Collections and Archives

The Program in Latino History and Culture has compiled a list of collections and archives that focus on Latino history and culture to encourage scholars to utilize the Museum's Latino-related resources available to the public.

Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection

The collection documents the work of Spanish Advertising and Marketing Service (SAMS). It contains advertising campaign materials such as print advertisements, storyboards, proofs of print advertisements, point of purchase advertisements, audio recordings of radio advertisements, and video footage of television commercials. SAMS created advertising for manufacturers of tobacco, movies, cosmetics, watches, toothpaste, cleansers, food products, alcoholic beverages, among other things.

California Mission Postcards

The following group of California mission postcards includes views associated with the twenty-one missions established between 1769 and 1823 by Spanish Franciscan missionaries along the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco.

Charles Cohill Harris Collection

Correspondence, notes, articles, and photographs assembled by Harris on the history of the United Fruit Company and Tropical Radio Telegraph Company (TRT), companies from the United States that exported products from Latin America, 1904-1961.

Chico O’Farrill Papers

Score and parts for O'Farrill's "Afro-Cuban Suite", "Aztec Suite", and "Six Jazz Moods"; the title page of the score for Igo Stravinsky's "Chant du Rossignol" inscribed to Chico O'Farrill; one photograph of O'Farrill conducting Dizzy Gillespie, and a videotape, "Heart of a Legend".

Clotilde Arias Papers

The collection documents the life and career of Arias, who was chosen by the U.S. State Department to write a Spanish translation to "The Star Spangled Banner," during the years of the Good Neighbor Policy. 

Division of Community Life Dissertation Series: Lange, Yvonne, Santos: The Household Wooden Saints, Puerto Rico

The dissertation, written for the Ph.D. in Folklore and Folk life at the University of Pennsylvania, attempts to analyze the phenomenon of the "santos" by describing its major features and to explain its existence through the historical, socio-economic, and religious factors that influenced it. This work is illustrated with photographic prints, most of which were taken by the author, mounted on text pages. Some of the santos described and illustrated are from Smithsonian collections, including the Teodoro Vidal Collection.

El Chico Restaurants Collection

The collection consists of material related to the El Chico Corporation and to the two families involved in its creation and management. The business materials consist primarily of financial reports and studies, annual reports, news articles and clippings, and investment information. Advertising, menus, labels and packaging are also included among these materials. In addition, there are photographs and articles relating to the Cuellar and Caballero families.

Ellen Ochoa Innovative Lives Presentation

Dr. Ellen Ochoa was born in Los Angeles, Calif. She received her B.S. in physics and her master’s and doctorate in electrical engineering. Dr. Ochoa holds three patents in the field of optical processing and has worked as a research scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 1988. In 1990 she became the first Hispanic woman astronaut selected by NASA. In April 1993, Ochoa flew as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Discovery. The collection holds the original master and reference videos documenting children's program by Dr. Ellen Ochoa and she discusses her role as an inventor, scientist, and astronaut at NASA.

Emiliano Martinez Collection

Papers and photographs related to the immigration experience of Cuban refugee, Emiliano Martinez. The collection includes: a story from the Washington Post, March 12, 1984; a 45-minute cassette recording of an interview (in Spanish) by Richard E. Ahlborn with Martinez; a transcription in Spanish of the interview; six photographs of the hut taken by a zoo photographer; a covering memorandum from Ahlborn; a copy of Martinez's earnings from the sale of cans; and a diagram of his hut.

Escúchame: the History of Spanish Language Broadcasting in the U.S.

The museum is working to document and tell the story of Spanish-language broadcasting in the U.S. with an emphasis on television, as part of the collecting initiative, “Escúchame: the History of Spanish Language Broadcasting in the U.S.” The museum has world-class collections related to radio and television but until recently had few objects that represented the founding of the earliest Latino-owned and operated stations in the 1940s and 1950s, or the development of networks beginning with the Spanish International Network in 1961 through to the networks today known as Telemundo and Univision. As part of the collecting initiative, the museum is documenting stories from early stations in California, Texas, Miami, New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico. 

