New Endowment for Latin American Pictorial Collections

July 16, 2013

Russ Davidson, Ph.D., former University Libraries Latin American/Iberian Curator, decided it is time to give back for the many advancements the libraries have helped him accomplish. He has donated $25,000 and pledged an additional $225,000 to the University Libraries to establish an endowment in honor of his longtime friend and renowned Latin American bookseller, Howard L. Karno (1930-2012).

The Howard L. Karno Endowment for Latin American Pictorial Collections will provide funds to enrich the library's holdings of rare and specialized Latin American visual resources. These include prints, posters, photographs, broadsheets, fine press imprints, illustrated books, artist books and cover art.

"I have long wanted to create an endowment that would help the University Libraries continue to deepen and strengthen a part of its holdings that for years have been recognized as exceptional, and to some degree unique, by students and scholars in the U.S. and across the hemisphere. The library's strong Latin American pictorial collections are a reflection of the University's great draw as a place to study the visual arts of Latin America, which in turn flows organically - you might say - out of New Mexico's own history and traditions," he declared.

Russ wanted to honor Howard for several reasons.

"Howard was a bookman of impeccable taste, relishing the book as an artifact, with its special qualities of binding, typography, design and so on. Yet for him, books and perhaps even more powerfully visual images, represented something more . . . they connected us, in a very real, vivid way, to life and human experience. In addition, some of the credit for assembling the Libraries' Latin American pictorial collections should go to Howard, because he understood our strength in this area, shared the vision of enlarging its scope and range - expending energy and time hunting down valuable additions to our holdings."

Russ's decision to give such a generous gift to the University Libraries was also a way, he explained, of recognizing the support that the Library had always given him.

The Howard L. Karno Endowment is open for further donations. The funds that it generates will help expand and strengthen the collections currently on hand and also permit the Libraries to create new opportunities for current and future students to study and interpret Latin American history and culture. What a fitting tribute to both Russ Davidson and Howard L. Karno that, through generous philanthropy, the University Libraries Latin American Collection will permanently have the resources to continue building these critical, nationally recognized holdings.

If you would like to donate to the Howard L. Karno Endowment for Latin American Pictorial Collection please contact the University Libraries Dean's Office at (505) 277-4241.