ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A University of New Mexico professor is using one of the largest collections of materials in the United State to reach students right here in our state.

UNM is home to one of the top five largest collections of Latin American materials in the country. Hundreds of thousands of items ranging from posters to cook books are housed at the Zimmerman Library. Professors say this can help you understand cultures from around the world.

Suzanne Schadl is the curator of Latin America collections at UNM and is the woman in charge of the collection that has been added to for decades.

The collection consists of items like posters, graphic novels, sheet music, pamphlets and more. Schadl says many are one or two of a kind items relating to Latin America, which connect the past with the present.

Schadl says the collection is used by students, professors, and researchers from all over the country. She says the items are used for example for vocabulary lessons in middle school, design projects in college, or research into current event topics such as immigration.

“A lot of those students are working on different historical contexts or different political contexts that involve our connection to Latin America or some of the disconnections with Latin America,” said Schadl.

Schadl also just recently became the president of an international organization that helps libraries develop their collections.

“It’s very exciting to be president at a time when we are meeting in a Latin American country. It’s particularly exciting for me at the University of New Mexico to be meeting in Mexico City. There are important connections between Mexico City and the state of New Mexico,” said Schadl.

Schadl says she hopes by making this collection bigger and more accessible, students and community members can have a greater understanding of the Latin American ties that are right here in New Mexico.

You can check these books out for free at Zimmerman Library or online.