Goya Foods, Inc. Collection

The Goya Foods, Incorporated Collection documents the history of the company from the 1960s to 2000, with a few earlier documents pertaining to Unanue and Sons. Materials include photographs, calendars, sales promotional materials, cookbooks, recipe packages, point-of-purchase items, and box and can labels, scrapbooks, and clippings files. Sound recordings, televisions advertisements, and anniversary video productions are also included. The material documents sales meetings, plant activities, and workers' events, as well as the office life of the company and the philanthropic efforts and community activities of Goya Foods, Incorporated.

Hispanic Designers Collection
The Costume Collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Behring Center contains over 30,000 garments and accessories representing the changing appearance of Americans from the 17th century to the present. The collection illustrates many of the social, cultural, technological, and economic influences affecting dress made or worn in America. Designer-label clothes created by Hispanic designers are well represented in the collection.

John Frances Little Panama Canal Scrapbook

Photographs in scrapbook document the building of the Panama Canal. Subjects of the photographs include the workers, the worksite, equipment, the camp, building interiors and exteriors, and the local terrain. Locations include: Cucaracha; Culebra Cut; Cunette; Village of Tabernilla, C.Z.; Hodges Hill; Empire West and East Banks; Gold Hill; Contractor’s Hill; and Corozal.

Jose L. Hernandez-Rebollar Innovative Lives Presentation

José L. Hernández-Rebollar was born in the state of Puebla in Mexico. He is the inventor of the AcceleGlove, a prototype device which can translate the alphabet and over 300 words into American Sign Language. The collection contains original and reference audio cassettes of Dr. Rebollar's presentation, a transcript of the presentation, photocopies of his power point presentation slides, and a CD-ROM containing digital images taken at the presentation.

Jose Sueiro Collection of Washington, D.C. Spanish Language Newspapers

Issues of El Latino, a Washington, D.C.-based Spanish language newspaper, from 1982-1987.

Katherine Kingsford Panama Canal Photograph Album, circa 1904-1914

The collection consists of a disbound album of photographs relating to the Panama Canal, including a few construction scenes, vessels traveling through the Canal, urban and rural street scenes, housing, hospital scenes, historic buildings, and people.

Latino Music Collection

The collection dates from 1991 to 2006 and documents Latino entertainment including music, dance, theater, film and festivals. It is a valuable source of information about activities created for people who were interested in the Latino culture during this time.

Leonard Nadel Photographs and Scrapbooks

Photographer Leonard Nadel's supplemental material relating to and photographs of the Mexican braceros (manual laborers). They were photographed in California, Texas, and Mexico for the Ford Foundation's Fund for the Republic during the late 1950s and early 1960s in support of a report entitled Strangers in Our Fields by Dr. Ernesto Galarza.

Manny Villafaña Papers

The collection documents Manny Villafaña, inventor, entrepreneur and founder of several medical device companies since 1971. The majority of the collection pertains to St. Jude Medical, which introduced the mechanical heart valve technology that became the industry standard.

Mexican America
"Mexican America" is a sampling of objects from the collections of the National Museum of American History. The stories behind these objects reflect the history of the Mexican presence in the United States. They illustrate a fundamentally American story about the centuries-old encounter between distinct (yet sometimes overlapping) communities that have coexisted but also clashed over land, culture, and livelihood.

Mexican Border Veterans, Inc., and Auxiliary Scrapbooks

The scrapbooks contain Mexican Border Veterans annual reports; convention minutes; samples of the Mexican Border Veterans newsletter, The Bugler; photographs; brochures of the association's conventions; brief historical sketches of the founders and the association; newspaper clippings; correspondence among national, state or regional Mexican Border Veterans officials and other miscellaneous correspondence.

Mongo Santamaria

This collection documents, mostly in photographs, the musical career of Mongo Santamaria, Cuban-born musician. Other materials include music manuscripts, magazine and newspaper articles, flyers, posters, and passports.

Panama Canal Commission Photonegatives

A collection of 719 negatives on various subjects relating to the building of the Panama Canal and the U.S. presence there until the late 1930s.

