Collection ASM0005 - Agencia Latinoamericana records

Identity elements

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Level of description



Agencia Latinoamericana records


  • 1948-1986 (Creation)


58 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

The ALA (American Literary Agency) was established in New York by the Spanish politician and prominent journalist, Joaquín Maurín in 1948. It was founded for the purpose of distributing articles written by Latin American and Spanish writers to the different newspapers and magazines in Latin America and Spain.

Joaquín Maurín died in 1973 and was succeeded by his wife. In 1974, the Agency's name was changed to its Spanish name, Agencia Latinoamericana. In 1975, Arturo Villar succeeded Maurín's wife as director and editor of the Agency. In 1977, the Agencia Latinoamericana moved to Miami, and in 1982, the ALA began sending articles to U.S. newspapers published in Spanish under the name of the Latin American Feature Syndicate, as a new service.

In March 1984, Arturo Villar ceased to work as editor of the ALA and remained as president of the Agency in Miami, while the editorial offices were moved to London under the direction of Miguel Angel Diez.

The ALA papers are comprised of the historical files which contain articles written between 1948 and 1975, the topical files containing articles written from 1975 to 1980 and the informational files which include newspaper clippings, magazine articles and editorials. These papers were given to the Otto C. Richter Library on March 10, 1981 through negotiations between Dr. Joaquín Roy, Associate Professor for the Center of Advanced International Studies, Arturo Villar, President of ALA and Frank Rodgers, Director of Libraries.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The papers of the ALA (Agencia Latinoamericana) are divided in 3 major categories: the articles written by the contributors to the ALA (collected during almost 40 years), their correspondence, and the newspaper clippings of those articles.

The writers are mainly from Latin American countries and Spain, but with a few American and British writers also included, such as Waldo Frank and Hugh Thomas. The articles provide information on literature, journalism, sociology, economics and political history of the major powers of the world of that period, and in many cases relating to the Latin American countries.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of contributions from Víctor Alba, Marco A. Almazán, Luis Araquistain, Paul Andrade, Germán Arciniegas, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Julian Marias, Cristina Martin, Alberto Luis Sanchez, Salvador de Madariaga, Ramón Sender and Arturo Uslar Pietri. There are also articles by other distinguished authors, such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Alberto Baeza Flores, Alejandro Casona, Pablo Neruda and Alfonso Reyes.

Included among the ALA papers are articles written by Joaquín Maurín, who used the pen names of W.K. Mayo and Félix R. Anderson. He also wrote under the pen names of John Andersen and Julio A. Roy, but these articles ore not included in this collection. When signing correspondence, he used his own name, Joaquín Maurín, as well as J.M. Juliá and Ray Campbell. Joaquín Maurín's son, Mario, wrote some articles under the same pen name as his father, John Andersen.

System of arrangement

The ALA contributors are arranged in alphabetical order by author, and the articles, correspondence and financial files within are arranged chronologically. There are three series in which these documents can be found, each series representing a range of dates: I. 1949-1980, II. 1975-1983, and III. 1984-1986. Series IV constitutes other documents from the ALA.

An item-level container list was created for Series I (1949-1980), listed as a .PDF below. These are organized alphabetically by the author's last name. Each author's files are then subdivided into topical, correspondence, historical, financial, and informational files. Further information is given in the container list. The end of the container list also contains an alphabetical author index. The articles in the historical, topical and informational files are arranged in chronological order by date received. The last container is only arranged in alphabetical order by author.

Series II, III, and IV are given folder-level description below.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

This collection is kept in an off-campus storage facility. Please contact Special Collections at with the boxes you are interested in prior to your visit, and allow up to 1 week for delivery of materials.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Agencia Latinoamericana Records Finding Aid © 2009 University of Miami. All rights reserved. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Related archival materials

Joaquín Roy wrote the following book about the Agencia Latinoamericana, of which the University of Miami holds two copies:

Roy, Joaquín. ALA: Periodismo y Literatura. S.l.: s.n., 1986.

UM Archives PN4841.A36 R78 1986

Information about related materials is available at

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