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Guide to the Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection, 1857-2007
URB/RFA  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection
    Dates: 1857-2007
    Bulk Dates: 1960-2007
    Identification: URB/RFA
    Creator: Acuña, Rodolfo
    Physical Description: 112.63 linear feet
    Language of Materials:

    English

    Spanish;Castilian
    Repository: Urban Archives
    Abstract: Rodolfo Francisco Acuña is a renowned historian, educator, activist, and scholar.  In 1969, Dr. Acuña became the first professor in the Mexican American Studies Department (now Chicana and Chicano Studies Department) at California State University, Northridge. The Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection documents the academic career of Rodolfo "Rudy" Acuña, whose work was at the forefront of the Chicano Movement and who was instrumental in the creation of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at California State University, Northridge. The collection contains works authored by Acuña, especially books, early drafts of unpublished works, extensive research notes, correspondence, subject files, and materials pertaining to the trial between Dr. Acuña and the Regents of the University of California system.
    Note:
    This collection was processed in part under a U.S. Department of Education Title V Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) Grant.

    Biographical Information:

    Rodolfo Francisco Acuña was born in 1932 in Los Angeles, California. He earned his bachelor's degree and master's degrees at Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles), and his PhD in History at the University of Southern California. A renowned scholar activist, Dr. Acuña became the first professor in the Mexican American Studies Department (now Chicana and Chicano Studies Department) at California State University Northridge in 1969.
    Acuña quickly developed forty-five courses in the department, creating the foundation for the largest Chicano Studies program in the nation. In 1972, Acuña published his book Occupied America: The Chicano's Struggle Toward Liberation, a work about the Chicano community's history, which has been praised as the "Chicano Studies Bible." Since then, Acuña has continued working to grow and develop the department, using programs like Operation Chicano Professor in 1975.
    After being denied a position at the University of California Santa Barbara in 1991, Dr. Acuña sued the Regents of the University of California on the grounds they had discriminated against him on the basis of age, race, and political orientation. He ultimately won on the grounds of age discrimination in 1996. Acuña's supporters formed the group Friends of Rudy (FOR) to raise funds and awareness for Acuña over the duration of the lawsuit.
    During his years as a professor of Chicano Studies at CSUN, Acuña's research and publications have touched on a host of topics including immigration, racial relations, local politics, education, and Chicano and Chicana rights. Three of his books have received the Gustavus Myers Award for the Outstanding Book on Race Relations in North America. Corridors of Migration: The Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933 was named an Outstanding Academic Title by CHOICE Magazine.
    Acuña received the Distinguished Scholar award from the National Association for Chicano Studies in 1989. In 2008, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Hispanic Institute. His community activism has been recognized by the Emil Freed Award for Community Service from the Southern California Social Science Library, the Founder's Award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Historian of the Lions Award from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, and the Activist/Scholar Award from the Community Coalition of South Central Los Angeles. For his contributions to the discipline of Chicano Studies and lifelong commitment to activism and advocacy he is known as the "Father of Chicano Studies."

    Access Terms

    This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Corporate Name:

    Association of Mexican American Educators (Calif.)
    California State University, Northridge
    Los Angeles Unified School District. Board of Education.
    San Fernando Valley State College
    Seasonal Farm Laborers Program
    University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Paper records
    Photographic material
    Video recordings

    Personal Name:

    Castro, Sal
    Chavez, Cesar, 1927-1993
    Galarza, Ernesto, 1905-1984
    Huerta, Dolores, 1930-
    Nava, Julian, 1927-

    Topical Term:

    Age discrimination in employment -- California
    Agricultural laborers -- California
    Chicano movement
    Education, Bilingual -- California
    Grape Strike, Calif., 1965-1970
    Mexican Americans -- Civil rights
    Mexican Americans -- Education -- California

    Administrative Information

    Accruals:

    2003

    Processing Information:

    Robert G. Marshall, Luis Moreno, and Monica Valenzuela, 2007 and 2008
    Greg Gonzalez and Ben Salin, 2013

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge or is in the public domain. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item], [date], Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection , Special Collections and Archives, Oviatt Library, California State University, Northridge.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I. Writings, 1956-2007
        Subseries A: Books, 1972-2004
        Subseries B: Chapters in Books, Journals & Magazine Articles, 1970-2004
        Subseries C: Book Reviews, 1985-2000
        Subseries D: Political Essays, 1986-2004
        Subseries E: Unpublished Works, 1970-1991
        Subseries F: Early Writings, 1956-1965
    Series II. Personal Files, 1932-2000
        Subseries A: Biographical, 1932-1961
        Subseries B: Academic, 1952-1968
        Subseries C: Articles About, 1985-2000
        Subseries D: Awards, 1986-1999
    Series III. Correspondence, 1961-2000
    Series IV. Research Files, 1890-2004
        Subseries A: Archival Research, 1857-1962
        Subseries B: Articles, 1906-2004
        Subseries C: Books, 1890-2004
        Subseries D: Court Cases, 1970-1999
        Subseries E: Journals, 1968-2002
        Subseries F: Magazines, 1960-2001
        Subseries G: Manuscripts, 1999-2000
        Subseries H: Newsletters, 1966-2000
        Subseries I: Pamphlets, 1954-2000
        Subseries J: Theses and Dissertations, 1912-2001
        Subseries K: Notes, 1972-1990
        Subseries L: Note Cards, circa 1970-1990
        Subseries M: Complete Newspaper Issues, 1969-1999
    Series V. Subject Files, 1926-2000
    Series VI. Chicano Studies Department, 1969-1999
    Series VII. Multimedia, 1816-1988
    Series VIII.  Acuña vs. Regents of the University of California Files, 1962-2000
        Subseries A: Court Documents, 1992-1996
        Subseries B: Depositions, 1993-1995
        Subseries C: Correspondence, 1981-1997
        Subseries D: Research Files, 1962-2000
        Subseries E: Trial Exhibits, 1966-1995
        Subseries F: Friends of Rudy Acuña Committee (FOR), 1991-1998

