For three years (2021-2024), the Center for Latin American Studies will be collaborating with sister institutions in Puerto Rico to help them preserve and make accessible digitally important archival collections and periodical publications, in coordination with the research needs of a working group of faculty and graduate students who study Puerto Rico History.
The Collaboration, developed and directed by Prof. Lauria Santiago, began in September 2021 and involves the Coleccion Puertorriquena of the University of Puerto Rico Library, its Digital Collections held at the Coleccion Digital Puertorriqueña and the General Archive and National Library of the public Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña.
The collaboration is actively recruiting partners (professors who do research on Puerto Rico and the institutions that support their work) who can leverage research assistance resources for this project and their own archival goals.
If you would like to receive updates by email on the progress of these multiple projects including the Archival work, please join our email list.
Sofia and Monica continue to work inventorying and creating guides. They have moved into new materials from the Comision de Servicio Publico. In the Meantime, Pedro Roig has completed assembling the first guide of the Departamento del Trabajo collections, produced by our student workers this summer.
Depto del Trabajo
We have also published the first blog by a participant! Amanda Rivera (American Studies-Yale) wrote about the ties between the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Corporation and her home state, Connecticut.
Bridging Boricuas in the Constitution State: PRIDCO and Bridgeport, Connecticut Businesses in Puerto Rico, 1954-1992
AGPR Director Hilda Ayala and CLAS Director Aldo Lauria Santiago submitted a proposal that would fund the digitalization of various important small and midsized document collections at the AGPR.
In the Reading Room Archivist Juan Roman continues to organize more items from PRIDCO's internal library. Monica continues to develop the listing for these items.
We said goodbye to the third Yale graduate Student Amanda Rivera, who completed her five weeks with the project at the AGPR. The three Yale grad students made a tremendous contribution to getting this project off the ground as they contributed, with the support of the fellowships provided by Yale Professors Ana Ramos Zayas and Anne Eller, three days per week of labor. We look foraward to working with them in the future. Rutgers graduate Student Rosa Cordero also ended her summer work with the project. They all advanced their own research agendas as well. Please stand by for their historical blogs later in the Fall.
In the meantime, we recruited a new participant. University of Connecticut Professor Charles Venator Santiago will be supporting the work of our project. Venator-Santiago is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and El Instituto, Institute for Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies. Prof. Venator Santiago leads the Connecticut Puerto Rican Studies Initiative for Community Engagement and Public Policy (PRSI), a community research initiative that will help document and support Puerto Ricans’ vital economic, intellectual, and cultural contributions to Connecticut and provide research-based support for the development of public policies addressing the needs of Puerto Ricans in the State. He is also the author of multiple articles and books on the US citizenship of Puerto Ricans and the organizer of the Citizenship Archives Project.
Starting in September he will provide support for a new assistant who will focus on inventorying collections produced by the US Governors in the early 20th Century, and assist in finding documents relating to negotiations around citizenship, legal rights and territorial status between 1898 and the 1940s.
In the past few weeks students have completed inventorying Department of Labor and Fomento collections and have moved to new collections from the Departamento de Agricultura y Comercio and other entities.
AGPR staff have also brought out new additions from the Fomento Industrial Library. Monica is still developing the list of the Fomento and the older Asociacion Azucarera collection (which also keeps expanding). Archivist Juan Roman is still bringing materials (multiple pallets) from the Fomento offices...
New Fomento Library Items
Meanwhile...at the Coleccion Puertorriquena...Jean and Paola have continued to scan periodicals, pamphlets, reports and other items that now form part of two digital repositories that collaborate in the project. Notable is the completion of La Junta (Administracion de Programas Sociales del Departamento de Agricultura y Comercio) and beginning work on the Boletin Informativo del Senado de Puerto Rico.
Paola and Jean at the Coleccion Puertorriquena (Bilbioteca Lazaro, UPR) will be working on these titles in the next week, organized by librarian Javier Almeyda.
Meanwhile at the AGPR, Archivist Pedro Roig has Amanda, Monica and Sofia work with the small PRIDCO/Fomento--Dominican Republic Collection:
During the last few weeks our Student Assistants have been very busy at work. Jean continues to scan materials at the Coleccion Puertorriquena of the UPR library. Paola will soon join him and will extend the work to microfilming and microfilm digitization of important periodicals and pamphlets.
