Francisco Aguilera, 81, a former educator and retired specialist in Hispanic culture for the Library of Congress, died of bronchial pneumonia Thursday at Sibley memorial Hospital.
Mr. Aguilera, who was born in Concepcion, Chile, was a member of the staff of the Library of Congress from 1944 until his retirement in 1969. He served as assistant director of the Hispanic Foundation for two years before becoming editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies, the Library's annual bibliography, in 1946. He served in that position until 1958, when he became the Library's Specialist in Hispanic Culture and first curator of its Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape.
Acquainted with many of Latin America's leading literary figures, he began recording Latin American and Iberian poets and writers in the early 1940s. He later recorded the voices of contemporary Latin American writers, including five Nobel Prize winners and renowned writer Jorge Luis Borges under two Rockfeller Foundation grants. Today, the Archive contains original readings by 450 authors.
Among the more noteworthy of the works prepared by Mr. Aguilera for the Archive are "Cervantes in the Library of Congress."
A writer and poet, he translated poetry originally written in English into Spanish and coauthored several Latin American literary anthologies.
He had served as an instructor at George Washington and American Universities.
Mr. Aguilera earned a bachelor's degree in the Humanities from the University of Chile in 1916. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Indiana and a master's degree in literature from Yale University, where he taught from 1929-32.
In the mid-1920s, he served as director of secondary education in the Ministry of Education in Chile. He later taught at the university there. In 1935, he came to Washington as assistant director and later became director of the Division of Intellectual Cooperation of the Pan American Union.
A Washington resident, Mr. Aguilera was a member of the Cosmos Club and a founding member of the International Institute of Ibero-American Literature and of the Academy of American Franciscan History. He received a number of international awards during his career.
There are no immediate survivors.