Visiting Scholar Raquel Z. Rivera will present a talk Monday, Nov. 21 at noon in the Waters Room of Zimmerman Library on "John Donald Robb's Imperative to Collect: Towards and Archival Ethnography of the Robb Archive of Southwestern Music."
Rivera's research project is focused on Robb's impressive collection of approximately 3,000 songs and oral histories housed at UNM's Robb Archive of Southwestern Music. Why did Robb devote so much time and effort to gathering this collection of music field recordings? Why did he deem his efforts important? What did he think his efforts would yield for the communities he studied and the society at large? What pleasures, victories, disappointments and frustrations did the process of collecting provide him at the personal level - as a collector, as a scholar, as a family man and as an musician? What impact did his passion for collecting have on his professional and personal life?
Important clues to answering these questions are in the myriad lectures, notes, correspondence, interviews, autobiographical writings, and oral histories that are part of the J.D. Robb Papers, 1915-1989 at UNM's Center for Southwest Research. This project is simultaneously a biographical exploration of Robb and a first step towards an archival ethnography of the Robb Archive of Southwestern Music.
Rivera is an Affiliated Scholar at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City. She was awarded the Greenleaf Visiting Library Scholar travel grant for Oct. 31 - Nov. 21, 2011. This grant is made possible by a generous gift to the LAII from Dr. Richard E. Greenleaf, and is intended to provide scholars who specialize in Latin America the opportunity to work with one of the largest and most complete library collections on Latin America in the United States.