The Centro Cultural César Chávez (CCCC) collection is now available and open for research!
The collection documents the activities and events organized by the center such as staff retreats, open houses, César Chávez Tribute Month, holiday celebrations, lectures, and workshops pertaining to Latino/a community issues. Also of note are several marches and demonstrations that are depicted in the collection.
The collection consists of administrative records, information on events and community outreach, financial records, photographs, a small collection of films, and publications generated by the Centro Cultural César Chávez. Collection contents include administrative notes, meeting minutes, staff notes, agendas, maintenance documents, forms, staff bios, and files pertaining to the various cultural centers on campus. Also included are materials pertaining to events such as Día de Los Muertos/ Day of the Dead and the César Chávez Tribute Celebration, budget requests, invoices, pay roll, purchase requests, and statement documents. Photographic materials include undated color photographs and 16 digitized photograph albums that are available online. The albums include about 1350 photographs depicting the Center staff; Oregon State students, faculty, and staff who participated in Center events and activities; and numerous events and activities during the 1990s and 2000s. The original albums have been retained by the Center. The small collection of films and recorded events include 1 DVD and 4 digitized recordings (the original VHS tapes were not retained). Content ranges from a movie about the Los Angeles Chicano blowouts of the 1960s to UFW materials and a lecture. Publications consist of brochures, flyers, newsletters, and a number of newspaper clippings.
Daniel Loera, OMA student worker 2015-2016 arranged and described the collection; below is his reflection processing the collection…
This past term I worked on the Centro Cultural César Chávez collection and was able to go through the task of processing the material we received in the fall. I’d like to share with you my experiences of working on a collection and what it means to process a collection. To begin, I want to say this was a pretty rewarding experience because it felt like things were coming full circle for me; I’ve done research with collections in the past so being able to process one for researchers was the other side to what I was accustomed to. So what does it mean to process a collection? Well, the process of processing a collection is a multi-step process that includes organizing archival materials, creating a finding aid, labeling the folders and boxes, and using Archon to make the information accessible online (Archon is a program specifically for archival description and access). As you can see there aren’t too many steps to processing a collection, but it remains a time consuming process. First things first, you receive the material, usually in boxes, binders, or folders. You take note of what’s there and begin thinking of ways to organize the material. Since it was my first time I went ahead and made a list of what was there, trying to keep as many things as I could in their original place. There’s really no specific way to do this so it’s always a learning experience. Being a history major helped a lot because I was able to organize material into what I saw would make sense to a historian doing research. Then, as you move along, you start to see how things will fit and where they’ll fit. The following step is creating the finding aid based off what you know is there. In my experience, it’s always a good idea to have a physical and digital idea of what’s there; it makes it easier when moving material around. Creating the finding aid is usually the longest step in the process because you need to have a complete idea of how the collection will be organized; this includes the name of each folder, creating the different series, series descriptions, scope and content of the collection and then plugging the information into Archon. By this time, I had gone through a number of ways in which to organize the material, sometimes adding folders, other times merging material together. It was a time consuming process, but once you have all the main pieces in the right place, everything falls into place. After that, the finding aid is sent to be reviewed, you receive feedback, and you apply any last changes. The final steps include labeling the folders and then finding a shelf location where to store the collection. In my experience, I had a great time working with the additions to the Centro collection. At first, it was a bit daunting because the material was all over the place and I didn’t know where to begin. Once, I got my bearings it was smooth sailing from there. My favorite part of processing was being able to work with new material, having the opportunity to create a historical record and being able to see your work displayed in the finding aid. As a student of history, I feel archivists leave their imprint on the historical records they work with, be it in collecting this material or processing it for future generations of researchers. All in all, it was an enjoyable learning experience and I look forward to working on new collections in the term to come.
~ Daniel Loera, OMA student worker