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Aquelarre journal available online

Thanks to a partnership between the University of British Columbia Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries, the bilingual feminist periodical Aquelarre: Latin American Women's Magazine is now available online through the UW Libraries. 

The collaboration began in 2010 when Linda DiBiase, who was at the time the Latin American Studies librarian, received an email from UW Bothell Professor Julie Shayne. Shayne had recently published They Used to Call Us Witches: Chilean Exiles, Culture, and Feminism (Lexington, 2010). They Used to Call Us Witches follows Chilean women exiles in Vancouver, B.C., and their continuing struggles against dictator Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s, '80s, and early '90s.

A notable outcome of their efforts was Aquelarre -- literally translated as “illegal gathering of witches,” referencing the historic fear and animosity engendered by powerful women. Aquelarre was published in the late 1980s and 1990s as a creative and political forum for Latin American women everywhere. Shayne had six of the twenty-one issues the Aquelarre collective had produced and was eager to donate them to the Libraries.

DiBiase saw the potential for increasing the gift’s impact by digitization, especially if the missing issues could also be put online.  Upon learning that the University of British Columbia (UBC) had most of the issues that the UW Libraries collection was lacking, DiBiase turned to Siôn Romaine, Canadian Studies librarian and a UBC graduate. He contacted librarians at UBC, and they agreed to digitize the issues we needed.  Ann Lally, with Libraries Digital Initiatives, organized the digitization and cataloguing of the collection, as well as the stunning covers. “Now we have a valuable resource pertaining to a South American exile community freely available online” remarked DiBiase.

“Researchers worldwide are already taking advantage of it. The global reach of Aquelarre fulfills the dream of the magazine’s founders in ways they never could have imagined.”

And the story continues.  Recently, the issues that Shayne provided were repatriated to the exiles’ homeland.  They now reside in Museo de la Memoria y Los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights) in Santiago, Chile, testifying to the passion and determination of a group of women who would not be silenced.

You can find Aquelarre here.

They Used to Call Us WitchesUW Bothell Professor Julie Shayne published in 2010 They Used to Call Us Witches: Chilean Exiles, Culture, and Feminism. Learn more about Shayne, her research, publications, and more.




(Photo: cover of Aquelarre: Latin American Women's Magazine, Fall 1994)

Jan. 2013 |  Return to issue home

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