EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The world of literature is no stranger to contributions from Latin American writers.

One collection at Michigan State University not only has preserved the works of famous writer Jorge Luis Borges, it also is a testament to the connection between the writer and a Spanish professor.

“He was playing with the ideas of reality, fantasy and blurring those lines,” said Tad Boehmer, a curator of Rare Books and Special Collections at MSU. “He liked to play with the borders of fiction.”

Jorge Luis Borges is regarded as a writing giant by researchers and curators like Boehmer.

Many of Borges’ drafts sit amongst photos, recordings and other artifacts at Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections in MSU’s libraries.

Miguel Cabanas is a professor of Latin American and Chicano studies at the university.

Despite Borges’ short stories being originally published in Spanish, his ideas transcended Argentina and have found their way to the mainstream by sparking the stories behind movies like Inception.

“For Borges’ reality, is not the reality that we think. But it’s created in dreams, memories,” said Cabanas. “Time is not linear, time is created by human forgetfulness.”

Many of Borges’ writings might have never made it to the mainstream if it wasn’t for Spanish professor Donald Yates.

According to the head of MSU’s Special Collections Leslie McRoberts, Yates traveled to South America to meet Borges after he translated Labyrinths and other works by the writer in 1962, one of the first times Borges’ work was translated into English.

Through Yates’ and Borges’ connection, a bridge was built between Borges’ work and the world of English literature.

The majority of materials from their personal and professional relationship went to California when Yates and his wife, Joanne, retired in 1982.

Borges died in 1986, and Yates died in 2017.

In the following years, McRoberts says Joanne Yates worked with MSU to donate several boxes of writings and mementos.

Had the collection stayed with the family, it might have likely been lost because a wildfire destroyed their California home in 2018.

Photographs during Borges’ four visits to East Lansing are preserved in the collection.

During one of those stays, Borges taught for a term and got an honorary doctorate degree.

“He’s creating a dynamic, almost futurist idea of what things could be like,” said McRoberts. “So that’s the legacy he leaves behind here along with the library in Argentina and everywhere in the world that he touched.”

Want to see some of Borges’ works? The collection is open to the public.