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Bracero History Archive - Collaborative Documentation in the Internet Age

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Title

Bracero History Archive - Collaborative Documentation in the Internet Age

Project Item Type Metadata

Title

Bracero History Archive - Collaborative Documentation in the Internet Age

Description

The Bracero Program, which brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the United States, ended more than four decades ago. Current debates about immigration policy—including discussions about a new guest worker program—have put the program back in the news and made it all the more important to understand this chapter of American history. Yet while top U.S. and Mexican officials re- examine the Bracero Program as a possible model, most Americans know very little about the program, the largest United States guest worker initiative of the twentieth century. Indeed, until very recently, this important story has been inadequately documented and studied, even by scholars.
Over the past several years, however, a nationwide effort—the Bracero History Archive—has emerged to correct this paucity, working to uncover, record, preserve, and provide access to this important history. Led by Brown University’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History (NMAH), and the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University, the Bracero History Archive has already collected and digitized more than 2,700 digital objects related to the history of the Bracero Program, built strong ties with local institutions and communities around the country and in Mexico, and laid the technological and methodological groundwork for a new model of cooperative documentation. We are now seeking NEH support for a two- year project to build upon this strong foundation and to take it in new directions. This new phase of the project will focus on: deploying a standards-based system for collaborative, online archiving; cataloging and making available online the more than 400 oral history interviews, more than 600 scanned documents, and more than 1,700 digital images already collected by project partners; adding at least 1,500 new records to the collection through direct outreach and collaborative collecting among diverse local institutions and individuals; providing a guide for teachers of high school U.S. History interested in using the collections with their students; and extending the Bracero History Archive as a national model for collaborative archiving and providing public access to dispersed subject-based collections.
n short, the goals of this project are: To create a collaborative, online, standards-based clearinghouse for dispersed collections relating to the history of the Bracero Program that will include more than 4,200 items; and to develop and disseminate a new model for collaborative documentation and access to dispersed subject-based collections.

Start Date

06/01/2007

End Date

05/31/2009

Proposal Co-Authors

Roy Rosenzweig
Tom Scheinfeldt

Manager(s)

Sharon Leon

Programmers

Jim Safley

Staff Members

James Halabuk

Content Experts

Manuel Garcia y Griego
Cindy Hahamovitch
Mae Ngai
Stephen Pitti
George Sanchez
Debra Lattanzi Shutika

Affiliates

Kristine Navarro
Anais Acosta
Matt Garcia
Peter Liebhold
Steve Velasquez
Bonnie Lillienfeld
Magdalena Mieri

Deliverables

1. A standards-based and bi-lingual system (Spanish and English) for collaborative, online archiving of dispersed historical collections relating to bracero history;
2. Free, public, online access to the more than 2,700 digital images, documents, and oral histories, and transcriptions already collected by the principal project partners;
3. An expanded archive of at least 1,500 additional digital objects and associated metadata collected from local institutional and private collections relating to bracero history through a proven program of direct institutional outreach and training efforts and local community meetings. This will include five in-person Bracero Heritage Meetings with local archives, community groups, former braceros and others involved in the program in Arizona, Oregon, and Washington State as well as three Virtual Bracero Heritage Meetings conducted through video and Internet conferencing;
4. Three-tiered online access to the core administrative database to meet the needs of the Archive’s three primary constituencies: local partners; scholarly researchers; and teachers, students, and members of the general public;
5. Dissemination of our collaborative model, including free and open access to the open-archival architecture deployed by the Archive and detailed guide for other collaboratives looking to build topical, online historical archives.

Funder

National Endowment for the Humanities

Partners

Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University 
Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso

Technology Used

Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP open-source platform (Omeka)

Awards

Outstanding Public Project, National Council on Public History

Files

Collection

Citation

“Bracero History Archive - Collaborative Documentation in the Internet Age,” RRCHNM20, accessed May 25, 2019, http://20.rrchnm.org/items/show/226.

Item Relations

This Item foaf:fundedBy Item: National Endowment for the Humanities
This Item Partner Item: Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History
This Item Partner Item: Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University 
This Item Partner Item: Institute of Oral History at the University of Texas at El Paso
This Item Staff Item: Roy Rosenzweig
This Item Staff Item: Tom Scheinfeldt
This Item Staff Item: Sharon Leon
This Item Staff Item: James Halabuk
This Item Staff Item: Jim Safley