Latino Archives on Exhibit in the Oviatt Library

The Oviatt Library celebrates the end of its five-year, $1.6 million U.S. Department of Education Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Program grant by presenting an exhibition October 15 through November 23, 2007 entitled, Found Treasures: Latino Archives Supported by the Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant. Curated by Robert Marshall, Head Archivist, and Dr. Karin Durán, Chicana/o Studies Librarian, the exhibit is located in the lobby of the Oviatt Library, and highlights the following collections from the Library’s Urban Archives Center:

  • The archives of Comisión Femenil San Fernando Valley reflects the fact that it is a community based, non-profit organization of Latinas dedicated to improving the quality of life of the Latina, her family, and her community. Their archives document Comisión activities such as college scholarships, a literary contest, book fairs, and an annual career conference in which Latina high school students are able to meet with Latina professionals in all walks of life.
  • The Felipe and Blandina (Guerrero) Rodriguez Family Collection documents one family’s journey from Mexico to Arizona and eventually their move to Los Angeles. Their family history includes employment in local industry such as the copper mines and cannery work in the San Fernando Valley. The collection includes many personal papers and family photographs that chronicle the struggles and successes that are common to the many Mexican American families who built and sustained the Southwest.
  • Frank Del Olmo, a graduate of CSU Northridge’s Journalism and Chicano Studies departments, was reporter, columnists and then editor for the Los Angeles Times. His archives include some of his earliest writings as part of the staff of the campus newspaper The Daily Sundial and the newspaper of the Chicana/o Studies Department El Popo. The collection provides insight into the origin and growth of a journalist who represented the underrepresented Latino community of Los Angeles and the borderlands through quality investigative journalism and writing that earned the paper many awards such as the Pulitzer Prize.
  • The Julian Nava Collection documents a lifetime of teaching and public service. Julian Nava served as the first Mexican American U.S. ambassador to Mexico under the Carter Administration. Dr. Nava was also the first Mexican American to be elected to the Los Angeles Board of Education. Dr. Nava was a founding professor in the History Department of the newly established branch of Los Angeles State College in Northridge (now known as California State University, Northridge). Nava’s main contribution to the school district was the implementation of bilingual education in to the public school system of Los Angeles.
  • The Supreme Council of the Mexican American Movement was a Los Angeles chapter of the YMCA that eventually broke off connection with the YMCA organization and provided educational and financial support for Mexican Americans and non-Mexicans. The goal of the group was to improve social conditions through education. The archives of the organization describe the life and times of Los Angeles through the eyes of an organization made up of professionals, students, and civic leaders of both Mexican and Anglo origins.
  • Culture Clash, the Latino/Chicano comedy and theatre group includes Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, and Herbert Sigüenza. This innovative troupe gained a place in the national spotlight with their 1988 play, The Mission. Culture Clash has brought its blend of social and political satire to prominent venues, including New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Miami's Colony Theatre, and Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum. They have also performed on television specials, in their own comedy series, and in full-length feature and short films. In addition, the group’s artwork, visual style, and publications of their collected works--Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy (1998) and Culture Clash in AmeriCCa: Four Plays (2003)—have established their influence on a variety of media.

For more information about the Oviatt Library’s HSI grant project, see About HSI