The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI) Library is always happy to announce donations from patrons, professors, institutions, and colleagues who have supported our work over the years. To kick off the Fall semester, we are excited to share and thank our colleague Dr. Paul Austerlitz for donating part of his extensive collection of Dominican popular and folkloric music recordings of CDs, vinyl records, and audiocassettes to our library over the summer. Additionally, Dr. Austerlitz donated many rare and out-of-print books from his library that will help expand our collection in Dominican music literature and scholarship.
Moreover, in the last several weeks, we have begun sorting and organizing many items from this incredible donation. As a result, we’ve come across all sorts of unique materials in the collection, including a dedicated note and signature from legendary Dominican musician Félix del Rosario to Dr. Paul Austerlitz dated February 2, 1985:
This record will be a great addition to the library’s vinyl collection, as this is something we’ve been working on building over the last few years.
Dr. Paul Austerlitz Dominican Musicians Fieldwork Recordings, 1985-1996*
His donation also contains over 40 audiocassettes interviews conducted by Austerlitz while writing his dissertation/book: Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity. The collection is significant because among those interviewed are prominent musicians and artists, such as Joseíto Mateo, Tavito Vásquez, and Milly Quezada, and Dominican record executives, such as José Luis Santos, founder and owner of José Luis Records in the Dominican Republic. They recorded many popular recording artists like Fefita la Grande, Luis Segura, El Cieguito de Nagua, and Teodoro Reyes, to name a few.
Lastly, Dr. Austerlitz served as a humanities advisor from 2017-2020 for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) sponsored interactive website A History of Dominican Music in the United States and contributed significant work to the Institute as a visiting research scholar at CUNY DSI.
We are grateful to Dr. Austerlitz for such a sizable donation, as this will benefit researchers, scholars, students, and the public for years to come.
Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian