What do Ruben Cobos, Tony Hillerman, U.S. Route 66 and “El Hispano News” all have to do with each other? They are all new collections and digital projects at the Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, a part of the University of New Mexico's College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences. The CSWR holds more than a 1,000 archival collections with others on the way. The collections vary widely from papers, photos and architectural plans to oral histories, maps and music, and cover many eras of regional history and culture.
To prepare these incredible archival materials for public access, the CSWR has the help of a cadre of very talented graduate fellows. The Center for Regional Studies (CRS), under the direction of Tobias Duran, funded many of the fellowships for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Tony Hillerman gift covered the students working on the Hillerman Portal and the Clinton P. Anderson Library Endowment provided for two others assisting in reference and outreach.
The contributions of UNM graduate students to the archives are incalculable. In return, they gain valuable hands-on experience and have an important set of skills to add to their resumes. The guides to the collections they helped prepare will be on the Rocky Mountain Online Archive and their digital work on New Mexico Digital Collections which are both maintained by the CSWR. These materials will be available for the public to use in the Anderson Room at the CSWR in Zimmerman Library.
Chasing the Sunlight
If you see a woman on a sunny weekend morning taking pictures on Central Avenue it is probably Donatella Davanzo, the New Mexico Route 66 Photographic Survey Fellow from the CSWR. She is working with Michael T. Kelly, director, CSWR. Her fellowship is funded by the CRS. Davanzo is creating a digital view of structures along U.S.Route 66 (Central Ave.) from Tramway Blvd. to Atrisco Vista Blvd. A professional photographer from Italy, she has been exploring the use of space in Italy as well as in Southwest Native American communities and Hispanic acequias since the 1990s. She has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and a master's in cultural anthropology. She plans to complete a doctorate in American studies in 2018, and is working to compete a certificate in historic preservation and regionalism from the School of Architecture and Planning.
Beyond the Headlines
Did your grandma leave you a shoebox of old photographs? Well George Luna-Peña, the “El Hispano News” Pictorial Archives fellow at the CSWR, had 45 years of photographs (1966-2011) to identify, organize and digitize from the Albuquerque-based Spanish language newspaper, founded by Angel B. Collado. The fellowship was funded by the CRS and is under the direction of Claire Lise Benaud, associate director, CSWR. The biggest challenge in processing the El Hispano Pictorial Collection was putting names, stories and chisme to the faces in the photos that covered a broad range of New Mexico history, politics, culture and civic life. The history behind the photos often revealed a great story about that person or event.
From East Los Angeles, Calif., Luna-Peña moved to Albuquerque in 2010 to work with Generation Justice, a social transformational youth-media organization at KUNM. With a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California Riverside, he is finishing the last semester of his master's degree in American Studies.
Hearing their Voices
Megan Jirón is the Ruben Cobos Fellow at CSWR. Her fellowship is funded by CRS and she works with Nancy Brown Martinez, an archivist at CSWR. Jirón is listening to and writing a finding guide for the recordings (1944-1974) made by UNM Professor Cobos and his students with people in New Mexico and Colorado.
She is from east San Jose neighborhood, in the south valley of Albuquerque. In the collection, she often comes across prayers, stories and songs she heard as a child. She has a bachelor's degree in international studies, a second major in Spanish, a minor in studio art and is working on a master's degree in Latin American studies, focusing on Mexico - U.S. art and cultural ties. Jiron is joining the peace corps this summer and will serve in Guatemala.
Did they really print that?
Melvatha Chee is the CSWR’s National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) fellow. She is funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant and works with Kathlene Ferris, digital programs manager at the CSWR. Originally from Lake Valley, N.M., she came to UNM to study Navajo linguistics. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration, a master's in linguistics and has nearly completed her doctoral work in linguistics, with an emphasis in Native American languages.
