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Collection Overview

Ricardo Piglia Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
73 boxes
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001108 to B-001176, L-000023, P-000099 to P-000100
Spanish; Castilian


Ricardo Piglia was an Argentine author and professor emeritus of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. His papers contain handwritten and typewritten drafts of his writings, diaries and journals, notebooks, loose handwritten research notes, teaching files, correspondence, personal photographs, and born-digital materials.

Collection Description & Creator Information


The papers include Ricardo Piglia's journals, research notebooks, and address books, most of which are handwritten. The papers also contain handwritten, typewritten, print out drafts, and published versions of Piglia's articles, novels, essays, opera, and film scripts. A large portion of the papers include loose page research notes and drafts. Other materials present in the papers include contracts and legal files; correspondence; academic career and teaching files; personal and professional photographs; printed materials featuring interviews or reviews about Piglia's work; and a collection of others work on Piglia.

Also included are born-digital materials, including files extracted from floppy disks and optical media, including DVDs and CDs. The floppy disks consist of about 70 digital files, dating from January 1999 to July 2003. The optical media consist of about 85314 digital files, dating from 1990 to 2015, and primarily consist of DVDs containing Piglia's various computer backups. The majority of the materials consist of files containing various drafts by Piglia; notes; corrections; correspondence; academic and teaching files, including numerous files from Piglia's tenure at Princeton University; documents related to conferences, presentations, trips; and others.

Collection Creator Biography:

Piglia, Ricardo

Ricardo Emilio Piglia Renzi was an Argentine author, critic, and screenwriter. He was professor emeritus of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures and the Walter S. Carpenter Professor of Language, Literature and Civilization of Spain at Princeton University.

He was born on November 24, 1941, in Adrogué, a province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 1955, his family moved to Mar del Plata where he studied history at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata. He left for Buenos Aires to begin work in literary editorials in 1965. In 1967 he published his first book La invasión, which later received the Casa de las Américas prize. In 1975 he published his first volume of essays Nombre falso which includes an homage to Roberto Arlt (Homenaje a Roberto Arlt). Piglia's literary criticism centers around the themes of the Argentine novel, genre, fiction, translation, Argentine political history, and the works of various writers such as Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Macedonio Fernández, Leopoldo Lugones, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, and Horacio Quiroga.

Piglia's essays and novels — which include Respiración artificial (1980) and Blanco nocturno (2010) — have been translated into English, French, Italian, German and Portuguese. Several of his novels, including Plata quemada (1997) were adapted as films. His novel La ciudad ausente (1992) was adapted as an opera and premiered in the Teatro Colón in 1995. He also wrote several screenplays including Foolish Heart (1998), Plata quemada (2000), and El astillero (1999).

Piglia kept a journal for most of his life and published various autobiographical volumes under the name of his alter ego, Emilio Renzi: Los años de formación (1957-1967) in 2015; Los años felices (1968-1975), in 2016; and Un día en la vida, in 2017.

He taught at the Universidad de Buenos Aires from 1990 to 2000. Prior to joining Princeton's faculty he taught at the University of California at San Diego, University of California at Davis, and Harvard University. He first arrived to Princeton as a visiting fellow in the Humanities Council in 1986-1987; and was a frequent visiting professor prior to joining the Princeton University faculty in 2001. During his teaching career at Princeton he taught courses on Argentine literature, the detective genre, Jorge Luis Borges, Macedonio Fernández, Juan José Saer, and Rodolfo Walsh. He retired from Princeton in 2011.

Piglia received numerous awards, including the Premio Casa de las Américas (1967), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), Premio Planeta (1997), Premio internacional de novela Rómulo Gallegos (2011), and Premio Iberoamericano de las Letras (2005), the Premio Iberoamericano de Letras José Donoso (2005). In 2014 he won the Diamond Konex Award.

He died in Buenos Aires on January 6, 2017 at the age of 75.

Collection History


Purchased from Guillermo Schavelzon (Ricardo Piglia's literary agent) in 2015 (AM 2016-35; AM 2017.144). This collection was purchased in part with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).


Non-archival printed materials and administrative files relating to personnel matters were removed from the 2018 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez with the assistance of Isabella Litke, Julia English, Matthew Oakland, Fiona Bell, and Danielle Vuong on January 2018. Finding aid written by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in January 2018.

This collection was updated with new materials by Armando Suárez on January 2020.

The born-digital materials in this collection have been processed according to Princeton University Library's Born-Digital Processing Workflows. For more information on the workflow, please read our full Born-Digital Processing Information Note.

Audiovisual materials from this collection were digitized in 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media, but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Patrons may request digital copies of original analog media, but will be responsible for the cost of digital conversion, payable in advance. Turn-around time for such requests will depend on the size and scope of the project. Requests should be directed to Public Services staff.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains digital files in the following formats: Microsoft Word, PDF, Rich Text, WordPerfect, Microsoft PowerPoint, Plain Text, XML, JPEG, and others. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.

Access to digital material in this collection is available on-site in the Special Collections Firestone Reading Room. Requests to access digital material from this collection must be placed at least 3 days in advance. For more information please contact Special Collections Public Services staff.

Credit this material:

Ricardo Piglia Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-001108 to B-001176, L-000023, P-000099 to P-000100