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Photos, Oral Histories, Ephemera, and more from     

DC Public Library Special Collections     

 

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About this collection

The Latino Youth Community History Project Oral History documents the personal histories of members of the Latino community of Washington, D.C. through interviews conducted by high school students from that community from 1981 to 1982.

 

A group of Latino youth were trained in oral history techniques for interviewing, library research, and photography in order to capture the history of the community. Interviews include each individual’s experience as a Latino/Hispanic within the community as well as the broader city and the United States in general. The stories told range from that of educator and advocate Susan Gutierrez to bilingual Latino police officer Silvester Arturo.

 

The Latino Youth Community History Project was organized by the Latin American Youth Center and funded by the National Endowment of the Humanities from 1981 to 1983. The first phase of work from 1981 to 1982 consisted of interviews with the Latino community’s residents, a photo exhibit, and community education programs. The interviews that are available on Dig DC are products of this first phase. The second phase of this project was a continuation of this model, with a larger focus on examining community organizations, volunteer organizations, social clubs, and family customs. 

 

The interviews were recorded on audio cassette tapes which were digitized in the summer of 2015 by DC Public Library Special Collections. Most of the digitized interviews are available in Dig DC; however, some interviews were not published as they are are inaudible due to poor quality recordings and degradation of the original audio cassettes. Additionally, the collection includes some indexes for which the library does not have transcripts or audio recordings; these are not in Dig DC.

 

The DC Public Library holds copyright for all of the Latino Youth in Humanities interviews and transcripts.

 

Learn more about the collection in its finding aid on the DCPL Special Collections webpage.

 

Image from an invitation to the opening of the project’s “A History of the Latino Community” photograph exhibit, July 29, 1982 at the Mt. Pleasant branch of the DC Public Library.  Photographer unknown.

 

 

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