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Sánchez (Ricardo) papers
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Scope and Contents

  • Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Ricardo Sánchez papers
    Identifier/Call Number: M0652
    Physical Description: 55 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1941-1995
    Language of Material: English , Spanish; Castilian .

    Biographical / Historical

    Ricardo Sánchez was born March 29, 1941 in El Paso, Texas, the thirteenth child of a family originally from Northern New Mexico. His childhood neighborhood, El Barrio del Diablo, was an environment characterized by cultural pride (chicanismo) and familial warmth, as well as by violence, poverty, racism and alienation. Throughout his life and many travels Sánchez considered El Paso his spiritual home.
    Despite a lack of encouragement at school, the young Ricardo became an avid reader and writer of poetry at an early age, with the goal of being a poet. In 1959 he dropped out of high school and enlisted in the army, where he earned a G.E.D. His service in the army ended in a dishonorable discharge and a prison sentence. After his parole in 1963 Sánchez married María Teresa Silva. In 1965, shortly before the birth of their first child, Sánchez returned to prison for armed robbery. The humiliation and frustration of his desperate struggle to support his family has been the theme of much of Sánchez's writing.
    Sánchez was again paroled in 1969. This time, his "rehabilitation" was a success. Having dedicated much of his time in prison to reading and writing, Sánchez won a 1969 Frederick Douglass Fellowship for minority journalists in Richmond, Virginia, and then served as a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In 1970 he moved to Colorado with fellow poet Abelardo Delgado to work for a Colorado migrant worker organization. By 1971 he had published a volume of poetry, Obras (Works), and in 1971 he founded Mictla Publications, a Chicano publishing house. The first book to be published by Mictla was Sánchez's Canto y grito mi liberación (I Sing and Shout My Liberation). In 1972 he began work on his Ph.D. at Union Graduate School, which he finished in 1974. For a complete account of Sánchez's widely varied professional experience, see "Resumes" (1969-1994) in Series III of the collection, Personal Papers and Memorabilia.
    Throughout his academic career, Sánchez continued as a prolific poet and writer, publishing volumes of poetry as well as individual poems, fiction and articles in periodicals across the country and internationally. He also kept up a busy schedule of poetry readings and speaking engagements, and was frequently involved in conferences, exhibitions and projects of all kinds, mostly with a literary, artistic, educational or political focus. Sánchez was the author of two major syndicated columns, in the San Antonio Express-News (1985-1990) and in the El Paso Herald-Post (1988-1991), and his artistic endeavors include projects in various media, including film and television.
    Sánchez was a key figure in the Chicano, Criminal Justice, and other political movements from the 1960s to the '90s. He was involved in numerous organizations, events and publications and held various positions within organizations. Information pertaining to his political involvement can be found throughout the collection, particularly in the Correspondence and Subject series. Ricardo and Teresa Sánchez had four children, Rikárd-Sergei, Libertad-Yvonne, Pedro-Cuauhtémoc (who died in infancy) and Jacinto-Temilotzín. They remained married until Ricardo Sánchez's death in September, 1995.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item] Ricardo Sánchez Papers, M652, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Purchased from Ricardo Sánchez, 1992.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research. Materials must be paged 36 hours in advance of expected use.

    Scope and Contents

    The Ricardo Sánchez Papers include the personal and professional papers of Ricardo Sánchez and occupy 66 linear feet. The collection consists of 91 letter and legal length manuscript bozes, four half-sized manuscript boxes, four print boxes and eight flat boxes for over-sized materials, 18 video cassette storage boxes, three audio cassette boxes, four map folder, and one tube. The Papers are divided into the following series:
    SERIES 1. Manuscripts by Sánchez, SERIES 2. Correspondence, SERIES 3. Personal Papers and Memorabilia, SERIES 4. Subject Files, SERIES 5. Publications by Sánchez, SERIES 6. Manuscripts by Other Authors, SERIES 7. Publications by Other Authors, SERIES 8. Photographs, SERIES 9. Audiovisual Materials