for the large-scale remittance of needed books by a network of over 50 university presses.
Princeton’s Brazil LAB and the Department of Anthropology are now exploring the creation of a visiting scholars program that would enable colleagues and students from the Museu’s Graduate Program in Social Anthropology to continue some of their work at Princeton. This initiative is being developed together with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Center for Human Values, and the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study.
Christie Henry’s words capture Princeton’s gratitude for the opportunities to help the Museu Nacional and its visionary Social Anthropology Program at this critical juncture: “Your collective fortitude is inspiring, and necessary to reimagine and reconstruct such a vital research and pedagogical institution.”