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The U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project Collection is the product of an initiative that began in 1999 to document the experiences of Mexican Americans during WWII. The project is a joint initiative between the Center for Mexican American Studies and the UT School of Journalism designed to highlight the contributions of Mexican Americans that are not always recognized in traditional histories of the war. Individuals interviewed served in the U.S. armed forces during the conflict, whether as soldiers, nurses, technicians, or members of the civil service. The project may also be accessed through its own web page (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/ww2latinos/index.html) for additional information. The collection contains 400+ oral history interviews, including audio and video tapes and DVDs, transcripts, indexes to the interviews, narrative stories produced from the interviews, photographs, correspondence, and other documents from the U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1999-present
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


Mario Cantú was a civil rights activist best known for his success in the restaurant business. In 1969, Cantú began political organizing around Chicano rights by organizing the first "Semana de la Raza" in San Antonio, Texas. He subsequently founded several organizations designed to support undocumented immigrants and reduce police brutality against Chicanos in San Antonio. In 1976, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) raided Cantú's restaurant and convicted him on charges of employing illegal aliens. Across the border in Mexico, Cantú supported the Partido Proletario Unido de America (PPUA) internationally until he was found to violate terms of his probation following the 1976 conviction. Cantú subsequently focused his energy on the restaurant business, but maintained the physical records of his political endeavors in this collection. Materials include legal documents from the 1976 trial, a large body of documents from the various initiatives mentioned above and collected materials on related topics.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1957-1998
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


The Mexican American Programs of the Longhorn Radio Network collection consists of 198 recordings for two series of radio programs: The Mexican American Experience, which first aired in October, 1976, and A esta hora conversamos, which first aired in October, 1981. Both programs were part of the Longhorn Radio Network, a distribution service and production center of public service content for radio stations across Texas and the greater Southwest. The project may also be accessed through its own web page (http://www.laits.utexas.edu/onda_latina) for additional information. The collection contains interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns. Topics covered on these programs include political activities of Mexican Americans, Mexican American folklore and folk medicine, corridos, Tejano music, Mexican American musicians, voting rights, education, health, farm workers' unions and working conditions, and some Mexican and Central American topics.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1976-1982
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


In 1979, Carla J. Hagen and four other researchers and photographers ‪(‬Dan Dickey, María Flores, Félix Peña, and Scott Van Osdol‪)‬ worked on a project funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and administered through the Southwest Center for Policy Studies in Austin, Texas. They collected 60 songs from migrant workers in the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas, and photographed musicians, informants, and the environment in which migrants live and work.
This collection documents the music and experiences of migrant agricultural workers in the Texas border region. A 403-page manuscript ‪(‬titled La compusimos pizcando: Texas migrant ballads‪)‬ describes the lives and music of Mexican and Mexican American migrant workers and includes an appendix with Spanish language song lyrics and English translations; 7 cassette tapes contain interviews with informants including musical performances; 81 black-and-white photographs by Dan Dickey, María Flores, and Scott Van Osdol show musicians, researchers, and the working and living conditions of migrant workers.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1979
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


Consists of 59 original photonegatives and corresponding prints showing Mexican American communities in South Texas. The photographs were taken in June, 1941. Images show housing, schools, water supplies, sanitation, and construction techniques in several South Texas counties. Includes pictures of winter housing of migrant agricultural workers, and the small communities of Concepcion, El Sauz, La Grulla, Las Cuevitas, Los Ojuelos, San Ygnacio, and others. The photographs are said to have been taken with a borrowed Kodak as part of a report on conditions in South Texas for the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

Language: English
Date:
1941
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


In 1988, the Political Asylum Project of Austin / Proyecto Asilo Político de Austin (PAPA) began with two employees and by 2003, PAPA had grown into a staff of ten, including four attorneys. Its original mission was to promote the human rights of refugees and immigrants in Central Texas through legal representation, public education, and advocacy. Its mission today is to ensure that asylum seekers and immigrants in Central Texas continue to receive the resources and advocacy that they need to stay in the United States. The organization also provides education for other advocates and for law enforcement on legal and social issues related to immigration issues and political asylum. The collection includes documents from PAPA’s founding in the 1980s as well as PAPA publications and outreach documents from 1990-2001.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1987-2002
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


The Rethinking Power and Resistance: Gender and Human Rights from Texas to the Transnational Americas Conference Footage collection contains edited footage from the 2012 conference, including several panel discussions, a radio segment aired on KOOP 91.7 fm, and a post-conference promotional video produced by Andrea Zarate. The conference was sponsored by the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Texas at Austin as part of its Embrey Women’s Human Rights Initiative. The Rethinking Power & Resistance organizing committee envisioned a conference that would bring organizers and activist scholars together and foment collaborative work beyond the conference. As such, the conference centered around three community-university collaborations with the Transgender Jail Project, Conspire Theatre, and the Polochic Evictions Counteraction and foregrounded the themes of arts as advocacy, pedagogies of alliance and resisting criminalization. Videos are in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with some videos featuring consecutive translation into English.

Language: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Date:
2012-2013


Houston-based commercial litigation lawyer, Scott J. Atlas, collected the materials that comprise this collection through his pro bono work as a defense attorney for the capital murder trial of Ricardo Aldape Guerra. Guerra was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico wrongfully held on Texas Death Row for fifteen years before being exonerated in 1997. In 1982, twenty-year-old Guerra was arrested and indicted for the capital murder of Houston police officer J.D. Harris, despite all physical evidence pointing to Roberto Carrasco Flores as the one who shot and killed Officer Harris. Harris County prosecutors appealed to heightened anti-Mexican immigrant hostility in Houston by repeatedly emphasizing Guerra's undocumented immigration status to the jury in order to help secure his conviction and death sentence. After being released in 1997, Guerra returned to Mexico a national hero for overcoming what many Mexicans thought to be an unjust Texas legal system intent on punishing undocumented Mexican immigrants. The Scott J. Atlas Collection of Legal Materials on the Ricardo Aldape Guerra Case consists of digitized copies of all Atlas' related case files as well as audiovisual recordings of press coverage of the Aldape case. All the digitized case files are available for viewing online.

Language: English, Italian, Spanish
Date:
1982-2005


The tutorial is tailored to working with women's human rights archival collections at the University of Texas, but can be useful for anyone doing archival research. The tutorial walks you through finding an archival collection, preparing for research, viewing archival collections, conducting archival research, and emotional and ethical engagement with archival material.

Language: English
Date:
present


The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is a national organization founded in 1980 by American activists to fight against U.S. military intervention in the Salvadoran civil war. CISPES and other organizations advocated for U.S. non-intervention in this and other Central American conflicts and the right of undocumented refugees to sanctuary in the U.S. CISPES is best known for the series of law suits it brought against the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the late 1980s following FBI infiltration and surveillance of the organization. This collection includes materials from the Dallas branch of CISPES that operated from approximately 1981 to 1990 and it documents the FBI infiltration and subsequent law suits, the CISPES sanctuary work in the Dallas area, and Holy Cross community initiatives for the urban poor in Dallas.

Language: English, Spanish
Date:
1968-1990
Contributing Library: Benson Latin American Collection


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