The Hoover Institution Library and Archives and the Center for Latin American Studies of Stanford University recently hosted an international conference on the ideas, organization, and political activity of the Peronist movement and of its leader, Juan Domingo Perón, in the period of his exile (1955–73) based on Hoover’s extraordinary collection of Perón’s personal papers from this period.
Seven Argentine experts and several invited scholars from the United States and Italy participated, including Professor Torcuato Di Tella, currently the Argentine Ambassador to Italy. There were also numerous students and professors from campus who attended the sessions. Not only did the speakers present excellent papers and have an informed and quite lively discussion of these themes, but all them were able to spend several days working in the Hoover Archives with the Perón collection.
This conference was highlighted in an article in the leading Argentine newspaper Clarín on February 20 with the title “Esas cartas del General que nos siguen explicando cosas” (“These letters of the General which keep explaining things for us”). As the article noted “for four days, a group of renowned Argentine historians were gathered last week at Stanford University, California, to make contact with incandescent material: the papers of Perón in the archives of the Hoover Institution. There is found the correspondence of the former president during his long exile, thousands of manuscripts and typescripts that were obtained from donations and sales of personal collections, carefully 'cured' and classified. For the historian it is to enter a real theme park with priceless treasures, some known and others will surely be discovered.”
There was such excitement generated by their research in these new materials, that the Argentine scholars decided to meet again for a second time in Argentina for a conference to discuss their findings from their archival work at Hoover. Not only will this conference include all those who participated at Stanford, but will also include several leading historians, sociologists and political scientists who have also worked on Perón, but for one reason or another could not come to Stanford meeting. This second conference is being sponsored by the Argentine national science foundation CONICET and the Instituto Ravigani of the University of Buenos Aires and has the intriguing title “El Exilio de Perón II. Balance de la compulsa del Archivo en la Universidad de Stanford" ("An Exact Balance of the Hoover Holdings on Perón").