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The author shares the circumstances that led to his encounter with the personal archives of Victor Haim Perera (1934–2003), an award-winning Sephardic-American writer, journalist, environmental and political activist, and academic born in Guatemala City. Perera published six books on topics as varied as Sephardic history, the Maya Indians, and the Loch Ness monster, and contributed dozens of articles, short stories, and essays to newspapers, trade journals, magazines, and literary anthologies. This paper also provides an overview of Perera’s life and work and shares information about the Victor Perera Papers collection at the University of Michigan Library. It presents a case study illustrating that library catalogers can improve discoverability of and access to library special collections by expanding beyond their core duties and investigating the contexts behind the materials that cross their desks. The article ends with a preliminary bibliography of Perera’s works.
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