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A peek into Dr. Diana Natalicio’s Brave Books collection

The legacy of former UTEP President Diana Natalacio, Ph.D, will continue to live on for years to come. Natalicio’s death late last year had a profound impact on the El Paso community, and her personal book collection gives the community a chance to walk away with a piece of her personality this March. 

In an estate sale earlier this year, Brave Books owner Jud Burgess had the good fortune of acquiring hundreds of books from her personal collection.  

“I went (to the estate sale), and she had quite a nice collection,” said Burgess. “I just basically worked with the estate sale director and was able to acquire the entire collection.” 

With almost 600 books, her collection consists of a wide array of things she loved, including art, linguistics, travel, baseball, Mexican history, and the Southwest, including El Paso. However, some of these books will be a part of a private collection that Burgess hopes to showcase at the planned event and annually. 

The private collection will contain books that are not only in great condition, but personally signed and dated by Natalicio. Other books were also inscribed to her by friends such as El Paso legends Abraham Chavez, Tom Lea and others. 

“We’re keeping many of the books that were inscribed to her from some of her closest friends because it shows how beloved she was,” said Burgess. “It’s just something that we want to share with the public in the years to come. We want to be a repository of her legacy and share that as well besides offering her books.” 

The event is scheduled to take place during spring break and is titled “The Dr. Diana Natalicio Book Collection Tribute,” where Burgess hopes people come and not only see but take a piece of the collection home with them. Though the main event is planned for two days, the selling and showcasing of her books will go on for weeks.  

Not only will the books be shown, but certain personal items such as kokeshi dolls, vases, and Bhutanese tapestries will be on display which give another glimpse into the life of someone who dedicated so much of her time to UTEP and the city of El Paso. The significance of this collection is enormous as it is one of the few chances many can walk away with a piece of history. 

“We have been able to secure this collection and say, ‘Look, this is a person that influenced you throughout your educational process, and now you have this opportunity to get a window into what she was like in terms of her book collection,’” said Burgess. “You can take a piece of Diana Natalicio, this person that influenced you, and just put it on your own shelf and say, ‘you know what, I got a piece of this person; something that was very personal to her is now in my collection.’” 

Mark your calendars as Brave Books will hold this event March 12-13; no times have been set but will be revealed closer to the date. Brave Books is located at 1307 Arizona Ave. and is open seven days a week from noon to 5 p.m. Information can be found at @bravebooks.tx on Instagram or Brave Books on Facebook.  

Itzel Giron is the Audience Engagement Editor and may be reached at [email protected]; @by.itzel.giron on Instagram; @itzel_anahi_16 on Twitter. 

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About the Contributors
Itzel Giron
Itzel Giron, Editor-in-chief
Itzel Giron is a senior multimedia journalism and creative writing student at UTEP. She started her journalistic career at The Prospector in the fall of 2021 as a staff reporter and is now editor-in-chief. Thanks to The Prospector and her tenacity, Itzel has had the opportunity to be an intern with KVIA Channel 7 at El Paso. Itzel is also a freelance journalist, and her work has been published in The City Magazine, Borderzine and Walsworth Yearbooks. After graduation, Itzel hopes to continue her passion of journalism by working in broadcast television reporting on politics, entertainment and news.
Anahy Diaz
Anahy Diaz, is a bilingual Multimedia Journalism, Political Science and Chicano Studies student at The University of Texas at El Paso. She has helped lead The Prospector, as editor-in-chief, copy editor and multimedia editor by writing and creating news packages. Anahy currently works as an intern for NBC News Los Angeles, and has previously interned with NBC’s Today and Weekend Today. Anahy’s published work can also be seen in Borderzine, KERA News, KTEP, KTSM Channel 9 and KVIA Channel 7. As a first-generation college student, Anahy hopes to join the field of broadcast after graduation covering news, politics, and entertainment.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
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A peek into Dr. Diana Natalicio’s Brave Books collection