As a future information professional, I pride myself on my ability to find information. After finding the above intriguing journal, sharing a variation of my name, I decided I would perform a quick search, write a riveting blog post about my discoveries, and dash off to the weekend.
Needless to say, I was wrong.
Barring the title, year, and volume/issue number, I had very little to go on. The journal is written entirely in Spanish, and despite living in Southern California for many years, my knowledge of the language is both rudimentary and severely limited.
After combining the known elements of the journal into various search terms, yielding no results, I began thumbing through the issue, looking for clues I may have missed. I stumbled on the following:
Asociacion Latinoamericana de Mujeres
Association of Latinamerican Women
Box 5099- 163 05 SPÅNGA- SUECIA
Upon discovering that Spånga is located in Sweden and combining it with the journal title, I finally had a result. Despite the sparse metadata and the images that left much to be desired, I had a starting point. From here, it was a short leap to the WorldCat entry and HathiTrust catalog record. It took only moments for me to realize how incomplete these records are. HathiTrust describes the language as Swedish and defines a narrow date range, based solely on the copies they scanned, and WorldCat was simply vague.
These sites left me unsatisfied and more puzzled than when I had started. Why was a journal sponsored by the Association of Latin American Women being published in Sweden? Who founded the journal? Why is there so little metadata? And, most of all, who is Micaela?
Regretfully, the ending of this story is not a happy one.
After numerous searches, both online and through the single issue that resides in SCUA, I found Professor Olga Martín de Hammar. With the help of Google Translate, which is quite imperfect, I discovered she had been exiled to Sweden in 1976, and founded the publication MICAELA in 1978, which focused on women, exile, and life under dictatorships.
With regards to the appalling lack of metadata, it appears that there is simply a great deal of mystery surrounding this journal. Published in Spanish and Swedish, the journal may not have often made it’s way to America, instead residing in foreign archives.
Lastly, I am still uncertain who Micaela was. Although I have no evidence to support this claim, I strongly believe it was titled after Micaela Bastidas. Although born Spanish, Micaela supported the Peruvian Revolution for Independence in 1780, earning prestige both politically and militarily. However, the revolution weakened in 1781, and Micaela, alongside numerous revolutionaries, was captured, found guilty of treason, and executed in a gruesome fashion.
To conclude, I’m not sure where to start or end, except with a call for help. If you happen to have any information to contribute about any of the above topics or links, comment below or send me an email!