About Nuestras Historias

The CLRC's spring 1993 newsletter, our first one. Photo by Alina Ivette Fernandez.

Over 2015-16, students in the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program (URAP) established Nuestras Historias, the CLRC (now Huerta Center) archive. Led by then CLRC Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) and LALS graduate student, Alina Ivette Fernandez, this multi-phase project trained students in archival construction, archival, oral history, and digital humanities methods, digital storytelling, and exhibition curation.  Above all, our student affiliates learned about the relationship of the archive to understandings of the past and future, as well as about the important role the CLRC has played and will continue to play in the life of our campus.

Teresa Mora and Alina Fernandez with boxes for the CLRC Archive.The first phase of this project (fall 2015) coincided with UC Santa Cruz's 50th anniversary celebration. Alina and a team of dedicated undergraduate researchers created an inventory of the CLRC’s diverse materials, such as posters, working papers, grant applications, and newsletters (like the one pictured above), thereby gaining insight into how to select items for preservation based on their historical, institutional, cultural, and evidentiary value. The CLRC's materials were transported to the Department of Special Collections at McHenry Library in June of 2016 and are now a tangible part of the history of our campus.  

The second phase (winter 2016) concentrated on collecting and preserving oral histories. Under the supervision of Gabriela Arredondo, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, Alina and the undergraduate researchers learned about the role institutional memory plays in an archive and interviewed key players in the founding and growth of the CLRC. Interviews they conducted are now available at the Nuestras Historias website.    

During the project's third phase (spring and fall 2016), Alina and the undergraduate researchers learned how to present material in a clear and compelling manner to a general audience by building a WordPress site. We were thrilled to see Nuestra Historias go live in January 2017.

Finally, during the fourth and final phase of the project, CLRC GSR, Mauricio Ramírez, and undergraduate intern, Alma Villa, worked with library staff in curating an exhibit about the CLRC. The exhibit opens Thursday, November 30, with a reception from 4-6pm in Room 4211 of McHenry Library. It remains up at Special Collections and Archives on the third floor of McHenry through December 15, 2017. Special Collections and Archives is open Monday-Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm and 1:00-4:00pm.   

Nuestras Historias benefited from the support and guidance of Teresa Mora, University Archivist; Jessica Pigza, Outreach and Exhibits Librarian; Kate Dundon, Archivist; Beth Remak-Honnef, Head of Special Collections and Archives; Rachel Deblinger, director of UC Santa Cruz's Digital Scholarship Commons; Melissa De Witte, Digital Communications Manager of the Social Sciences Division; and Elizabeth Cowell, University Librarian. 

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