Zapata Olivella, noted Afro-Colombian novelist, anthropologist, folklorist, physician and playwright was known throughout Latin America as the “Dean of Black Hispanic Writers.” The Vanderbilt University Library acquired his papers in 2008; they provide a unique window on the history and society of Colombia and on people of African descent in the Americas as a whole. We hope the collection will serve as an exceptional resource for researchers in Latin American and Afro-Hispanic Studies engaged in a variety of fields, including literature, cultural studies, history, folklore and anthropology.
Delia Zapata Olivella, a Colombian dancer, choreographer, folklorist, and sister of Colombian author Manuel Zapata Olivella, committed her life’s work to recording, disseminating, and promoting Colombian folkloric culture.
Vanderbilt recently acquired the Delia Zapata Olivella Papers and has created a useful finding aid to make them available. Scholars, researchers, and those interested in the study of performance arts, dance and music will find them particularly engaging. The papers have recently been made available digitally by Vanderbilt and are openly accessible via JSTOR's open access portal.