The recently created Puerto Rican Studies Initiative at the University of Connecticut, led by Prof. Charles Venator Santiago, has joined our efforts to help organize collections at the Archivo General de Puerto Rico (AGPR).
The Institute was created when the Connecticut General Assembly awarded Professor Charles R. Venator-Santiago a grant to create the Puerto Rican Studies Initiative for Community Engagement and Public Policy (PRSI). The PRSI is a community research initiative that will help document and support the vital economic, intellectual, and cultural contributions of Puerto Ricans to Connecticut. It will also provide research-based support for the development of public policies addressing the needs of Puerto Ricans in the State. The PRSI will become the premiere institute for the study of Puerto Ricans in Connecticut in the context of the larger Puerto Rican diaspora and Puerto Rico.
Prof. Venator Santiago and the PRSI will be sponsoring a new research assistant In who will work with archivist Pedro Roig in organizing materials relating to US Colonial Governors, 1900-1950. Andres Acosta de la Cruz, a UPR graduate student in history will be doing the work of creating archival guides and helping Prof. Venator find valuable documentation for his research projects. Professor Venator's work focuses on the political and legal aspects of Puerto Rican's US Citizenship including the management of passports, credentials and other administrative and legal work done by the colonial state on behalf of Puerto Rico's US citizens. In 1902, Congress enacted the Insular Passports Amendment creating a waiver for non-citizen nationals and granting the governors of Puerto Rico and the other insular territories the power to issue passports to their local residents. Prior to this amendment, the issuance of U.S. passports was limited to U.S. citizen bearers. Soon after, Puerto Rican governors began to issue U.S. passports to Puerto Rican citizens, enabling this non-citizen nationals to travel freely. This work will identify, catalogue, and analyze the passports issued (and related documentation) to Puerto Ricans between 1902 and 1948.