The Library of Congress operates the NDNP’s Chronicling America website, which features scans of American newspapers from 1836-1922. Chee is reading New Mexico newspapers before 1922 on microfilm to find significant events, the paper’s political position and voice, dates, editors and publishers to create 500-word essays for “Chronicling America.” She likes reading about the development of various New Mexico towns, the events that were taking place and the news reported on the New Mexico battle for statehood. She notes it is very interesting to read how the news was reported. She says some articles sound so unbelievable - almost comical - that it is difficult to decide whether it is true or not.
On the Front Lines
Decade after decade, New Mexico U.S. Senator Clinton P. Anderson smiles down on the patrons in the Anderson Reading Room, as well as the graduate fellows funded by the Anderson Family Endowment who work there. This year Kevin Brown and Clare Daniel are Anderson fellows, working under the direction of Ann Massmann, head of Public Services at CSWR.
Brown, from Chinle, Ariz, has a bachelor's degree in museum studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts, a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona, a master's degree in public archaeology from UNM, and is working toward a doctorate in anthropology, with a concentration in archaeology.
His fellowship engages a new focus at the CSWR - to develop and facilitate public outreach to the New Mexico area tribes. He has assisted with reference and archival research orientations for courses related to Southwest and Native American topics and prepared research guides for each tribal entity. He found that the amount of information available for tribes at the CSWR is excellent and interesting - including that related to his Navajo heritage and culture.
Clare Daniel is graduating this semester with her doctorate in American studies. Her dissertation, “Reproducing Prevention: Teen Pregnancy and Intimate Citizenship in the Post-Welfare Era,” examines the politics of teen pregnancy prevention in public policy, popular culture and nonprofit advocacy. She also has a master's degree in American studies from UNM and a bachelor's degree in German studies and English from Macalester College. She previously held the Pictorial Collections and Digitization Fellowship at the CSWR. As Anderson fellow, she has led numerous library and archives instruction sessions for UNM classes and community groups. She has also enjoyed providing reference services in the Anderson Reading Room this year.
Beyond New Mexico
Aaron Taylor is the Richard E. Greenleaf Spanish Colonial Graduate Fellow at the CSWR, and was funded by the late Professor Greenleaf, a UNM graduate and distinguished colonial Latin American historian. Under the direction of Kevin J. Comerford, Digital Initiatives librarian at the CSWR, Taylor added metadata for a scanned collection of key Spanish colonial microfilmed documents that appears on the NMDC at CSWR. They were filmed in Spain and Mexico and analyzed by the staff at the Spanish Colonial Research Center, at UNM (SCRC), under the direction of Joseph Sanchez. Beyond documents already at UNM, these provide a wider view of Spanish colonial and Latino American heritage sites from Alaska, California, Arizona and New Mexico, to the Midwest and Southeastern parts of the United States and the Caribbean islands.
With a bachelor's degree in history and anthropology, with a concentration in archaeology, and a master's degree in Spanish Literature, Taylor will graduate from UNM this spring with a doctorate in Spanish Literature. He is also a Spanish teacher and bilingual coordinator at Rio Rancho High School. With a lifelong love of New Mexico history and culture, he gained valuable experience professionally at the CSWR and participated in an endeavor which shares part of his culture via digital media.
Regent’s Historic Preservation Study
If you see a student looking for tag numbers under the tables and chairs in the Library it is probably Lillian Makeda. She is working on a historic furnishings and decorative arts inventory, funded by the UNM Regent's Historic Preservation Committee. Audra Bellmore, curator of the John Gaw Meem Archive, supervises Makeda and is chairman of the committee.
Born and raised in Stillwater, Okla., Makeda fell in love with the four corners region many years ago and was finally able to move to New Mexico in 2006. She has nearly completed work on a doctorate in art and art history at UNM, with an emphasis on architectural history. Starting in the west wing of Zimmerman Library, the background information and images that she finds about these objects will become a new collection at the CSWR. She notes that several motifs that originated in Spanish colonial furniture have been used to ornament Pueblo-Spanish Revival building exteriors as well. The inventory will be on the NMDC.
