Nuevosenfoquesparael Estudio De La Seguridad Social En America Latina

John V. Lombardi
1977 Latin American Research Review  
The private library of Don Pedro Crases in Caracas will soon be relocated at the Universidad Metropolitana in that city. Clearly one of the finest private libraries in Venezuela, and probably the best collection of modern Venezuelan materials anywhere, these books will become the core of a Venezuelan research institute at the Universidad Metropolitana. The donation of this library is especially significant, for it guarantees the preservation of this fine collection and promises the continuing
more » ... ailability of these materials. Although the transition from private collection to university library will take some time-for cataloging, organizing, transferring, and the like-it is appropriate now to survey this monument to bibliographic persistence and academic excellence. Unlike the collections of some bibliophiles, this one has always been conceived and maintained as a working research library. It is not devoted to pretty books or rare and expensive editions; there are no Cutenberg bibles and few luxurious editions of famous works. The guiding philosophy of this library is prosaic, practical, and, for all that, quite profound. Pedro Crases has spent almost four decades trying to accumulate in one place everything published on or about Venezuela, by Venezuelans, or related to the affairs of Venezuela. That he has succeeded so well is a testimony to the man's energy, intelligence, and diplomacy. As all Venezuelanists know, books in that country can be published and go out of print before the title is announced to the public; scholarly tomes can appear and never be distributed; works of literature and history can be published by all kinds of unlikely government and private agencies; and no institution has been able to keep track of what has become an increasingly prolific publishing industry. Through an incredibly complex net of personal and professional relationships, an extraordinary capacity for work, and a passion for scholarship, Pedro Crases has kept up with these publications and has brought them together in his exceptional library. Like most private libraries, this one reflects the intellectual interests of its creator. Pedro Crases' first love was Hispanic letters, and his library has extensive collections of Romance philology, Hispanic literature, and the like. But the Spanish Civil War moved him from the Old World to the New, and it introduced him to his second love, Venezuelan life and letters. The Venezuelan section of his library is, of course, what makes the collection unique. Its strengths are obvious: The library has a virtually complete collection of items on Venezuelan history published since the mid-1930s; it has a complete collection of the important Venezuelan serial publications of documents, authors, institutional series,
doi:10.1017/s0023879100041996 fatcat:pfgkhjlk7fgbzests667oag4n4