Richard E. Greenleaf: Emeritus Tulane historian has given $500,000 to the school's Latin American Library

Historians in the News

Distinguished scholar and emeritus professor of Latin American History, Richard E. Greenleaf, has given $500,000 to The Latin American Library at Tulane University. The Richard E. Greenleaf Fellowship will provide short-term visits each year for scholars from any country in Latin America to conduct research at The Latin American Library. In addition, the Richard E. Greenleaf Endowment Fund will support restoration or replacement of materials from The Latin American Library’s holdings damaged by natural disasters, now and in the future, with the remaining funds to be used for unrestricted library-related purposes at the discretion of the Director of The Latin American Library.
As the city of New Orleans and Tulane University recover from the largest natural disaster in U.S. history, the gift enhances The Latin American Library’s historically preeminent role in the acquisition and preservation of documentation from and about Latin America and making them accessible locally, nationally and to the international academic community. The establishment of the Richard E. Greenleaf Fund and Fellowship continues this tradition by strengthening the ties between the library and the international scholarly community and ensuring the continuation of this legacy for future generations.

Until his retirement in 1998, Dr. Greenleaf served as the France Vinton Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History, and as the Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University. He also served as Chair of the Department of History. Dr. Greenleaf grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and took his Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of New Mexico, where he studied under the dean of Inquisition scholars, France V. Scholes. Dr. Greenleaf's doctoral dissertation, "Zumárraga and the Mexican Inquisition 1536-1543," served as the basis for his many excellent publications on the history of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Latin America.

Dr. Greenleaf has authored eleven major scholarly books, served as co-author of, or contributor to seventeen others, and published almost four dozen articles in the field of Latin American and New Mexico history. He has been the recipient of many distinguished awards, among them the Silver Medal, the Sahagún Prize (Mexican National History Award), and the Serra Award of the Academy of American Franciscan History for Distinguished Scholarship in Colonial Latin American History. In his long and distinguished teaching career in New Mexico, Mexico City and New Orleans, Dr. Greenleaf has served as mentor to 34 doctoral students at Tulane, and countless masters and undergraduate students.

The Latin American Library at Tulane University is among the world's foremost collections of research materials from and about the region. Established in 1924 by the predecessor of Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute, the collection is comprised of more than 420,000 volumes and is one of the most comprehensive of its kind. In addition to unique holdings of rare books, manuscripts, and a photographic archive with some of the earliest examples of photography in the region, The Latin American Library's special collections include original Mesoamerican codices dating from the sixteenth century and beyond, historic newspapers, 4,000 maps and broadsides, over 2,000 rubbings of Mayan stellae by Merle Greene Robertson, and unique designs by William Spratling and other representatives of the Taxco silver renaissance in the early twentieth century.

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