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San José State University Chicano Oral History Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • History
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Processing Information

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
    Title: San José State University Chicano Oral History Collection
    creator: San José State University. Mexican American Studies Program
    creator: San José State University. Chicano Library Research Center
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2005.10.03
    Physical Description: 6 boxes (2.5 linear feet)
    Date (inclusive): 1968-2005
    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.
    Language of Material: 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. The focus of this project was on the Chicano Movement in San José and Santa Clara County in the 1960s and 1970s. During this period, San José was a center of Chicano activism and social change, including some of the earliest Chicano student walkouts in the state, student activism at SJSU and other area colleges, and community organizing. 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 Contents

    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.
    Key activities discussed in the interviews include the Fiesta de las Rosas and the emergence of community organizations including the Community Alert Patrol, the Confederacion de la Raza Unida, the Mexican American Studies Department, United People Arriba, the Mexican American Graduate Studies Department, the Mexican American Educational Opportunities Program, the Mexican American Community Services Agency, the Brown Berets for Justice and the Mexican American Student Confederacion. Other activities investigated include demonstrations and protests such as the Educational Pilgrimage to Sacramento, San José State Students at National Moratorium in Los Angeles in 1970, the walkouts at Roosevelt Jr. High School and San José City College, San José United Grape Workers Boycott, and San José State University's Chicano Commencement.


    This collection is arranged into five series: Series I. Audio and Visual Tapes; Series II. Project Documentation; Series III. Newsclippings; Series IV. Confederación de la Raza Unida; and Series V. Transcripts.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Amanda Grundmann in 2008. Collection rearranged by Alexandra Lynch, Summer 2017.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chicano movement -- Santa Clara County (Calif.)
    Community activists -- Santa Clara County (Calif.)
    Mexican American leadership -- Santa Clara County (Calif.)
    Oral history
    Oral histories
    San José State University. Mexican American Studies Program
    Chicano Library Research Center
    Carrasco, José, 1922-
    Chavez, Lela
    Coronado, Rudolfo
    Garza, Humberto
    Gascon, Salvador
    Holscher, Louis M.
    Jaques, Jess
    Jimenez, Randall, 1943-
    Laustanau, Charlie
    Mendoza, Sofia
    Michel, Pete
    Palacios, Frances
    Perez, Vicente
    Reyes, Gabriel
    Rivera, Eliodoro
    Robinson, Bea
    Vargas, Adrian
    Villa, Jose
    Do, Hien Duc, 1961-
    Imera, Nehonda
    Dominguez, Simon
    Freimark, Robert M., 1922-
    Liu, Susana
    Paul, Jeff
    Morris, Teresa
    Cobrera, Adriene Garcia
    Garcia, Ernestina
    Graham, Joe
    Valdez, Luis
    Valdez, Daniel
    Peralta-Conway, Linda