Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Rosario Ferré Papers, 1900-2014, bulk 1950s-2010

Summary Information

Abstract

Rosario Ferré (1938-2016) was a Puerto Rican writer, poet, and essayist who wrote in both the Spanish and English languages. The collection includes audiovisual materials, computer files, correspondence, journals, manuscripts, memorabilia, notebooks, proofs, typescripts, photographs, professional files, and publications.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1760
Bib ID 11527175 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Ferré, Rosario
Title Rosario Ferré Papers, 1900-2014, bulk 1950s-2010
Physical Description 25.5 linear feet (15 record cartons, 2.5 document boxes, 4 cassette boxes and 3 flat boxes)
Language(s) English , Spanish; Castilian .
Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions, but digital materials are not fully processed and may not be available for research use; please contact the library in advance if you are interested in using materials in Series VII.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in seven series and several subseries.

Description

Scope and Content

Rosario Ferré (1938-2016) was a Puerto Rican writer, poet, and essayist who wrote in both the Spanish and English languages. The collection includes audiovisual materials, computer files, correspondence, journals, manuscripts, memorabilia, notebooks, proofs, typescripts, photographs, professional files, and publications. While the papers span the whole of Ferré's professional career, documentation is most comprehensive for 1990-2005.

The collection contains typescripts and proofs for several of Ferré's works, particularly for The House on the Lagoon / La casa de la laguna, Eccentric Neighborhoods / Vecindarios excéntricos, Flight of the Swan / Vuelo del cisnei, and Language Duel / Duelo del lenguaje. There are also typescripts and proofs for Memoria and In the Shadow of Your Name / a la sombra de tu nombre. These materials are filed in Series I: Manuscripts. Other typescripts, particularly for articles, essays, and poetry, are mixed in with the professional files in Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files, are related materials such as correspondence, clippings, event information, publicity, and reviews. Published editions of many of Ferré's works are filed in Series II: Published Works, and Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files.

The collection is also rich in journals, notes, and notebooks. These are primarily filed in Series IV: Journals, Notes, and Notebooks. These materials include academic notebooks, background materials, class notes, journals, notes, research materials and research papers.

The collection includes some correspondence, filed in Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files. The series includes three files of general literary correspondence, and other correspondence is filed by subject with related materials. Original correspondence related to Zona de carga y descarga is in a separate collection at Princeton University, but photocopies of this correspondence is available in this collection in Subseries III.2: Classified Files.

The collection also includes audiovisual materials and memorabilia. The collection includes audiocassettes, videocassettes, and DVDs containing recordings of conferences, interviews, lectures, and programs featuring Ferré. In addition, there is a rich collection of photographs, including childhood, family, and professional photographs that cover Ferré's life and career.

There is a large amount of digital material in the collection: approximately 200 disks and one portable drive. Individual digital files were not examined during processing: information on the contents of the disks was gathered from the existing labels and is included in the container list for Series VII: Digital Materials.

The collection material is in both Spanish and English. Where existing titles are in Spanish, the Spanish titles are used in the container lists.

Ferré used an alphanumeric numbering system for filing many manuscripts, professional files, and computer disks, however, no key to the system was found with the papers. These are designated as "Classified Files" in the finding aid, and the system is described more fully for the files in Series I, III, and VII.

A complete set of nine issues of Zona de carga y descarga was separately cataloged from this collection and is available for use through the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Library does not hold the index to Zona, but there is an index available at Princeton University.

  • Series I: Manuscripts, 1995-2012

    This series contains manuscripts, proofs, and galleys, with related material such as corrections lists and correspondence. Ferré kept additional files of notes and related professional files, and these are filed either in Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files or Series IV: Journals, Notes, and Notebooks, respectively.

    The alphanumeric filling system appears to be Ferré's, but there is no key to the system in her papers. For manuscripts, it appears the first letter is a unique letter assigned to that work, for example, P for House on the Lagoon – as these letters seem to correspond to related materials in Ferré's professional files. The second letter is either M for manuscript/manuscrito or G for galley, and the third letter, when used, is either I for Inglés (English) or E for Español (Spanish), and in one case O (possibly for Otro (Other), as the galley is in Italian). These letters are followed by a number, apparently designating the version.

    There are additional manuscripts in Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files, particularly for articles, essays, and poetry, and in digital form in Series VII: Digital Media.

  • Series II: Published Works, 1989-2004 undated, 1989-2004, undated

    This series contains copies of several of Ferré's published books in English, Spanish, and other translations.

    There are additional published books in Series III.2: Correspondence and Professional Files--Classified Files.

    Original issues of Zona de carga y descarga have been separately cataloged.

  • Series III: Correspondence and Professional Files

  • Series IV: Journals, Notes, and Notebooks, 1951-1990 undated, 1951-1990, undated

    This series includes academic notebooks, background materials, class notes, journals, notes, research materials and research papers. Background and research materials are frequently annotated by Ferré.

  • Series V: Audiovisual Materials, circa, 1900s-2000s

  • Series VI: Scrapbooks and Memorabilia, 1930s-2004

    This series contains awards, certificates, diplomas, yearbooks, as well as two scrapbooks. The first scrapbook contains report cards, medals, etc. related to Ferré's time in elementary school. The second contains a wide variety of memorabilia: cards, flowers, photographs, sugar packets, travel mementos, and other materials.

