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Solidarity campaign with the ‘José Ingenieros’ Popular Library of Buenos Aires Argentina.

category argentina / uruguay / paraguay | anarchist movement | press release author Tuesday November 13, 2012 13:20author by Biblioteca Popular José Ingenieros - BPJIauthor email biblioteca_pji at yahoo dot com dot ar Report this post to the editors

The ‘José Ingenieros’ Popular Library, founded 1st July 1935, is one of the three historical centres of the Anarchist movement in the city of Buenos Aries, Argentina. It houses the Alfredo Seoane Archive, as well as the library itself, which together offer an important quantity of material on anarchism and the Workers’ movement. At present, the age of the building and the growth of the collections create a series of obstacles to our normal functioning. We, therefore, ask for your collaboration.

Solidarity campaign with the ‘José Ingenieros’ Popular Library of Buenos Aires Argentina

Our history

The ‘José Ingenieros’ Popular Library was founded in July of 1935 by a group of anarchist compañeros, the majority of whom belonged to the Shoe Workers’ Federation adhering to the F. O. R. A.

Many different activities have been carried out by numerous groups in the Library: theatrical groups, student groups, the editorial Group of “La Protesta,” the Association of Free Education (ADEL), the Jaen Cinema Club, the commission of aid to the imprisoned and pursued during the last military dictatorship, together with being the meeting place for trade union, feminist, antimilitary, antifascist and, in general, anarchist groups.

Also many different people have participated in the Libraries’ conference cycles and ‘talk-debates’: the first conferences were delivered by Rodolfo González Pacheco and Alicia Moreau de Justo; Eduardo Colombo, Noam Chomsky, Rene Loureau, Jorge Solomonoff, Guillermo Savloff (the prime mover of ADEL, murdered by the triple A), H.I.J.O.S., Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Christian Ferrer, Osvaldo Bayer, Ángel Capelletti and Alberto Bianchi are some of those who have left their footsteps in this library.

These days, the Library is one of the main centres of reference for libertarian ideas in the city of Buenos Aires. Militants, researchers and students come daily to consult the books and periodic publications which form part of its patrimony. It is, furthermore, an important meeting place for many groups that carry out a significant amount of political, social and cultural activities.

The history of the Alfredo Seoane Archive

Approximately 20 years ago, construction of the Alfredo Seoane Archive of the ‘José Ingenieros’ Popular Library was started. With great effort, it has been created thanks to the material which had accumulated over the 77 years of life of the Library and the contribution of militants, family members, researchers and friends who have generously granted portions of their histories in order to allow many others to reconstruct many moments of history. Between newspapers, magazines and bulletins, from 1880 to the present, the archive now contains more than 1,000 catalogued collections, which represent 50% of its total material. It also has books, pamphlets and booklets, hundreds of photographs, fliers, letters, internal memos of organisations, posters, circulars and the minutes of meetings, etc.

During these years, we have digitalized different collections, among others, the Certamen Internacional de la Protesta (International Competition of La Protesta) in collaboration with the CeDInCI – Centre for Documentation and Research of the Culture of the Left – edited on CD-ROM, the Supplement of La Protesta (1908-1909) and the Fortnightly Supplement of La Protesta (1927-1930), which are to be published on CD-ROM.

The present condition of the building

Since 1969, the Library has been functioning in the present building, a house built around 1910. Due to the materials used for its construction and to its vicinity to the Maldonado Creek, the main space presents serious problems of foundational humidity, which is the cause of the present condition of this space as not being the best for the conservation of its content – books.

Furthermore, in recent years, we have received significant donations of books with the consequence of an increasing lack of space.

Last but not least, the electrical wiring, for illumination and otherwise, is old and worn, which causes the waste of energy as well as a potential danger to the people attending the Library and to its patrimony.

The project

In order to solve these problems, we have decided to handle the necessary work in the months of January and February of 2013. The jobs to be carried out are the following:

Problems of humidity; to be solved by means of the injection of silicates into the foundations. A specialised company will carry out with this task; estimated cost U$A 3.650.-.

Electric wiring; the wiring of the ground floor of the building – the library space, bathroom and kitchen – is to be replaced (the wiring of the first floor circuits is new); estimated cost U$A

Plaster and paint; the library space is to be re-plastered and painted; estimated cost U$A 650.-

Shelving; some of the shelving is to be replaced in wood order to maximise the use of the space; estimated cost U$A 1,270.-

To realise this project we need your collaboration. Therefore, we have placed in circulation vouchers of 50, 100 and 200 pesos argentinos, obtainable by writing to the Library by email. We have also opened a bank account for the reception of bank transfers.


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