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Inventory of the Gloria Anzaldúa Altares Collection
MS 308  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Gloria Anzaldúa Altares collection
    Dates: 1942-2004
    Collection number: MS 308
    Creator: Anzaldúa, Gloria
    Collection Size: 25 boxes, 1 roll box
    Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
    Santa Cruz, California 95064
    Abstract: This collection of figurines, small clay pots, masks, rattles, candles, altar cloths, and other ephemera was used by Gloria Anzaldúa as altar (altares) objects at her home in Santa Cruz, California. These altares were an integral part of her spiritual life and creative process as a writer.
    Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the collection.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    This collection is open for viewing.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Gloria Anzaldúa Altares collection. MS 308. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Anzaldúa Family in 2005.


    "I sit here before my computer, Amiguita, my altar on top of the monitor with the Virgen de Coatlalopeuh candle and copal incense burning. My companion, a wooden serpent staff with feathers, is to my right while I ponder the ways metaphor and symbol concretize the spirit and etherealize the body. The Writing is my whole life, it is my obsession." Gloria E. Anzaldúa from Borderlands/La Frontera (Aunt Lute Books, 1999)
    Independent scholar and creative writer Gloria E. Anzaldúa was an internationally acclaimed cultural theorist. As the author of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Anzaldúa played a major role in shaping contemporary Chicano/a and lesbian/queer identities. And as editor or co-editor of three multicultural anthologies, she played an equally vital role in developing an inclusionary, multicultural feminist movement. Anzaldúa's writings have been included in over 100 anthologies to date. Her works greatly impacted a wide variety of academic disciplines, including (but not limited to) American studies, Chicano/a studies, composition studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, feminism and feminist theory, literary studies, queer theory, and women's studies. A versatile author, Anzaldúa published poetry, theoretical essays, short stories, autobiographical narratives, interviews, children's books, and multigenre edited collections. Her published works include This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981, co-edited with Cherr?e Moraga), a ground-breaking collection of essays and poems widely recognized by scholars in Women's Studies as the premiere multicultural feminist text; Borderlands/La Frontera (1987), a founding text of Chicano/a Studies and Border Studies, as well as a classic of twentieth-century American literature; Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists-of-Color (1990), a multigenre collection used in many university classrooms; two bilingual children's books "Friends from the Other Side/Amigos del otro lado and Prietita and the Ghost Woman/Prietita y la Llorona; Interviews/Entrevistas (2000), a memoir-like collection of interviews; this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation (2002, co-edited with AnaLouise Keating), a multigenre collection that examines the current status of feminist/womanist theorizing; and additional stories and essays. Anzaldúa and her works won numerous awards, including a fiction award from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award, the Lamda Lesbian Small Book Press Award, the Susan Koppelman Award, the Smithsonian Notable Book Award, and the Americas Honor Award. Borderlands/La Frontera was selected as one of the 100 Best Books of the Century both by Hungry Mind Review and by Utne Reader.
    Anzaldúa was born in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, the eldest child of Urbano and Amalia Anzaldúa. She received her B.A. from Pan American University, her M.A. from University of Texas, Austin, and her Ph.D. (awarded posthumously) from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
    AnaLouise Keating

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection of figurines, small clay pots, masks, rattles, candles, altar cloths, and other ephemera was used by Gloria Anzaldúa as altar (altares) objects at her home in Santa Cruz, California. These altares were an integral part of her spiritual life and creative process as a writer.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Anzaldúa, Gloria--Archives
    Idols and images--Worship
    Authors, American--California--Santa Cruz County
    Mexican American lesbians--Fiction
    Mexican American women--Ethnic identity
    Women and literature--United States--History--20th century

    Other Finding Aids

    Gloria Anzaldúa papers at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas.