Papers of Vicente S. Acosta

MS 612
Melodias Mexicanas

Magazine cover for Melodias Mexicanas, a publication covering forms of entertainment from motion pictures to music, radio, theater, and variety shows.

Collection area: Borderlands

Collection dates: 1947-1983

About this collection

The collection includes professional correspondence between Acosta and his colleagues and informants on topics related to his interests in Spanish-language songs and song forms, Spanish personal names and nicknames, and herbal remedies. Also included are copies of Acosta’s essays and presentations, as well as several drafts of his M.A. thesis, one of which includes manuscript corrections. The collection also includes audiotapes made by Acosta as he conducted his research. Some tapes include song performances discussed in his master’s thesis; others contain recordings of spoken Spanish which he used in his research on the Spanish language and its spoken characteristics.

The final accepted version of Acosta’s University of Arizona M.A. thesis is located in the Main and Special Collections libraries, at call number E 9791 1951 1.

This collection is part of the Southwest Folklore Center collection. The Southwest Folklore Center was founded in 1979 after the dissolution of the University of Arizona Folklore Committee and collected information about folk communities, arts, music, and other humanities-related materials. This collection was previously SWF 006. The materials were transferred to Special Collections in 2017.

Historical background

Vicente S. Acosta was born in 1918. He taught Spanish and served as chair of the Spanish department at Santa Rita High School in Tucson, Arizona. He developed an interest in numerous elements of Southwestern folklore, such as folksongs, herbal remedies, and the way the people of the region used the Spanish language in their everyday speech and communication. Acosta received a B.A. degree from the University of Arizona. He served as a member of the University’s Folklore Committee in the1940s and 1950s, and earned an M.A. degree from the University in 1951. Acosta continued collecting folklore materials and conducting research throughout his career as a teacher, focusing most of his collecting activities and investigations on folksongs and corridos. Acosta died in 1983.

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