“Behind me is Quito’s historic center down Calle Garcia Moreno,” Sam writes, pictured above on the Quito city tour bus. “Far in the distance behind me is El Panecillo where the massive Virgen de Quito statue stands.”
Sam is the second recipient of the University Libraries’ International Travel Supplementary Fund
Sam was a participant of the pilot program for the Itinerant Archivists Project. Her agenda included repository visits to: ● Central University of Ecuador and its incredible conservation research lab; ● the legislative library and archives of the National Assembly; ● Metropolitan Archives of History in Quito; ● Archivo Blomberg (a private archives for esteemed photographer Rolf Blomberg and his wife, the Constructivist painter Araceli Gilbert); ● Museo Municipal Remigio Crespo (city museum of Cuenca and an architectural monument honoring a renowned Ecuadorian poet); ● Casa de la Cultura and the Municipal Archives of Cañar; and ● Convento Las Conceptas (a religious repository in the heart of Cuenca).
Using materials available for research on the Virginia Tech campus in the University Libraries’ Special Collections’ “International Archive of Women Architects,” Sam presented for an international lecture series held by the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador. Her presentation, entitled “Los archivos históricos: socialización de experiencias profesionales entre Estados Unidos y Ecuador,” was presented entirely in the Spanish language.
“I presented in Spanish on the unique challenges of architectural archives and our work with the International Archive of Women Architects. Later in the week, I gave a separate lecture in Spanish on the importance of archives to the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Cuenca. In addition to these activities, our group met with with several Cañari leaders at the Instituto Quilloac (an indigenous bilingual school) and municipal leaders in the town of Cañar to discuss the creation of a community archives. The final event on our agenda was an afternoon conference and reception at the Museo Pumapungo in Cuenca, hosted by the Ministry of Culture. We met with nearly fifty archivists and cultural heritage professionals from across southern Ecuador to discuss the future of the archival profession in the country.”
Final thoughts on her Trip
“I believe our visit laid the groundwork for many future projects between PanAmerican archivists. While some Latin American and Caribbean countries have established archival science as a profession, the vocation is still emerging as a distinct field in Ecuador. In this respect and many others, the challenges faced by archives in Ecuador were very familiar to us. We observed a broad spectrum of institutional capacities and funding, from the necessity-driven innovations employed by a small private foundation to the cutting edge interdisciplinary research undertaken by a well-funded state university. Our group returned to the U.S. with many new ideas and connections. Overall, this trip gave me an opportunity to represent American archivists and live out Ut Prosim beyond borders. I found it immensely rewarding as an individual and a professional.”
Nice work, archivist and bilingual international librarian Sam Winn!