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Saturday, April 13, 2024

UF now boasts the largest Mexican film poster collection of any public institution in the U.S.

The Efraín Barradas Mexican and Cuban Film Poster Collection opened to the public on Jan. 15, and the official dedication was Friday.

Ramón A. Figueroa, associate professor of Spanish at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., recently donated his collection of 378 film posters to the Latin American collection housed in Smathers Library. He asked that the collection be named after Efraín Barradas, professor of Spanish-American literature and Latin American studies at UF.

Figueroa and Barradas met at the University of Massachusetts, where Barradas was a teacher and Figueroa was studying for his bachelor’s degree.

The posters are from the 1940s and 1950s and consist of primarily Mexican films, although there are some Cuban film posters, as well.

James Liversidge, curator of popular culture collections, described the collection as eclectic and said he believes it is a perfect fit for UF.

“This gives us major focus and puts us on the map,” he said.

Upon learning of the donation, the library received a $4,500 grant to preserve the posters.

John Freund, chairman of the UF Libraries Preservation Unit, found preserving this collection to be a daunting task.

He and a student volunteer worked to unfold the posters, flatten the edges and smooth the creases, which took about 90 hours, he said.

“The biggest problem was the size,” Freund said. Each poster is stored in its own protective casing, which will prevent damage. In addition to preserving the posters, the library has digitized versions of the collection.

Hard copies of each poster are numbered, stored alphabetically and are available in the library for research purposes.

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The collection will be on display in Smathers Library until Feb. 28.

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