History of the Collection

Video produced to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Inter-American Reading Room in 2019.

In 1939, the University of Florida opened the Inter-American Reading Room. Our early collection started mainly through exchanges with other institutions around the hemisphere. We still find in the LACC today stamps that indicate that items were received through this important system of exchange (“canje” in Spanish).

Founded in 1951 under the Farmington Plan to support emerging scholarly interest in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Latin American and Caribbean Collection has since grown to become one of the University of Florida’s preeminent collections. 

Located on the third floor of the historic Smathers Library in the Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (SASC), LACC is among a small number of academic research library collections in the United States devoted to collecting Latin American and Caribbean materials.  

The Latin American and Caribbean Collection (LACC) now holds approximately 500,000 volumes, over 50,000 microforms, a large collection of rare books and manuscripts, and a wealth of digital resources, many of them open access.