I am just finishing a new collection I began working on this week that I am very excited about! This new collection is about social movements throughout the 20th century in the United States, which is my area of study. It is the beginning of the collection and it will expand over time. As of right now, there are materials from the Civil Rights movement from as early as 1938, the Chicano movement, the United Farm Workers, Zoot Suit riots, and the Young Lords Movement. Some of my favorite materials are paños hand drawn by prisoners. These paños have stunning details and are beautifully presented.
I was very excited to begin learning more about these documents and materials. At first, it was difficult to find an arrangement that is suitable for an expanding collection; however, after some work, we decided to arrange it based on the social movement the material belonged to. In order to help preserve some of these materials, I placed the posters and photographs in mylar sleeving. This technique will prevent people from touching the original material too often. I then arranged everything into folders, some of which I had to make myself, and labeled them. I then entered the information onto Archivists Toolkit.
My favorite aspect of working with this collection is that it presents the struggles people experienced in order to create a better society. Often times, the 1960s are represented as a time full of hippies and great music; however, much of the social change we see today stems from the efforts of people in the 1960s. It took great effort and resistance to make the difference we see in the world today. Although there is a great way to go, the people of the 1960s and before have allowed us to be able to create a better world.
See you all next week!