Delayed Materiality, Delayed Democracy: The legal, cultural and media construction of the Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno


The purpose of the research trip was primarily to conduct archival research in the institutional archives of the Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno. The goal of this archival work was not only to find materials directly related to the commission and construction of the new library building but also to find secondary sources that illuminate the role of the library as a Modernist building in the construction of Argentinian political identity in the 20th century. This is the third research project I have undertaken in Buenos Aires, the last of which addressed the issue of urban fragmentation in the urban and literary space of the city. Part of the Tinker Grant that was awarded to me was used on airfare to attend the International Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in Santiago, Chile, at which I presented the above-described paper and received methodological feedback which I will incorporate into the project about the Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno. While I entered the archives with the idea of studying the building through the advertisements and media coverage of its construction, I found that there were very little materials relevant to this approach and many more materials concerning its role in the construction of a political identity for the city of Buenos Aires as well as the country of Argentina as a whole. To that end, the materials gathered will be utilized to write an academic paper, my Master’s Thesis, entitled “Progress through Erasure: The case of the Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno.”

Marianela D'aprile
Publication date: 
August 27, 2016
Publication type: 
Student Research