Paquito D’Rivera Papers

The collection consists of three music manuscripts created by D'Rivera, including “A Song of Peace” commissioned by the New York Festival of Songs and “I Remember Diz” written by D'Rivera for Dizzy Gillespie. A photograph of D'Rivera's birthday celebration with Dizzy Gillespie in 1988 can also be found among these materials.

Puerto Rico Division of Community Education Poster Collection

Posters (primarily silkscreen) reflect important public service issues on the island. Subjects include education, health and safety, and cultural programs. They were widely displayed throughout the island and reflect key trends in the social history of Puerto Rico for forty years.

Quinceañera Documentation

Quinceañera celebration is partially religious and partially social activity celebrated by Catholic Latina women on their 15th birthdays. The collection holds liturgical materials, audiovisual aids, and hymnals intended for use in the religious observance of young Latinas’ quinceañera (15th birthday) celebrations.

Richard Fisher Panama Canal Collection

The Fisher Collection of Panama Canal materials contains materials collected by Richard Fisher, who lived in the Panama Canal Zone during its construction. Materials include books and pamphlets, stereographs, postcards, and panoramic photographs detailing the construction and history of the Panama Canal.

Robert Dearborn Panama Canal Glass Negatives

A collection of glass negatives documenting the building and construction of the Panama Canal.

Roland A. McCrady Photograph Collection

Album containing photoprints of the construction of the Panama Canal during a trip to Latin America, 1913, and photographs of other Caribbean localities where McCrady stopped while on his ship Prinz Joachim.

Subject Files 1958-1997

These records document the administrative activities of the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Office of the Director, concerning NMAH departments, divisions, exhibitions, and special events, primarily during fiscal years 1993-1994, although some records date much earlier. It has records pertaining to the Star Spangled Banner Project, Latino Conference, and National Postal Museum; NMAH exhibition planning and research information for the various Halls; correspondence of the Director; and collections information.

Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records

The collection documents the work of the Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates advertising agency of San Antonio, Texas. They created advertising for Western Union, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Mars, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, and Burger King. They were pioneering in their work developing advertising that appealed to Latino consumers. The records include marketing reports, print advertising, examples of the company newsletter, ephemera, financial reports, awards, television commercials, and about six hours of oral histories done with the three principals.

Spanish-American War Peace Jubilee

Scrapbook compiled by an unidentified person, containing materials relating to the Spanish-American War Peace Jubilee event in Washington, D.C. The items in the scrapbook consist mostly of clippings, and a disassembled program book from the parade and other events that took place during the Jubilee. The pages of the program book contain numerous advertisements for local, Washington, D.C. businesses.

Tito Puente Papers

The collection consists primarily of photographs. The locations and dates of most of the photographs are unknown. The photographs include Puente in concert and with Celia Cruz. Personal papers consist of a cancelled United States passport and a radio license issued in Venezuela in 1965. There is a calendar published by Latin Percussion, Incorporated with photographs of several jazz musicians, including Puente in 1969 and 1970.

Tomás Ybarra-Frausto Calendar Collection

Poster-sized pieces of calendar art, reproductions of paintings by artists Jesus de Helguera, Eduardo Catano, and A. Barr. Several show the signature of Helguera in the painting, and the signatures of Catano and Barr are seen in two other items. Several include the printer or publisher credit, Galas de Mexico. Subjects are beautiful young women and handsome men. Several reference Aztec legends or themes. These reproductions do not contain actual calendars; apparently the calendar portion was trimmed off each item. Originally framed. The largest item also contains advertising for cigarettes, including Raleigh and other brands, plus the "Villa Hermosa" Super Carniceria.

Victor L. Ochoa Papers

The papers document Victor Leaton Ochoa, Mexican American inventor of the Ochoaplane, ornithopter (an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings), a windmill, magnetic brakes, a wrench and a reversible motor. The papers include correspondence, photographs, patents, both United States and foreign, drawings and typescripts for a short story and a novel.

W.P. Stine Panama Canal Papers

Blueprints, letters, and a letterpress book in Spanish, relating to the Panama Canal.

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