Professor Emeritus Michiel Baud donates rare and valuable book collection to the library


The most recent contribution to the library significantly broadens and enhances our understanding of the Dominican Republic's history and society throughout various periods.  

Prof. Michiel Baud, a retired faculty member of the Department of Latin American Studies at the University of Amsterdam and former Director of CEDLA (Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation) from 2000 until 2018, his research focused on the Dominican Republic, southern Ecuador, and northern Brazil.

Dr. Baud obtained the books from the private collection of his PhD mentor, Harry Hoetink (1931-2005), an influential figure among the initial cohort of post-World War II scholars. Hoetink was instrumental in redefining perceptions of race and color within the broader Caribbean context[1]. Hoetnik is remembered for his seminal work The Dominican People 1850-1900: Notes for a Historical Sociology, initially published in Spanish in 1971[2]. Additionally, Hoetink was married to Ligial Espinal, the daughter of Andrés Julio Espinal, who served as the ambassador/consul of the Dominican Republic in Curaçao during the Trujillo era. Ligial's connections facilitated Hoetink's introduction to Dominican society and enriched his research on the Dominican Republic[3]

The following is a list of donated books from the collection:

  1. Al amor del bohio: tradiciones y costumbres dominicanas, tomo 1" (V. Montalvo, 1927)
  2. "Al amor del bohio: tradiciones y costumbres dominicanas, tomo 2" (Editora La Información, 1929)
  3. "Estados Unidos y las Antillas" (Compañía ibero-americana de publicaciones, 1931)
  4. "Camino real, cuentos" (Imprenta. "El progreso," R.A. Ramos, 1933)
  5. "Episodios dominicanos: la independencia efímera" (Fernand Sarlot, 1938)
  6. "Cosas anejas; tradiciones y episodios dominicano" (Ciudad Trujillo, 1951)
  7. "El tratado de Basilea y la desnacionalización del Santo Domingo Español" (Ciudad Trujillo, 1952)
  8. "La canción folklórica en Santo Domingo" (Sociedad Folklórica Dominicana, 1958)
  9. "Trujillo: causas de una tiranía sin ejemplo" (Libreria Las Novedades, 1959)
  10. "Santiago: Quien te vio y quien te ve" (Impresora commercial, 1961)
  11. "Del Puerto Plata de ayer" (Editora del Caribe, 1963)
  12. "Crisis de la democracia de América en la República Dominicana" (Centro de Estudios y Documentación Sociales, A.C., 1964)
  13. "La Misericordia y sus contornos, 1894-1916" (Editorial Arte y Cine, 1967)
  14. "Hostos Y Su Ideal De Una Confederación Antillana" (Editora del Caribe, 1970)
  15. "Memorias para un capítulo de la historia domínico-haitiana una revolución frustrada y un presidente vitalicio" (Santo Domingo, 1976)
  16. "Encuentro en Santo Domingo" (Santo Domingo, 1980)

Additionally, Dr. Baud has donated the English-language version of his book Peasants and tobacco in the Dominican Republic, 1870-1930 (University of Tennessee Press, 1995) and Confianza: Governance and Trust in Latin America and the Netherlands (University of Amsterdam, CEDLA, 2018).

Dr. Baud's authored books donated to the library.

This generous donation enriches CUNY DSI's collection of primary and secondary sources on the history and society of the Dominican Republic, bridging a notable gap in our collection. On behalf of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library, we eagerly anticipate the immense value this contribution will offer students, scholars, and the public interested in Dominican Studies for many years to come.

By Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian


[1] Oostindie, Gert. “IN MEMORY OF HARMANNUS HOETINK 1931-2005.” NWIG: New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, vol. 79, no. 1/2, 2005, pp. 5.

[2] Baud, Michiel. "Harry Hoetink, 1931-2005." Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, no. 78, 2005, pp. 6.

[3]Maingot, Anthony P. "Harry Hoetink, 1931-2005." The Journal of Caribbean History, vol. 39, no. 2, 2005, pp. 137-138.

Visiting Research Fellow from Bowling Green State University


CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Research Fellow Pablo Gómez-Estévez busy at work!

Pablo Gómez-Estévez is a Graduate Student in Composition and Graduate Assistant of Composition Department from the College of Musical Arts in the Bowling Green State University. He is currently working with The Rafael Petitón Guzmán Collection.



Visita desde Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia


El Profesor William Marín Osorio, quien nos visita desde la Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Colombia, actualmente está realizando la edición de su libro sobre Pedro Henríquez Ureña, que publicará próximamente la Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña en la República Dominicana en colaboración con el Instituto de Estudios Dominicanos de CUNY. 