Paola will also do a full inventory of the internal library materials of Fomento Industrial now available in the Reading Room of the AGPR.
More titles from that Collection (see earlier update below for additional titles)
At the Archivo General students completed the reorganization and indexing of one major "Fomento Economico/Fomento Industrial" collection. The guide will soon be posted to the AGPR's website and here. Also, students are nearly done preparing an initial inventory of various sections of Department of Labor materials. Preliminary lists will be posted here, check back and sign up for the email updates (our email list). Prof. Lauria Santiago is working on an full listing of uncatalogued sections and collections for the entire AGPR, but that effort will take a bit longer. As usual Archivist Pedro Roig has been critical to this work.
Prof. Zaire Dinzey Flores of Rutgers University will be collaborating with the Collaboration by placing a Research Assistant (Sofia) to do additional work creating an inventory a large "Junta de Planificacion" collection starting in August.
Prof. Lauria Santiago (Rutgers) and Prof. Ana Ramos Zayas (Yale) meet with the program's Research Assistants.
The first products of the scanning work of our Project and the Coleccion Puertorriquena of the UPR are ready! Student RA Jean has scanned multiple publications including La Junta (1946-1954), DIVEDCO pamphlets, El Significado Historico de Lares (1970), and other titles. These periodicals and public documents will be posted in the Biblioteca Virtual de Puerto Rico as well as our own Archival Collaboration Digital Library. Check back regularly for new titles. And if your institution can contribute resources to this work, please let us know.
As part of the work of the Collaboration with the AGPR/BNPR, archivist Juan Roman explained his recovery work and very recent display of the materials recovered form the internal library of Fomento Economico de Puerto Rico. Soon to be on the shelves of the main Reading Room of the AGPR, the collection includes hundreds of internal and limited circulation reports on Puerto Rico's agriculture, electrical grid,local eco-systems, factory construction, hotel construction, urban planning, sugar industry, and so forth. Archivist Pedro Roig alerted us about this important collection.
This is truly an extraordinary collection. The material is already available to researchers.
The Rutgers/Yale students will likely produce a list of these publications and perhaps have time to scan some of them for the Digital Publications part of the project.
If your institution is able to participate in this Collaboration please contact Prof. Lauria Santiago. There are plenty of small and midsized organizing and scanning projects that we have on the horizon and are feasible within one or two semesters of paid research assistant interns, usually local students.
Interim Director Dra. Nancy Abreu Báez of the Biblioteca Lazaro of the University of Puerto Rico and Prof. Lauria Santiago signed a formal agreement to receive the Research Assistant Interns sponsored by the CLAS and directed by Lauria Santiago as volunteer workers to help organize, digitize and publish important periodicals and government publications. Librarian Javier Almeyda is managing the student workers sponrosed UPR studetns Jean and Jeremy
This past week UPR graduate student Jean Gabriel joined librarian Javier Almeyda in planning scanning work for this summer. Jean is sponsored as an intern research assistant by the Rutgers Archival Collaboration. Jean will assist in scanning and publishing rare periodical publications and unpublished items of high value to researchers held by the Coleccion Puertorriquena which will be made available on an ongoing (and rapid) basis in the Biblioteca Digital organized by Almeyda. Prof. Lauria Santiago and Javier Almeyda hope to expand the already steady stream of postings in PDF format that Almeyda already achieved (and won a recent recognition for).
Next week Jeremy Santiago, also a UPR student, will join the work in processing new and old microfilms into scanned format and produce PDFs out of the many rare periodicals held in the CPR. For more updates on this work join our email list and subscribe to the the Biblioteca Digital on the ISSUU platform.
The AGPR has placed most of its finding aids on its webpage. There are different sections to the AGPR but the main guide page has descriptions of the organized collections and links to downloadable PDF guides or catalogs. Guides do not have the same structure but they represent millions of documents in organized collections. The AGPR has various "unidades especializadas" including large and very well organized audiovisual sections. There are, however, very large collections of documents that are not inventoried or catalogued yet. The AGPR is also developing an online digital presence with many important digitized collections, mostly dedicated to specialized collections including police surveillance, DIVEDCO, and curated exhibits with essays.
