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Guide to the San José State University Chicano Oral History Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: San José State University Chicano Oral History collection
    Dates: 1968-2005
    Collection number: MSS-2005-10-03
    Creator: Mexican American Studies Program
    Creator: Chicano Library Research Center
    Collection Size: 6 boxes 2.5 linear feet
    Repository: San José State University Library
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: This collection consists of audio and video tapes and transcripts of interviews with San José area Chicano community leaders and activists. The oral history project was conducted by the Mexican American Studies Program and the Chicano Library Research Center at San José State University, now part of the Cultural Heritage Center.
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English Spanish

    Access Restrictions

    Access to the Jose Carrasco and Ernestina Garcia interviews is restricted. Requests for access must be approved by the Director of Special Collections.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    San José State University Chicano Oral History collection, MSS-2005-10-03, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.


    The Chicano Oral History Collection is the result of a joint project between San José State University's Mexican American Studies Department and the Chicano Library Resource Center (CLRC). Planning for a project to document the experiences and history of Santa Clara County's Chicano community through oral history began in the late 1970s when Dr. Sylvia Gonzales of the CLRC investigated the possibility of starting such a project. In 1985 Dr. Samuel Henry, Affirmative Action Officer at San José State University (SJSU), first proposed an oral history project to the CLRC in order to develop a repository of information on the lives of Chicanos in Northern California; however, due to funding issues the project was not implemented.
    The project finally began as part of a course on oral history in the Mexican American Studies Department. Coursework, training and interviews with community leaders were conducted from 1988 - 1990. Near the end of the project, in May 1989, the Alma Chicana Revisted Symposium was held to share the results of this project with the campus and broader communities in a three-day forum of meetings and presentations. Funding sources for this program came from various library, campus and California State University (CSU) grants, including Affirmative Action, Faculty Development, and Discretionary Lottery Grants. In 2003, Cultural Heritage Director Jeff Paul conducted video interviews to be used in a program for the opening of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. These interviews document the history of the Cultural Heritage Center from its beginnings as the Chicano Library Resource Center, and also describe notable events in the history of Chicano activism on campus and in San José.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains audio tapes and transcripts from eighteen oral history interviews conducted in 1988-1990 for the Chicano Oral History Project. Additional materials include: audio tapes of additional interviews; VHS and Beta tapes; DVDs of recorded interviews from the Cultural Heritage Center project conducted in 2003; supporting documentation on the Chicano movement and the Oral History Project; and subject indexes to the transcripted interviews. Dr. Jose Carrasco of SJSU, Dr. Mauro Chavez of Evergreen College, and Jeff Paul of the CLRC (now a part of the Cultural Heritage Center) served as the principal investigators for the project, and students in a Mexican American Studies course on oral history conducted the interviews. Interviewees answered questions related to their background and their experiences in the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s in San José. Interviewees include Jose Carrasco, Lela Chavez, Rudolfo Coronado, Ernestina Garcia, Humberto Garza, Salvador Gascon, Jess Jaques, Randall Jimenez, Charley Laustanau, Sofia Mendoza, Pete Michel, Frances Palacios, Linda Peralta-Conway, Vicente Perez, Gabriel Reyes, Eliodoro Rivera, Bea Robinson, Adrian Vargas, and Jose Villa.


    This collection is arranged into one series: I. Chicano Oral History Project, 1968-2005.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Chicano movement -- California -- Santa Clara County
    Community activists -- California -- Santa Clara County
    Mexican American leadership -- California -- Santa Clara County
    Oral history
    San José State University