20 | ENE | 2019
Sergio Pitol’s book collection donated to University of Veracruz
The delivery process lasted a week, during which the notary certified that all the books were in the house shelves - Photo: Berenice Fregoso/EL UNIVERSAL

Sergio Pitol’s book collection donated to University of Veracruz

09/01/2019
17:04
Yanet Aguilar Sosa
Mexico City
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The collection is composed of between 9 and 10 thousand books and was sent to the UV for safekeeping

In the last few days of December, the University of Veracruz (Universidad Veracruzana) received the private library of the late writer Sergio Pitol, a collection composed of between 9 and 10 thousand books, including works in Russian, Czech, English, and French. The donation of his invaluable library to the university had been included in his own will, though the clause had not been read until after his death on April 12, 2018.

However, for the delivery of the personal library, the family of the writer, translator, and diplomat stipulated some clauses for the disposition and care of the book collection, with a notary to certify its transport. “These books do not belong to us anymore. Although we will pay close attention to the followup of the will’s clauses, the University of Veracruz will decide how the book collection will be used, and whether they keep them under locked key or leave them to rot. Some of the books can’t be opened because their pages would fall off, so the university should not allow the lending of the books,” stated Laura Demeneghi.

In an interview, Sergio Pitol’s niece assured that, though the books were delivered in front of a notary, the University was now fully responsible for their safekeeping. “A general inventory was made. We made a list of all the books, which were then packed and taken away.”

The delivery process lasted a week, during which the notary certified that all the books were in the house shelves. Later on, the library director of the University of Veracruz conducted her own assessment and had a group of people pack the books in boxes, after which they were transported to the University and placed in a locked cellar. The books were later sprayed and quarantined before entering a stabilization process.

“We included a clause so that at least between 4 and 5 thousand books were kept in a specific place with humidity and temperature monitoring, as well as security camera and restricted shelves. I would have liked to do so with all the books, but there was not sufficient budget,” assured Demeneghi.

Demeneghi will design a bookplate for the Sergio Pitol Collection with the faces of Sacho and Lola, two of Pitol’s most beloved dogs. The writers house now has nothing but empty shelves and has been put on sale.
 

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