The Miracle Theatre Group of Portland, Oregon is the Northwest’s premier Latino/a Arts and Culture Organization. For almost thirty years, Teatro Milagro’s mission is to share the diversity of Latin America and advocate for global unity through theatre. Like many theatre groups, over many years they have accumulated volumes of records and production materials that are in need of archival rescue.
José Gonzáles, Miracle’s co-founder, has been working with the Oregon Multicultural Archives since the Fall of 2012 to discuss the possibility of donating the theater’s archival holdings (or a portion thereof) as a new Latino themed collection for the OMA. After various conversations, together they determined that an initial inventory of the Miracle Theatre Group Collection should be conducted before further action.
As of January 2013, my current project is to conduct an initial inventory of the collection. My name is Mike Dicianna and I am a Student Assistant/quasi-intern, OSU Special Collections & Archives Research Center. I am a Graduate Student at Portland State University in Public History, and since I am in Portland on a regular basis for Graduate classes, it is a perfect opportunity for an on-site inventory of the collection. The initial inventory of the Miracle Theatre Group collection will be conducted over the Winter Term. When the inventory is complete, we will have a better idea of what type of records need to stay in Portland, such as scripts and current production materials, and which archival materials that can be stored in Corvallis with the OMA.
The Inventory Project Begins…
For thirty years, the theatre’s archives have been stockpiled by a progression of volunteer, intern, and paid staff. Quite surprisingly, they are well organized and identified. The storage practices could be better, but at least the records are intact. Two storage rooms in the bowells of an old building on SE Stark Avenue in Portland house the collection. The bulk of the administrative records collection is housed in 3-ring binders and boxes. Various forms of media are included in the production files such as VHS video tapes, photographs and CDs, as well as ephemera and programs all bagged up in zip-lock kitchen bags. Oh, and of course, there are the obligatory boxes of 3 1/2” Floppy Discs, many without labels.
Over the course of the next few months I will be sure to provide project updates and more photos!
~ Mike Dicianna, Miracle Theatre Group Archives Project Intern