Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada, considered Mexico's most influential graphic artist, helped popularize the calavera as a satirical graphic motif, often printed with rhyming ballads or corridos. After Posada's death in 1913, the calaveras became closely associated with the "Día de los Muertos," a holiday in November to honor and remember deceased loved ones. The Library of Congress has one of the largest collections of his work in the U.S. and is a major resource for understanding Mexican culture.
Born in 19th-century Cuban dance halls, danzón eventually became the country’s official national dance. Influenced by African and European music and dance traditions, it continues to thrive outside the big island’s borders, in Mexico and beyond, in orchestra halls and dance salons, leaving an indelible mark on Latin American culture. It’s a genre all its own and a lovely bit of romance to remember during Hispanic Heritage Month here in the U.S. The Library has plenty of music, films and books to help you explore its rich history.
The Library recently put online some 230 histortic manuscripts, some of them more than a thousand years old, in Hebrew and similar languages, such as Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian and Yiddish. The collection, available online for researchers and the public for the first time, includes a 14th-century collection of responsa, or rabbinic decisions and commentary, by Solomon ibn Adret of Barcelona, considered one of the most prominent authorities on Jewish law.