Yale Ph.D. Students Gabriel Rivera Cotto and Ana G. Calderon joined the team of interns working in the Archivo General de Puerto Rico collections. Supported by the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration and professors Ramos Zayas, Anne Eller and Steven Pitti, the students will also be researching their own projects at the AGPR, BNPR and other repositories. Amanda Rivera will join the group in July. The team is working on organizing a collection created by Fomento Economico between the 1950s and 1990s. The factory-based files will be available for public use eventually, after the group produces a folder-level listing of the collection. The team continues to work under the skilled direction of archivist Pedro Roig.
Yale Joins June
Soon the team will move to working on the Departamento del Trabajo collection, a far larger and more challenging collection. They will also move to other collections as assigned by Director Hilda Ayala.
The Rutgers-AGPR/BNPR collaboration began on National Archive Day, 9 June. Prof. Lauria Santiago and three students began their work as research assistant interns at the Archivo General de Puerto Rico, hosted by Director Hilda Ayala and master archivist Pedro Roig. Sofia Feliciano Centeno, a graduate student at the Universitat de Barcelona and a 2018 Graduate of the University of Puerto Rico will participate this summer as an assistant sponsored by Yale's Center for the Study of Race Indigeneity and Transnational Migration and will later continue with the work for Professor Lauria Santiago. Rosa Cordero, also a recent University of Puerto Rico graduate and a Ph.D. student in the Rutgers History Department, will be working in the summer as a Research Assistant to help organize Department of Labor and Fomento collections. Monica de Jesus Toro will continue her past work at the AGPR for the summer months helping organize various collections. Monica is a 2018 graduate of the University of Puerto Rico and will continue to graduate studies in the Fall. Soon three graduate students from Yale sponsored by the SRITM will join us to provide assistance with the research, organizing and digitizing work and to pursue their own research projects on Puerto Rico.
June Rutgers/AGPR-BNPR Collaboration Begins
Starting in June 2022 Rutgers and partners from Yale and U Conn will be sending research assistant/paid volunteers to work at the Archivo General de Puerto Rico and the Coleccion Puertorriquena of the University of Puerto Rico library. Three Yale graduate students and one Rutgers graduate student will join five local students in carrying out organizing, cataloguing, online publishing and digitalization work in both institutions. Some of them during the summer while others will continue into the Fall. Check back for profiles of the students and at the end of the summer their documented blogs on the materials they worked with.
The Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration, directed by Professor Stephen Pitti, has decided to partner with the CLAS in supporting the work of organizing, facilitating and publishing the materials held by the Archivo General de Puerto Rico. The CSRITM will fund at least three of their graduate students for a month in the summer when they will dedicate half their time to the work of the Archivo, directed by Hilda Ayala. They will also fund at least one local student in contributing to this work. Yale professors Ana Ramos Zayas and Anne Eller (both former faculty at Rutgers) were critical in helping establish and fund this collaboration.
These collections are valuable resources for researchers, including faculty based at Rutgers.
Rutgers will provide student workers and technical assistance to these institutions as they organize, microfilm and digitize important collections. Puerto Rico's extended economic crisis, which began in 2005 and has not abated, has resulted in the loss of resources for these critical cultural institutions.
In the next months this project will highlight:
- Emerging research projects that utilize materials from these institutions
- The addition of new archives and components to this collaboration
- On-site visits by Rutgers faculty and graduate students.
- Local and Rutgers supported staff working in microfilming, indexing and scanning
Also, the CLAS has made a call to other Centers, faculty and institutions to participate in this process.
University of Puerto Rico, Lazaro Library and Colecccion Puertorriqueña
Rutgers has always had a strong relationship with Puerto Rico. We created one of the first Puerto Rican Studies programs in the US. Rutgers welcomed refugee students from the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria. We organized and hosted the largest Puerto Rican Studies Association conference in 2018, in the wake of the destruction caused by the hurricane. About a dozen of our current faculty and many graduate students carry out research in Puerto Rico, some of them in collaboration with the CUNY Center for Puerto Rican Studies. This project will help us strengthen our relationship with Puerto Rico, a colonial territory of the US in the Caribbean.
Archivo General de Puerto Rico