Reprinted from The Gazette, Vol. 14, No. 32. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, September 19, 2003, p. 3.

Dolores Moyano Martin

Dolores Moyano Martin, for 23 years the editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, died on Sept. 3 at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C., near her home in Bethesda, Md. She was 68 and had been battling cancer since last fall.

Martin was a major contributor to knowledge and interpretation of Latin American culture, both through her own writing and her editorship of the Library's annotated Handbook of Latin American Studies, a major reference source in the field. She wrote historical articles, literary criticism, political essays, memoirs, and book reviews as well as short stories and translations of Latin American poetry. Georgette Dorn, chief of the Hispanic Division, said, "Dolores Martin's contributions to Latin American studies are immeasurable."

Beginning her Library career in 1970 as assistant editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, Martin became editor of the resource guide in 1976. She retired in 1999. In 1989, under Martin's direction, volume 50 of Handbook was the first Library bibliography to become available electronically through MUMS. During the 1990s, Martin and her staff undertook the retrospective conversion of the first 55 volumes of the Handbook, which is available in a CD-ROM version that is searchable in English and Spanish and on the web (HLAS Online), searchable in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. At Martin's initiative, these bibliographic records are also shared with the Research Library Group (RLG).

She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conference on Latin American History (a section of the American Historical Association) and twice was the recipient of the José Toribio Medina Award from the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), which named her an honorary member after her retirement. She served on committees of the Latin American Studies Association, SALALM, and was a member of the Washington Literary Society.

Born in Córdoba, Argentina, to an American mother and Argentine father, Martin came to the United States to study at Vassar College from which she graduated in 1956. Before coming to LC, Martin worked at the Argentine Embassy, the Inter-American Development Bank, and American University Center for Research in Social Systems. From 1977-1980, she was a consultant to former Rep. John Brademas.

Trilingual (English, Spanish, and French), Martin had a broad-ranging, lively intellectual curiosity. Her writings appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Republic of Letters, The Washingtonian, The Washington Review, The Military History Quarterly, and various scholarly publications. Her detailed recollections of Ernesto Che Guevara as a boy and young man were published in the New York Times Magazine in August 1968, less than a year after his death in Bolivia. The World & I (February 1988) published "From El Cid to El Che: The Hero and the Mystique of Liberation in Latin America," which writer-editor Cynthia Grenier described as a "brilliant, penetrating analysis that links Guevara with a long tradition of Hispanic and Latin American history and psychology."

Mrs. Martin took delight in a broad range of friends including authors like the Cuban Reinaldo Arenas, eccentric bibliophiles in Patagonia, and scholars of many countries whom she sought out as contributors of essays for the Handbook of Latin American Studies. Soon after her arrival in Washington she became a member of a group of writers, diplomats, and scholars who prized her intelligence, imagination, and sense of humor, and frequently repeated her bon mots.

Her vibrant sense of humor and gift as a story teller were evident upon the occasion of her LC retirement, when she commented that the Library should never become a "homogenized, stratified, corporate entity," but should be like "a giant coral reef with knowledge accumulating through the centuries."

Martin's survivors include her husband of 43 years, William C. Martin, of Bethesda; two sons, Eric of Bethesda and Christian of New York City; and her mother, Catherine Cocke Maldonado, of New York City.

Memorial donations may be made to the Parish of Christ the King, 2727 O Street N.W., Washington, DC 20007, or to the Hispanic Division, which will offer a fellowship named after Martin.

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