The Documented BorderAn Open Access Digital Archive

Special Collections Online Exhibits

Introduction

The Documented Border: An Open Access Digital Archive is an interdisciplinary effort whose goal is to advance understanding and awareness about the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and its peoples during a period of unprecedented societal change. The innovative archive focuses on untold and silenced stories and events about this transnational region. The Documented Border Archive draws from the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections Borderlands Collections, but also acquires and makes accessible oral histories and materials that broadens our understanding of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The project was generously funded by one of five Faculty Collaboration and Innovation Grants awarded by the University of Arizona’s Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry as well as additional funding by the University of Arizona Libraries.

Currently the archive includes three collections, the Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly Oral History Collection (MS 533), the Lawrence Gipe Operation Streamline Sketches (MS 524), and the recently added, the Dr. Laura Lee Cummings Pachuco/Caló Oral History Project Collection.

The Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly Oral History Collection divides into four parts: interviews with journalists from the U.S., journalist from Mexico, human rights activists, and academics. It includes oral histories of journalists from both sides of the border who cover northern Mexico, and human rights activists and academics who are working to improve freedom of expression in Mexico. Professors from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine Relly conducted the oral histories. The oral histories help illuminate the complex and sometimes threatening environment in which journalists must work, as they negotiate between political and economic forces, and the need to inform the public.

The Lawrence Gipe Operation Streamline Sketches features illustrations of U.S. immigration policies through the documentation of “Operation Streamline.” Lawrence Gipe, University of Arizona School of Art professor, produced illustrations of court proceedings, where photography or videotaping are not allowed. Gipe’s drawings provide a unique record of the journey of undocumented migrants through this program.

The Dr. Laura Lee Cummings Pachuco/Caló Oral History Project Collection features oral history interviews conducted by Dr. Laura Lee Cummings in the 1980s-1990s about pachuco culture and language forms in, Nogales, Tucson, Chihuahua, Mexico and the greater Southwest region.