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Cartonera Publishers / Editoriales Cartoneras : Cartonera books at UW-Madison

Cartonera publishers database

The Latin American Cartonera Publishers Database serves to bring together information and digital images of the cartonera literary publishing movement from various Latin American cities.

Each individual record provides: digital images of the front and back cover of the book; the title page; bibliographical and descriptive information. Full text of these books is not available through the database. Excellent browsing and search capabilities, as well as the ability to enlarge the images permit the reader to undertake detailed study of the artistic techniques used to create these books.

Cartonera collection at UW-Madison

With a growing collection of more than 1,950 volumes representing over 75 different cartonera publishers, UW-Madison’s Ibero-American collection holds the largest and most comprehensive cartonera collections in the U.S. This collection is a work in progress, and new titles and resources are added periodically. The Publishers represented in this collection are located in over 20 countries across the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

This collection is a work in progress, and new titles and resources are added periodically.

History: The Cartonera Collection at Memorial Library was started in the spring of 2006 by Ibero-American Studies Bibliographer Paloma Celis Carbajal after meeting in person with members of Eloísa Cartonera during a trip to Buenos Aires. Coincidentally, Prof. Alda Blanco from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese was traveling to Buenos Aires later in the semester and graciously volunteered to bring with her the first 100 books for the library.

The Cartonera Collection became the "Cartonera Project" when the library started this research guide and a database with the scans of the covers of the books held in the collection and audio of interviews made to some of these cartonera publishers.

Currently: New titles are sought in a variety of ways; by following the cartonera blogs, their Facebook accounts, other blogs and websites that talk about them, and also other media such as newspapers or online journals and magazines.

Since the Library Cartonera Project scans the covers of all our cartonera holdings in the Cartonera Database, the bibliographer needs the authorization of each cartonera publisher to include the covers of the books acquired by UW-Madison.

In most occasions the bibliographer has acquired the books in person during trips to book fairs, conferences, or during vacations. In addition, the Cartonera Collection has been extremely lucky to have graduate students and faculty volunteer to acquire cartonera books for the library when they travel abroad.

Due to the considerable amount of cartonera publishers that exist now and the speed with which new cartonera publishers are being established, the acquisition of these books has become much more selective. UW-Madison is no longer acquiring comprehensively every title published by every single cartonera publisher.

Go to the section "Cartonera Publishers" (tab above) to see the University of Wisconsin library's holdings for each respective publisher.  Search for cartoneras more generally in the University of Wisconsin's Library Catalog.  

Akademia Cartonera

Akademia Cartonera: A Primer of Latin American Cartonera Publishers, was the result of the conference entitled “Cartonera Publishers: Recycling Latin American Bookscapes” held on October 2010 at UW-Madison. The goal of this publication is to document the example set by these publishers in the cultural, publishing and literary realms.

This work includes eight manifestos written by the eight cartonera publishing houses that attended the conference, a prologue explaining the reason for this book, a retelling of the founding of some of these publishers, an introduction, nine academic essays, an inventory of cartonera titles, a bibliography and various images.

This book is available for free full-text online as of April 2012 here.

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Laura Martin
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