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Russ Davidson, the former University of New Mexico Libraries' Latin American/Iberian curator donated $25,000 and pledged an additional $225,000 to the University Libraries to establish an endowment fund in honor of his longtime friend, Howard L. Karno. Howard was a preeminent Latin American bookseller and member of the ABAA who passed away last year.

"I have long wanted to create an endowment that would help the University Libraries continue to deepen and strengthen a part of its holdings that for years have been recognized as exceptional, and to some degree unique, by students and scholars in the U.S. and across the hemisphere," Davidson said.

The Howard L. Karno Endowment for Latin American Pictorial Collections will finance the acquisition of rare and specialized Latin American visual resources, including prints, posters, photographs, broadsheets, fine press imprints, illustrated books, artist books, and cover art.

“Howard was a bookman of impeccable taste, relishing the book as an artifact, with its special qualities of binding, typography, design and so on. Yet for him, books and perhaps even more powerfully visual images, represented something more . . . they connected us, in a very real, vivid way, to life and human experience," Davidson explained. "In addition, some of the credit for assembling the Libraries’ Latin American pictorial collections should go to Howard, because he understood our strength in this area, shared the vision of enlarging its scope and range – expending energy and time hunting down valuable additions to our holdings.”

The Howard L. Karno Endowment welcomes additional donations. If you would like to make a contribution or learn more about what your support will do, please contact the University Libraries Dean's Office at (505) 277-4241.

To learn more about Howard in his own words, click here.

Howard's wife, Beverly Joy-Karno, continues to operate Howard Karno Books, Inc. out of Valley Center, CA. This is a wonderful gesture and exemplifies the crucial role that booksellers play in academic and cultural arenas.