In addition to archival methods being one of my research interests and the focus of my dissertation, I am also a student in The University of North Texas’ Department of Information Science and will complete a Graduate Academic Certificate in Archival Management. As I continue to expand my understanding of archival studies, I have had the opportunity engage in hands on archival work with the following archival projects:
The Marcia Niemann Feminist Activist Collection
Marcia Niemann is the former executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and senior political organizer for the National Organization for Women (NOW) and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In 2019, Niemann donated her rare collection of feminist books, music, protest literature and buttons, and court testimonies to the Texas Woman’s University’s Multicultural Women & Gender Studies Department and Blagg-Huey Library.
This collection captures Niemann’s feminist consciousness and her long commitment to social change. From her personal library and teaching materials that discuss strategies to dismantle harmful, patriarchal ideologies and systems, to her political posters and buttons from protests she organized and attended, Niemann demonstrates the important relationship between theory and practice – learning and “doing.” As we continue our work to complete Niemann’s collection, her story and work will be instructive to anyone who is interested in feminist, social justice education and activism.
The San Antonio Mexican American Studies Pláticas Collection
This collection will trace the connection between parents who experienced racialized violence from San Antonio’s public education system (between the 1950s-1970s) and their children who, as a result of learning about these traumas, became committed to fighting for educational rights of Mexican American students. Let me offer that it is no coincidence that the children of the generation that endured violence at the hands of the education system grew to be scholar-activist who dedicated years of unpaid labor to create and implement Mexican American studies (MAS) in K-12 schools at a statewide level. While the racism and discrimination of Mexican American and Chicana/o students is well documented, no such collection exists that names and discusses the activism that came from the trauma so many of our parents experienced.
Instead of formal interviews, we will use pláticas to archive this collection. Platica methodology is grounded in Chicana feminist thought and honors all participants as co-creators of knowledge (Fieros and Dolores Delgado Bernal 111). With this methodology, the hierarchy between interviewer/interviewee dissolves and new forms of knowing and understanding emerge from platicar (talking).
This collection is forthcoming and will be apart of my doctoral dissertation project.
Fierros, Cindy O., and Dolores Delgado Bernal. “Vamos a Platicar: The Contours of Pláticas as Chicana/Latina Feminist Methodology,” Chicana Latina Studies: The Journal of Mujeres en Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, vol. 15, no. 2, 2016, pp. 98-121.