Las Historias de Latinos en Oregón: Canby, Oregón An Oral History Project Collaboration Between A Librarian and an Archivist
In the spring of 2015, I began the oral history project Latinos en Oregón to document the stories of Oregon’s Latino/a communities. As the curator and archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA) at the Oregon State University (OSU) Special Collections and Archives Research Center, my job is to assist in preserving the histories and sharing the stories that document Oregon’s African American, Asian American, Latino/a, and Native American communities (Oregon Multicultural Archives, 2005). There are gaps in the historical record as it pertains to people of color in Oregon, and the OMA seeks to address those gaps and empower communities to share their stories. Because oral histories are the recorded life stories of the people who lived them, they are a unique addition to the historical record. Oral histories enable interviewees to share their perspectives, thoughts, and opinions about their lives and the communities in which they live. Latinos en Oregón began in Jefferson County as a collaboration between the OMA and OSU’s Juntos Program, an after-school program that aims to prepare Latino/a high school students and their families for college. The project expanded to Yamhill County in 2016 as part of a yearlong county grant project. The grant included partnerships between the local historical society and the community-based, non-profit organization, Unidos Bridging Community. It was in the spring of 2016 that I embarked on a small, short-term oral history project in collaboration with the Canby Public Library, a collaboration that began through REFORMA Oregon. In this article, I will share the background history about the Natalia Fernández Natalia is the Curator and Archivist of the Oregon Multicultural Archives (OMA) and the OSU Queer Archives (OSQA) at the Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center. Fernández’s mission for directing the OMA and the OSQA is to work in collaboration with Oregon’s African American, Asian American, Latino/a, Native American, and OSU’s LGBTQ+ communities to support them in preserving their histories and sharing their stories. Her scholarship relates to her work as an archivist, specifically best practices for working with communities of color. Fernández has been published in the Oregon Historical Quarterly, Journal of Western Archives, The by Natalia Fernández Curator and Archivist, Oregon Multicultural Archives & OSU Queer Archives, OSU Libraries: Special Collections and Archives Research Center firstname.lastname@example.org American Archivist, and Multicultural Perspectives. Fernández holds an M.A. in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona (U of A). She graduated from the U of A Knowledge River Program, a program that focuses on communitybased librarianship and partnerships with traditionally under-served communities. 13 Latinos en Oregón project, detail the collaboration between the OMA and the Canby Public Library, and provide information about the Canby oral history interviews and the stories the interviewees shared.