Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Margarita Melville Papers
MSS 0272  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (74.41 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Creator: Melville, Margarita B., 1929-
    Title: Margarita Melville Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1967 - 1993
    Extent: 3.60 linear feet (9 archives boxes)
    Abstract: Papers of Margarita Melville, a former Maryknoll sister and human rights activist, that document revolutionary movements in Guatemala from the 1960s through 1993. Revolutionary groups represented in the collection include Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes (FAR), Guatemala Human Rights Commission and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG). The collection mainly consists of flyers and distributions published by the revolutionary groups.
    Repository: University of California, San Diego. Geisel Library. Mandeville Special Collections Library.
    La Jolla, California 92093-0175
    Collection number: MSS 0272
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Acquisition Information

    Not Available

    Preferred Citation

    Margarita Melville Papers, MSS 0272. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Biography

    Margarita Melville, a former Maryknoll sister known as Marian Peter, was born in 1929. From the summer of 1954 until 1967, she was in Jacaltenango, a remote community in Huehuetenango in Guatemala's western highlands. The work performed there by Melville and other sisters led to augmentation of programs that brought the children of the elite to work among the poor in the highlands. Melville started a number of the Maryknoll Sisters' key social programs including girl scout troops and an experimental school called Monte Maria.
    Beginning in 1966, she began to associate with members of rebel groups in Guatemala, including FAR (Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes), the military wing of the Guatemalan Labor (Communist) Party or PGT. Her work with these groups continued until 1967, when the Maryknoll Sisters supervisor expelled Melville and a few others from Guatemala for their activism.
    She married Father Thomas Melville (after both had left the religious order), a Maryknoll Brother who was expelled and wrote THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, THE U.S. HOLOCAUST IN CENTRAL AMERICA. They became a part of a group of expelled clergy still working to help the poor of Guatemala. This group planned to participate in other Guatemalan guerrilla movements, but threats forced them back to the United States. They settled in Washington, D.C., and continued to foster awareness about Guatemala. Melville is the author of TWICE A MINORITY: MEXICAN AMERICAN WOMEN, and has become a teacher on Latin American issues.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers of Margarita Melville, a former Maryknoll Sister named Marian Peter, are related to revolutionary movements in Guatemala from the late 1960s through the 1990s. Materials include fliers, newsletters, manuscripts, propaganda materials, and subject files.
    The papers are arranged in six series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) ORGANIZATIONS, 3) NEWSLETTERS AND BULLETINS, 4) SUBJECT FILES, 5) WRITINGS OF OTHERS and 6) ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES.
    SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE
    This series is mostly miscellaneous personal correspondence from 1985 to 1986.
    SERIES 2: ORGANIZATIONS
    The ORGANIZATIONS series contains manifestos, founding documents, and other materials (1967-1993) on revolutionary groups in Guatemala, including the Centro de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala (CDHG), the Ejercito Guerrillero de los Pobres (EGP), the Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes (FAR), the Guatemala Human Rights Commission (CHRCC), the Guatemala News and Information Bureau (GNIB) and the Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (URNG).
    SERIES 3: NEWSLETTERS AND BULLETINS
    The NEWSLETTERS AND BULLETINS series contains the ENFOPRESA newsletter for years 1984 to 1987 and NOTICIAS DE GUATEMALA from 1986 to 1990.
    SERIES 4: SUBJECT FILES
    The SUBJECT series includes information on the Central America Peace Plan in 1988, files on the Catholic Church in Central America, information collected on the Indians of Guatemala, human rights issues, and the testimonies of refugees from Guatemala.
    SERIES 5: WRITINGS OF OTHERS
    The WRITINGS OF OTHERS series contains the Melville's collection of writings on the situation in Guatemala from the 1960s to the 1980s. The writings include articles on the indigenous people of Guatemala, the background of the conflict between the government and the rebel groups, land issues, and racism.
    SERIES 6: ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES
    The ORIGINALS OF PRESERVATION PHOTOCOPIES series contains the originals of brittle or high acid content documents that have been photocopied.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

    Subjects

    Melville, Margarita B., 1929- -- Archives
    Fuerzas Armadas Rebeldes (Guatemala)
    Guerrillas -- Guatemala
    Maryknoll Sisters -- Guatemala
    Guatemala -- Politics and government -- 1945-1985