    Scope and Contents

    The Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection documents the academic career of Rodolfo "Rudy" Acuña, whose work was at the forefront of the Chicano Movement and who was instrumental in the creation of the Mexican American Studies Department (now Chicana and Chicano Studies) at California State University, Northridge. The collection contains works authored by Acuña, especially books, early drafts of unpublished works, extensive research notes, and subject files. Correspondence between Acuña and his contemporaries is included, as well as biographical items about him. A large portion of the collection is dedicated to materials pertaining to the trial between Dr. Acuña and the Regents of the University of California system. Some of these materials include flyers, posters, memorabilia, and newsletters. The collection consists of eight series: Writing (1956-2007), Personal Files (1932-2000), Correspondence (1961-2000), Research Files (1890-2004), Subject Files (1926-2000), Chicano Studies Department (1969-1999), Multimedia (1816-1988), and Acuña vs. the Regents of the University of California (1962-2000).
    Series I, Writing, contains materials that Acuña authored throughout his career. Materials have been separated into six subseries. Books (1972-2004), contains various editions of his books, galley proofs, typescript pages, proposals, publisher agreements, and peer reviews. These are arranged in alphabetical order according to book title. Chapters in Books, Journals & Magazine articles (1970-2004), contains works Acuña wrote for different publications. These items are arranged alphabetically by title of the work. Book Reviews (1985-2000), documents his review of other scholarship in his and related fields. It is arranged alphabetically by title of the work. Political Essays (1986-2004), is arranged chronologically by the year the piece was written. Unpublished Works (1970-1991) and Early Writings (1956-1965), are arranged by title of the work.
    Series II, Personal Files, contains biographical items pertaining to Acuña's life. This series is split into four subseries. Biographical (1932-1961) includes Acuña's birth certificate and military records. Academic (1952-1968) consists of awards and certificates he has received, as well as research papers, final oral examinations, notes, bluebooks, yearbooks, and a curriculum vitae.This subseries is arranged alphabetically by title of the university he attended. Articles About (1985-2000) contains articles written by authors regarding Dr. Acuña, and is arranged alphabetically according to the author's last name. Awards (1986-1999) contains awards he won over the years, and consists of certificates, folio-sized awards, and plaques. These materials are arranged alphabetically according to the institute that granted them.
    Series III, Correspondence, consists of handwritten and typed correspondence exchanged between Acuña and his friends and colleagues, including Edward Roybal, Jerome Richfield, Julian Nava, Delmar T. Oviatt, and Cesar Chavez, and documents conversations both professional and personal, with topics including drug use in the barrio, university boycotts, Chicano/Chicana civil rights, the United Farm Workers/AFL-CIO, and affairs at California State University, Northridge. The series is arranged alphabetically according to last name.
    Series IV, Research Files, consists of materials that Acuña compiled and used as a part of his research throughout the years, and is arranged by format. It is split into twelve subseries: Archival Research (1857-1962), Articles (1906-2004), Books (1890-2004), Court Cases (1970-1999), Journals (1968-2002), Magazines (1960-2001), Manuscripts (1999-2000), Newsletters (1966-2000), Pamphlets (1954-2000), Theses and Dissertations (1912-2001), Notes (1972-1990), Note Cards (ca. 1970-1990), and Complete Newspaper Issues (1969-1999). Topics covered include social injustice, women's rights, the Zoot Suit Riots, the Sleepy Lagoon case, Mexico City, the 1933 Cotton Strike, Chavez Ravine, and the United Farm Workers movement. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically.
    Series V, Subject Files, documents Acuña's personal interests and general research conducted by him independent of a specific book or other research project. Topics covered include the Los Angeles riots, Proposition 187, labor union issues, the California State University system, Chicano/Chicana creative arts, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, migrant farm workers, and La Raza. This series consists of many clippings from newspapers and magazines, research reports, census information, programs, flyers, announcements, minutes, and booklets. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
    Series VI, Chicano Studies Department, documents the establishment of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, and contains materials such as early department proposals, course proposals, teacher training manuals, annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, brochures, and graduation announcements. These materials are arranged alphabetically by item type.
    Series VII, Multimedia, consists of different types of media, including videocassettes, photographs, negatives, audio reels, and microfilm. The series contains features and interviews with Acuña, documentaries, political forums, official government records, and covers topics such as the bracero migration of the 1950s, the protests at UCSB, and issues affecting Mexican Americans in the southwest. The series is arranged alphabetically, and separated by the form of media.
    Series VIII, Acuña vs. the Regents of the University of California, has been divided into six subseries. Court Documents (1992-1996) contains official court materials such as clerks transcripts, declarations, exhibit lists, objections, transcripts, and notices of depositions. The subseries is arranged by the court the trial took place in. Depositions (1993-1995) contains depositions from individuals involved in the trial. They are arranged by the last name of the individual. Correspondence (1981-1997) includes letters between Acuña and others regarding the case. This subseries is arranged by last name of the correspondent. Research Files (1962-2000) contains a vast amount of research used during the trial. It contains items such correspondence about the case, aggregate summaries, materials produced during the case, numerous CVs, court reference material, and witness lists. They are arranged alphabetically by title of the subject. Trial Exhibits (1966-1995) contains trial exhibits used during the case. They are arranged according to the court stamp number assigned to them. Friends of Rudy (FOR) Acuña Committee (1991-1998) includes items used by the committee to raise funds for Acuña during his trial, especially correspondence, tickets for events, memorabilia, advertisements, and newspaper articles. Items are arranged alphabetically by type.