The Latinx Art Culture and Memory Archive (TLACMA) is a container and public Latinx repository within the Winston Tabb Special Collection Research Center at Johns Hopkins University that holds shelf space for the discoverability, preservation, and study of Latinx Histories in the United States.
The TLACMA collection was inaugurated with a set of 12 museum boxes containing 12 unique books, paper documents, and 11 audio interviews documenting the contributions of contemporary U.S. based Latinx artists, curators, and scholars with ties to Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC.
*Pop-Up exhibition currently on view from Jan-April 2024 at Enoch Pratt Free Library 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, United States
*visit the collection at JHU The Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center by appointment at 3400 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21218
TLACMA is a call to action!
with the primary goal of disrupting archival silences TLACMA invites existing repositories to make shelf-space for missing histories within their own special collections to expand the scope of the stories they tell.
TLACMA doubles as a call to action for institutional leaders, funders, and archivists to center the continued acquisition, preservation, and study of U.S. Latinx contributions to the historical record. Asserting that by building trust and by making deliberate invitations to Latinx scholars, artists, researchers, and the general public to make relevant contributions relating to the Latinx presence in the United States (including documents, papers, texts, books, photos, videos, oral histories, new media, memories, and more) it is possible to get one step closer to fulfilling the core and radical idea of the archive for all.
The term Latinx is prioritized here for its queering sensibilities and to note that these holdings highlight the experiences, memory, and art of U.S. based individuals with Latin American origins — an important distinction to make in the face of a history of othering U.S. based Latinos as “perpetual foreigners” or “Latin Americans” and not simply American.
TLACMA is a social sculpture!
The Latinx Art Culture and Memory Archive (TLACMA) is also a physical steel sculpture in the form of a red circulation library cart. The red color emits a sense of urgency while the circulation cart itself evokes an active library providing outreach beyond the stacks. The sculpture functions as a physical and symbolic representation of the longing for a comprehensive collection of Latinx histories in the U.S..