Thank you to Dr. Kiwia Ojiri and colleagues for their visit and kind donation this month



From left to right: Dr. Kiwia Ojiri, Dr. Pierre Losson, Dr. Tomoki Zozaki, and Dr. Yoshiaki Hisamatsu, September 7, 2023
Yamaoka, Kanako. Haiti and the Dominican Republic: The Development of Two Caribbean Countries Coexisting on an Island. Institute of Developing Economies, 2018

Dr. Kiwia Ojiri and her colleagues joined Associate Director Dr. Pierre Losson at the CUNY Dominican Institute Archives and Library. They generously donated a Japanese-language publication that compares Haiti and the Dominican Republic during their visit.

By Librarian Jhensen Ortiz 

Reciente visita de la destacada escritora e investigadora Dra. Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo


Ilonka visit_2023
De izquierda a derecha: Bibliotecario Jhensen Ortiz, Dra. Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo, Profesora Sarah Aponte, y el periodista Julio Pérez en las instalaciones del Instituto de Estudios Dominicanos de CUNY (CUNY DSI), 28 de junio de 2023

Agradecemos a la Dra. Ylonka Nacidit-Perdomo, destacada escritora e investigadora de género, por donar varios de sus libros y el primer documental con perspectiva de género producido en la República Dominicana, Las Sufrasgistas. Agradecemos al periodista Pérez por coordinar este grato encuentro.  

La donación constituye de tres obras y un documental: Aire (Editorial Santurario, 2022), Sueña Pilarín… Novela Abigaíl Mejía (Banreservas, 2020), La sonrisa del paisaje Abigail Mejía (Editorial Nacional, 2020) y Las Sufragistas, Un documento para la historia (Junta Central Electoral (JCE), 2016). El relato del documental, la selección de textos antológicos y la iconografía bajo la curaduría de la Dra. Nacidit-Perdomo.


Jhensen Ortiz, Bibliotecario

Celebrating the Dominican Library's Impressive Achievements!

Dear friends of the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library,

We are pleased to share a message sent to the CUNY DSI mailing list highlighting the latest accomplishments and exciting ventures of the Dominican Library. We appreciate CUNY DSI Director Dr. Ramona Hernández for her constant support with the work we do in the Library and sharing that information with our supporters.

Please continue to read the email newsletter in its entirety below (with some updates):

As you know, the Library is a unique repository for primary and secondary sources about the Dominican Republic and people of Dominican descent in the United States. (Please visit our website to find more information about our collections and opening hours.)

In the early 1990’s, however, the Library was little more than a dream. Through the unwavering belief and advocacy of Chief Librarian Sarah Aponte, along with the support of other academics and community members, this project was brought to fruition. It is a manifestation of the conviction that those of us based in the U.S. and who share a vested interest in Dominican history and the experiences of the Dominican people more broadly need a reliable and knowledgeable space to consult bibliographical materials. The ever-increasing number of visitors received by the Library each year confirms that this belief continues to resonate with the public and especially with new generations.

In the past two years, Chief Librarian Aponte has begun to bear some of the fruits of the idea she planted over two decades ago. Here, I take the opportunity to congratulate our Chief Librarian for having been invited to give the keynote speech at the Commencement Ceremony for this year’s graduates of Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College, on May 31 and June 1, 2023. This is a great honor that underlines Prof. Aponte’s many achievements over the years, including becoming the first Chief Librarian of Dominican ancestry dedicated to Dominican studies in the United States. It also no doubt represents a full-circle moment as she is a proud alumna of Hostos.

My project-1 (1)
Sarah Aponte's Hostos Graduation Photo (Left). Sarah Aponte addresses the audience as Class Salutatorian in 1992. Photo Credit: Eduardo Hoepelman


Congratulations are also in order to Prof. Aponte for her achievement of another feat with little precedent in the U.S. In August 2022, Prof. Aponte was promoted to Full Professor at the City College of New York, a significant achievement since Latina women represent only 3% of all people who hold this rank nationwide.

In addition to a stellarly regarded Chief Librarian and Professor, Prof. Aponte is a highly respected scholar. Her latest book, La presencia dominicana en el periódico Las Novedades, 1876- 1918: De breve mención a propietarios en la ciudad de Nueva York was published in 2022 by the Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña and CUNY DSI’s book series, Historia.