  • Series VII: Digital Materials, 1980-2014 undated, 1980-2014, undated

    This series contains approximately 200 computer disks and one portable drive. Individual digital files were not examined during processing: information on the contents of the disks was gathered from the existing labels. All but one disk had a label, but there was no information on the contents of the hard drive at the time of processing.

    The disks primarily contain material related to various published and unpublished works by Ferré. In addition, there a few disks containing letter files and other disks that contain back-ups of files on Ferré's computer.

    Digital files have not been fully processed and are not readily available for research use at this time.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions, but digital materials are not fully processed and may not be available for research use; please contact the library in advance if you are interested in using materials in Series VII.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Rosario Ferré Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accrual

No additional material is expected

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed by Catherine C. Ricciardi 2015.

Finding aid written by Catherine C. Ricciardi October 2015.

Revision Description

2015-10-27 File created.

2015-11-15 XML document instance created by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2016-03-01 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2016-03-21 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Audiocassettes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
CD-Rs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Digital File Formats Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notebooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Proofs (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Videotapes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
typescripts Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Authors, Puerto Rican -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Books Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ferré, Luis Alberto Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Ferré, Rosario Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Puerto Rican fiction -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Puerto Rican literature -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Puerto Rican poetry -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rama, Angel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Spanish American fiction -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Spanish American fiction -- Women authors -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Vargas Llosa, Mario, 1936- Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Women authors, Puerto Rican -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Rosario Ferré was born on September 28, 1938 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Luis A. Ferré and Lorenza Ramírez de Arellano. Her family was one of Puerto Rico's wealthiest. Her father was the founder of the New Progressive Party and the third elected Governor of Puerto Rico (1969-1972), and he also owned one of Puerto Rico's largest businesses. Ferré was prominently involved in Puerto Rican politics and culture and many of her works dealt with class struggles, politics, and the role of women in Puerto Rican society.

Ferré's early education was at Roman Catholic schools in Puerto Rico; she attended Colegio Ponceño de Varones and Colegio del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús. In 1951, she went to Wellesley, Massachusetts to study at Dana Hall School, and graduated in 1956. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Manhattanville College in 1960, and obtained a master's degree and a doctorate in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the University of Puerto Rico, where she studied with Mario Margas Llosa, and the University of Maryland, respectively, in 1985 and 1987.

Ferré was married shortly after finishing college to Benigno Trigo González, and they had three children. This marriage ended in divorce after ten years. After the death of her mother in 1970, Ferré fulfilled the duties of First Lady until the end of her father's term as governor in 1972. It was also during this period that Ferré also decided to pursue graduate studies in literature.

Ferré began writing in 1970, when was studying for her master's degree at the University of Puerto Rico. With the support of one of her professors, Angel Rama, and other students, she began publishing and editing a magazine called, Zona de carga y descarga, which published the work of young Puerto Rican writers. The first issue of the journal appeared in September 1972, and the last and ninth issue was published in June 1975. From 1977 to 1980 she wrote a column of literary criticism in the Puerto Rican newspaper, El Mundo, called "Carga y Descarga."

In 1976, she published her first book of short stories, Papeles de Pandora, in 1978, a book of fables, El medio pollito, and in 1981, a book of children's stories, La mona que le pisaron la cola and Los cuentos de Juan Bobo.

Ferré's first book of poetry, Fábulas de la garza desangrada, was published in 1982. Additional works of poetry are Las dos Venecias. Poemas y cuentos (1992), which also includes short stories, and Language Duel / Duelo del lenguaje (2003).

She also published essays and literary criticism, including a book of feminist essays, Sitio a Eros (1980), El acomodador, una lectura fantástica de Felisberto Hernández (1986), a book of literary essays, El árbol y sus sombras (1990), El coloquio de las Perras (1991), a book on Julio Cortázar's short stories, El romántico en su observatorio (1991), A la sombra de tu nombre, (2001), and Las Puertas del Placer (2005).

She wrote two works of biography and memoir: Memorias de Ponce, a biography of her father, Luis A. Ferré (1992) and Memoria (2012), a memoir.

Ferré also wrote several novellas and novels. Her first was Maldito Amor (1987), translated into English as Sweet Diamond Dust, and her second, La batalla de las virgenes (The Battle of the Virgins) (1993). After her second novel, Ferré opted to write directly in English, which was viewed as controversial, and disappointing to Puerto Ricans who viewed this as a betrayal. However, the resulting novel House on the Lagoon (1995) was successful, and was nominated for a National Book Award. She also wrote other novels in English, including Eccentric Neighborhoods (Vecindarios excéntrico s) (1998), Flight of the Swan (El vuelo del cisne) (2001), and Lazos de sangre (2010).

Ferré taught at several universities including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California in Berkeley, and the University of Puerto Rico. In addition to her writing and teaching work, Ferré was involved with the Ponce Museum of Art, founded by her father in 1965, and her family's business, the Puerto Rican Cement Company.

Ferré died on February 18, 2016 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.