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Guide to Puerto Rican Oral History Project records 1976.001

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Morgen Stevens-Garmon under the supervision of Chela Scott Weber, with revision by Brett Dion

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 22, 2017
Finding aid is written in English and Spanish using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Content

The Long Island Historical Society initiated the Puerto Rican Oral History Project in 1973. Using funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, over eighty interviews were conducted documenting the experiences of Brooklyn residents who arrived from Puerto Rico between 1917 and 1940. This collection includes recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted primarily between 1973 and 1975.


The collection contains digitized content of ninety-six interviews, printed transcripts for sixty-four interviews, printed ephemera including newspaper clippings, brochures, booklets, and administrative materials. The collection is arranged thematically into five series: 1) Oral Histories, 1973-1975, 2) Oral Histories, 1975-1983, 3) Transcripts, 1973-1975, 1983, 4) Puerto Rican Community, 1960-1983, and 5) Administrative materials, 1968-1984. Interview recordings were originally made on compact cassette tapes and are housed separately.

Series 1: Oral Histories, 1973-1975 makes up the bulk of the collection. There is audio for sixty-six interviews and a transcript only for one interview, all conducted for the original scope of the project. A complete listing of each interview with a biographical note, scope and content note, and subject headings follows. Interviews are also described in the Past Perfect archives catalog, including the audio and transcription where available. Digitized oral histories in Series 1 are in alphabetical order by narrator name.

Series 2: Oral Histories, 1975 is a series of audio recordings for twenty-five interviews and transcripts for two of those interviews, all conducted as follow-up to the original scope of the project by students of John D. Vazquez. Digitized oral histories in Series 2 are not arranged.

Series 3: Transcripts, 1973-1975, 1983 is a series of handwritten and/or printed transcripts for fifty-nine of the sixty-nine original participants and an additional six transcripts from interviews conducted outside the original scope of the project. For a complete listing about translations, participants, and dates of the interview, please see the Index file in this series. Abstracts of the interviews conducted with the original sixty-nine are also included in this series. Folders are organized according to the project number assigned to each narrator. Each folder contains all available transcripts for that interview. See separate appendix for inventory of recordings. Transcripts in Series 3 are arranged according to the original project number assigned to each narrator. Those transcripts outside the original project are in chronological and alphabetical order.

Series 4: Puerto Rican Community, 1960-1983 consists of printed ephemera related to the Puerto Rican Community. Items include brochures, booklets, and fliers for Puerto Rican Studies programs at academic and cultural institutions in the New York City area and in Puerto Rico. Newspaper clippings in this series are divided into those focusing on New York's Puerto Rican community and press on Long Island Historical Society's Puerto Rican Oral History Project. This series also includes a booklet published in English and Spanish entitled "Danger in Puerto Rico." The work is by Ramon Colón, one of the original sixty-nine interviewed for the project. Folders in Series 4 are arranged chronologically and thematically when appropriate.

Series 5: Administrative materials, 1968-1984 includes all retained materials that went into the funding and implementation of the project. Several folders in this series are devoted to information about the project's participants. Interviewer John Vazquez created critique forms for all the sixty-nine original participants. Those worksheets and any background information material collected on narrators are included here and organized according to the project number assigned to the individual. Background information on those narrators outside the original scope of the project are filed together and arranged alphabetically. These materials were most likely generated as part of course taught by Mr. Vazquez at New York City Community College. Any information worksheets filled out on individuals who were not interviewed are filed separately. Also found in this series is information on project personnel, financing, and other oral history projects. A file of project reports consists of updates from three different perspectives: project coordinator Anthony Cucchiara, interviewer John Vazquez, and student worker Julio Gonzalez. Folders in Series 5 are arranged chronologically and thematically when appropriate.