La presencia dominicana en el periódico Las Novedades, 1876-1918: De breve mención a propietarios en la ciudad de Nueva York was the recipient of the 2023 very prestigious librarian award José Toribio Medina, granted annually by the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM)

Among her many activities, Prof. Aponte has also made several public presentations showcasing the work of the Dominican Library and its collections. Some, to name a few, include a presentation at Rutgers University (in March 2022) and, in collaboration with Librarian Jhensen Ortiz, at the Center for Research in the Humanities of the New York Public Library (in February 2023) and at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, M.D. (in October 2022). And, Prof. Aponte, alongside Ortiz, were also featured speakers during our symposium “A Transnational Future? A Digital Humanities Conversation in Dominican and Caribbean Studies”, which took place on May 2. (If you missed it, you can watch the recording of the event on our YouTube channel.)


With so much on her plate, it is well deserved that Prof. Aponte received the Jay Bernstein Memorial Scholarship, announced during the LACUNY Institute just a few days ago (where she also gave a keynote speech), as well as the 2023 Hostos Community College Presidential Medal of Honor for Outstanding Alumna.

In the meantime, Librarian Jhensen Ortiz was also honored this Spring. During the recent 2023 President Faculty and Staff Appreciation and Service Award Ceremony, he was honored for ten years of continued service at the City College of New York, at the CUNY DSI Library.

In addition, librarian Ortiz is the recipient of the prestigious Rare Book School-Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage fellowship for the 2021-2023 period.


Finally, I also want to congratulate Sarah and Jhensen for their success in securing support for a new project. Thanks to their work, the CUNY DSI was recently awarded a $10,000 METRO Digitizing Project Grant by the Metropolitan New York Library Council. Through this grant, our team of librarians will be able to digitize and preserve for generations to come all the lectures recorded at CUNY DSI from 1992-2001, and currently only available on videotape.

Much work has been done, and many more exciting projects undertaken by this dynamic team are on the horizon. Stay tuned!



Guest Contributor: The Scarcity of Documenting Dominican Music in the Digital Age

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CUNY DSI Library volunteer Ethan Srebnick, photo taken by Jessy Pérez

            In 2022, Dr. Paul Austerlitz donated part of his extensive music collection (CDs, VHS, cassettes, among others) to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library. Dr. Austerlitz is a musician, composer, and ethnomusicologist specializing in Afro-Caribbean music and jazz. Most of his work focuses on blending music from the Dominican Republic with forms of jazz. As an ethnomusicologist, he has written seminal works, including Jazz Consciousness: Music, Race, and Humanity (2005, Wesleyan University Press) and Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity (1997, Temple University Press). As a volunteer at CUNY DSI Library, I have had the pleasure of going through the donated collection discovering artists such as Xiomara Fortuna, Dario Estrella, Ray Barretto, and Boni Raposo y La 21 División.

            In general, the music of the Dominican Republic is typically associated with bachata and merengue. It was exciting to learn about Dominican jazz and other genres that are less popular in the Dominican Republic. For instance, Darío Estrella showcases a mixture of merengue and jazz on his album Merengue, Jazz & Capricornio; Xiomara Fortuna's debut album De la Loma al Llano contains various styles of music ranging from palo-salve ("Tenemos Que Organizarnos"), congo ("Trabajo y Más Trabajo"), gagá ("Gagá Lola"), bachata ("Mujer Campesina"), and merengue ("Quiero Abrir Una Ventana").

            I truly understood the importance of cataloging the music donated by Dr. Austerlitz when I couldn't find some of the albums on YouTube or streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify, etc.). Two examples include, Boni Raposo y La 21 División's album Iluminando el Tesoro Escondido as well as Yovanny Polanco y su Mambo Swing's album En Vivo. With no digital files available of these albums, the physical copies (cassette, CD, vinyl, etc.) are the only accessible materials we currently have. Mostly everything is digitally available nowadays, so we underestimate how accessible information is. If there is no record of a document being accounted for, it's as if it never existed. When the music is only being accessible physically this means that we must preserve the physical copy for future generations to learn from.

Samples of audio-visual materials donated by Dr. Paul Austerlitz in the summer of 2022.

            Volunteering with CUNY DSI Library has been a pleasure. I've learned more about my culture and helped document music archival materials for the Dominican community and the generations to come.

By Ethan Srebnick

Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés donates edited volume to the CUNY DSI library

We are grateful to Dr. Vanessa K. Valdés, Associate Provost and esteemed scholar who purchased and donated a copy of her book: Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean (SUNY Press, SUNY series, Afro-Latinx Futures 2020) to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library. 

Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean is the first volume in English to explore the cultural impact of Haiti on the surrounding Spanish-speaking nations of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Valdes book

To check Dr. Valdés's most recent project, please visit the exhibition: Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City. To learn more about the exhibit, please click here

By Prof. Sarah Aponte and Librarian Jhensen Ortiz