Article

A Revolution in Preservation: Digitizing political posters at the National Library of Cuba

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Abstract

Cuba's Biblioteca Nacional José Martí houses a collection of Revolutionary graphic political posters that have generated international interest for their unique artistic style and controversial messages. Since the onset of the “Special Period,” a time of extreme economic hardship, librarians and archivists have tried to maintain the collection under less-than-ideal conditions. While library staff does not lack knowledge, energy, and dedication, the preservation situation at the BNJM remains grim. However, digitization of the poster collection can be used as a way to hedge against current deterioration and possible damage to or destruction of the collection during an episode of political change.

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... This study -called a diagnostic by its authors -was principally carried out in the Archives at the Universidad Central Marta Abreu de las Villas, though it attests to broader archival conditions. Laura Susan Ward (2005) made similar observations in the mid-2000s concerning the poster archives of the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí. 17. ...
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