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News > Latin America

Argentine Writer Jorge Luis Borges' Personal Library Restored

  • Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and his wife, Maria Kodama, during a visit to Japan in 1979.

    Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges and his wife, Maria Kodama, during a visit to Japan in 1979. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 August 2018

"I always imagined paradise would be some sort of library." – Jorge Luis Borges.

The personal library of legendary Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has been fully restored and categorized in a bid to preserve the author's favorite books, the Buenos Aires Banco Ciudad has announced.


Argentina's Intellectual, Literary Giant Borges Gets New Look

The Jorge Luis Borges International Library is located in Buenos Aires next to the house his family lived in between 1938 and 1943.

"The library includes books that Borges read during his whole life. Many of them are titles from English and North American writers, besides philosophy, history and religion texts, disciplines in which he was deeply interested," said Maria Kodama, Borges' widow. "It's a collection that constitutes an invaluable international heritage."

Banco Ciudad President Javier Ortiz Batalla said it was a "great honor to contribute in the preservation of the legacy of one of the best universal contemporary writers.

"With this support, we managed to protect more than 2,000 volumes under a preventive conservation policy in an integral form. This initiative will allow future generations to continue enjoying this amazing library that fed the spirit of the great writer with each one of its pages."

La Nacion newspaper's director of institutional relations, Norberto Frigerio, spoke of the satisfaction he felt in preserving the personal library of one of Argentina's most recognized writers.

The restoration process was headed by Viviana Gabriela Melloni de Mallol, an expert in the art history of Argentina and Latin America, and began with the revision of every book, page by page.

"Also, conservation conditions and treatments to preserve the original texts of the personal collection of the writer, as well as notes and books with handwritten inverventions by Borges," Banco Ciudad said in a statement.

To preserve each text, usually on the back cover given their delicacy, the books were labelled in acid-free paper before being digitally recorded.

"It was a difficult task done by hand, with brushes and gloves, in limited areas. Practically, it was a chirurgical intervention,” said Melloni de Mallol.

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