Latin American Studies Projects at the Library
Several graduates work with Suzanne Schadl, coordinator of Inter American Studies and curator of Hispanic and Latin American Collections at the University Libraries.
Michael Hoopes, from Brigham Young University, is the Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) - UNM Library Fellow. Funded by the LAII under Title VI NRC, he is working on a master's degree in Latin American studies with a concentration in history. He is preserving ephemeral Latin American online sources and digitizing contemporary Chilean student protest ephemera. He curated an exhibition in the Herzstein Latin American Reading Room in Zimmerman Library for the 75th n library anniversary. In addition, he helped process the Flavio and Sonia Gusatti Brazilian Poster Collection at the CSWR. He was featured in a recent library website story.
Jacobo Baca is currently writing his dissertation in history and looking forward to graduating with doctorate in December. He is funded by the Center for Regional Studies. Baca works primarily in Inter-American Studies where his long history in library service and his academic expertise in Chicano studies and New Mexico history is desperately needed and greatly appreciated. As part of his duties in IAS and for the CSWR's collections, he is also repairing the sound on the Dana Evans collection of Mexican Film Makers documentary interviews. This collection should be available in NMDC very soon.
Chris Vigil is digitizing Spanish colonial and 19th century Mexican documents from the Paul Van de Velde Collection the NMDC. The work is part of the Inter-American Studies Program at UNM, with funding from the Center for Research Libraries Latin American Microform Project.
Vigil is originally from southern California. With a master's degree in U.S. history and a law degree from UNM, he is finishing coursework for a doctorate in American environmental and legal history. Excited about preserving research materials for future generations of students as a form of public service, Vigil is honored to have the privilege to work in the libraries with CSWR materials.
In the Footsteps of John D. Robb
Tom McVeety, from Albuquerque, is the John Donald Robb graduate assistant, funded by the Robb Trust. He is reformatting old recordings in the Robb Collection at the CSWR and assisting with the trust’s composer symposium. McVeety is currently pursuing a master's degree in music with a concentration in theory and composition. He and Robb were featured in the UNM Newsroom.
Boxes and Boxes
Former U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman served in Washington, D.C. from 1983-2013 and gave more than 1,000 boxes of his congressional material and digital files to the CSWR. Two Senator Jeff Bingaman Fellows, Christina Juhász-Wood and Kathryn Manis are helping to process his collection. They are funded Funded by the CRS, and are working with Samuel Sisneros, assistant archivist at the CSWR.
Juhász-Wood, originally from Boulder, Colo., returned to the Southwest to pursue her master's and doctoral degrees in American studies at UNM and to be closer to family. She has a bachelor's in government from Smith College. She worked at the American Civil Liberties Union National Legal Department and enjoys processing Bingaman's material on her areas of interest - the environment, nation security, women's studies and civil liberties.
Kathryn Manis is a master's student studying art history with a minor in Literary Studies. She received dual honors bachelor's degrees in literature and art history from Appalachian State University, where she focused on the role of illustration in the satirical work of American writer Ishmael Reed. Manis was born in Santa Fe, N.M., left the state at the age of two, and grew up in North Carolina. She currently works as a teaching assistant at UNM in addition to her position as Senator Jeff Bingaman Fellow. In her current research, Manis focuses on the intersections between dialogues of race, gender, and American essentialism. Her ongoing thesis work interrogates the construction of black masculinity, celebrity, and fine art in American popular media. She hopes her work on the collection will help in getting a job in a library or archive.
Tony Hillerman Portal Presentation
Five fellows at the CSWR work on the Tony Hillerman Portal, an online interactive guide to the life and work of the famed Southwest author. The portal is hosted by the UNM College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences. Comerford and the team will demonstrate the portal in a program at the Tony Hillerman Library in Albuquerque on Wednesday June 18, from 6:30-7:30 pm.
If you are interested in the CSWR collections or helping to fund fellowships and projects, contact email@example.com or call 505-277-6451.