The Cervantes Library’s new facilities were approved by the Directorate of Architecture and Conservation of Artistic Heritage at the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA).
By MARLENE GONZÁLEZ | MONTERREY CAMPUS - 08/29/2022 Photo MARLENE GONZÁLEZ, ABBY FLORES

Tec de Monterrey’s Cervantes Library, whose collection is now open to the public, has new equipment with which to conserve its cultural and historical heritage.

One of the texts kept in the Cervantes Library is an edition of the novel “The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha” published by Roger Velpius in 1607, which came to the Tec in 1954.

67 years after first opening, the “Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra” Special Collections Library, better known as the Cervantes Library, has been transformed to provide optimal conditions for the protection and preservation of the historic collections it houses.

“We’re showing how the Cervantes Library has evolved. It’s a combination of modernity and preservation. The tables and card indexes have been preserved: the easiest thing would’ve been to replace them with something more modern.

“But we were sympathetic to the idea that it should be a space which reminds us of our past and values the history which has gotten us to where we are, while committing us to learning new things,” said David Garza, Rector and Executive president of the Tec.

In addition to the collections held by the library, located in the Rector’s Building on the Monterrey campus, there are collections on 22 other Tec campuses across the country.


 

David Garza, rector y presidente ejecutivo del Tec de Monterrey.
David Garza, Rector and Executive President of Tec de Monterrey, during the reopening on August 24.

 

The Cervantes Library transformation

After the Rector’s Building was remodeled in 2019, the Cervantes Library was adapted to improve the preservation of its collection from 28 endowments.

The spaces and technology added during the improvement include temperature and humidity controls, alarms and security systems, and fire detection and control.

True time machines can be found within these walls. They’re witnesses to who we are and who we have been, not only because of their historical and literary content, but also because their presence here tells our story as a university.

“Re-opening the Cervantes Library is symbolic. Learning, research, and contribution to knowledge is at the heart of our institution,” said Judith Ruiz, National Dean of the School of Humanities and Education.

The adaptations of spaces within the Rector’s Building and the Cervantes Library were approved by the Directorate of Architecture and Conservation of Artistic Heritage at the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA).


 

En los últimos años la Biblioteca Cervantina ha digitalizado parte de su acervo.
In recent years, the Cervantes Library has digitized part of its collection.

 

A global heritage

Physica Specvlatio,” the first book on physics published in the Americas, and historical documents written by Hernán Cortés are some of the collection that the public can see at the Cervantes Library or on its website.

“It’s about sharing more and more, not only internally, but with the wider community. We have digital exhibitions online, where we show works from different fields,” shared Ana Lucía Macías, National Director of Cultural Heritage.


 

“True time machines can be found within these walls.” - Judith Ruiz


 

Macías added that the Cervantes Library’s cultural heritage also provides Tec de Monterrey with many internal and external academic connections.

“Our virtual and physical exhibitions address issues of equity and diversity. They also safeguard our cultural heritage and follow international and national conservation standards,” said the director.

This space houses manuscripts, maps, documents, archaeological pieces, magazines, photographs, microfilms, and newspapers from the 19th century.

An appointment must be scheduled on the website to visit the Cervantes Library. Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

The library’s early years

The “Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra” Special Collections Library was inaugurated on the 3rd floor of the Tec’s first Library, which is now the Rector’s Building, on November 5, 1954.

However, endowments have been received since 1946 in order to promote the humanistic vision of the institution’s founder, Don Eugenio Garza Sada.


 

Ana Lucía Macías, directora nacional de Patrimonio Cultural, y Marcela Beltrán, directora de la Biblioteca Cervantina.
(From left to right) Ana Lucía Macías, National Director of Cultural Heritage, and Marcela Beltrán, Director of the Cervantes Library.

 

“A special collections library allows us to access material collections, content, and memory. We are doubly lucky in our case.

“We don’t just protect precious materials. We are also responsible to those who gave them to us, who trusted our institution, and knew that this would be the best place for their collections,” shared Marcela Beltrán, Director of the Cervantes Library.

Beltrán added that physical and digital preservation will also provide future generations with the opportunity to enjoy the collection.

“The reopening of the Cervantes Library unites us through books, as well as uniting us with their authors and collectors for their continued existence,” said the director of this space.

 

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