Guide to Documenting Latino/Hispanic History & Culture in New York State
What to Document in Latino/Hispanic History
Latino people participate in all aspects of life and work. They interact with the societys full range of communities and groups, organizations, institutions, businesses, and governments as well as those created by or directly serving their communities. Hispanic communities have contributed to and been affected by the major historical trends, events, and issues that have shaped New Yorks history its dynamic economic life, politics, and culture. There are many topics, issues, events, organizations and individuals that could be the subject of documentation efforts. But realistically, not everything that is important can be documented. The available resources funding, trained staff, and space within archival repositories are simply inadequate and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Therefore, the central question this guide attempts to answer is: If we are to create a balanced, equitable documentary record that fully and fairly represents Latino history and experience in New York, what are the topics, events, issues, and dimensions of life that are most critical to document? This is the question that was posed to participants in six regional meetings and in numerous individual conversations and meetings during the preparation of this guide. The answers are reflected in the priorities for documentation described in this section.
This part of the guide includes three sections that can be used together to determine statewide priorities for documentation:
- Criteria: To qualify as statewide priorities, documentation topics should meet one or more of the criteria.
- Subjects & Themes: Documentation efforts should address at least one of the subjects listed below (migration and settlement, religion, etc.). Documentation projects may also want to consider the themes of language, race and ethnicity, and the roles of women as dimensions of the topics selected for documentation.
- Existing Documentation: A few aspects of Latino history and culture are reasonably well documented and therefore would not be high priority for new documentation efforts.
The lits below summarizes the criteria, subjects, and themes that can be used to identify priority topics. Descriptions and examples for each elements are in detail in the sections following.
Criteria for Statewide Significance -- Topic should meet one or more of these criteria.
- Distinctive to New York, seminal, or precedent-setting
- Significant impact in Latino communities statewide
- Significant impact in several facets of Latino life and history
- Illustrative of common experience throughout the community
- Significant over a long time
- Not already well documented
Priority Subjects/Themes -- Documentation projects should address one or more of these subjects and themes AND meet one or more of the Criteria for Statewide Significance. Links to descriptions and examples of each theme and subject are provided.
- Arts and Culture
- Family and Community Life
- Health and Community Welfare
- Migration and Settlement
- Occupation and Labor
- Organizations and Leaders
- Politics, Government and Law
- Social Reform
- Major Historical Events and Milestones