- Borrow & Request
- Meet & Study Here
- Tech & Print
The use and development of oral history programs has become a popular way for archives to document events and communities, either as a supplement to traditional records or as discrete collections. In particular, projects that focus on involving groups traditionally underrepresented within the archival record are becoming increasingly common in both large institutions and small community archives. This article presents three case studies of oral history projects dedicated to forging ties in the community and increasing diversity in their collections. In these case studies, the authors discuss the inceptions of their projects and the ups and downs of developing community oral history programs, including building trust, engaging community members, participation of volunteers and students, consideration of alternative models such as story circles, establishment of processes and procedures that can be replicated and sustained, lessons learned and future steps. The authors also reflect on the impact of unexpected roadblocks, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic. By understanding the ways these elements shape oral history programs, archivists can find new ways to frame those programs around the communities in question, creating more inclusive collections and better serving both institution and community.
Citation: McDonald, B; Lanctot, H; and Fernández, N. (2021). Little Big Stories: Case Studies in Diversifying the Archival Record through Community Oral Histories. Journal of Western Archives, 12(1), Article 4. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol12/iss1/4
An Archivist and a History-Focused Nonprofit: My role as a board member for the Oregon Black Pioneers, a chapter in the book Libraries and Nonprofits: Collaboration for the Public Good
In this case study, the author describes and reflects upon her role as archivist serving on the board of directors for the history-focused nonprofit, the Oregon Black Pioneers (OBP). The author shares information about the OBP, how the relationship between her and the organization began, the purpose as well as goals of her role as a board member, and her work with and contributions to the organization. She concludes the case study with her reflections regarding her service to the OBP as well as a set of recommendations for serving on the board of a history-focused nonprofit organization.
The book Libraries and Nonprofits: Collaboration for the Public Good explores collaborations between libraries and nonprofits to provide impactful services and programming to communities. The case studies illuminate the strategies libraries use to create short and long term partnerships with nonprofits, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society organizations delivering unique services and opportunities for users, as well as the challenges of designing and coordinating these endeavors. Also addressed are the motivations, structures, and successes of nonprofit organizations that use library models for service delivery in the United States and abroad. The authors highlight best practices for successful library and nonprofit collaboration geared towards libraries that have begun to participate in community engagement, outreach, and advocacy as well as public and social sector organizations interested in developing innovative service delivery models.
Citation: Fernández, N. (2020). An Archivist and a History-Focused Nonprofit: My role as a board member for the Oregon Black Pioneers in Libraries and Nonprofits Collaboration for the Public Good edited by Tatiana Bryant and Jonathan O. Cain. Litwin Books and Library Juice Press.
The work of social justice, equity, and inclusion is not a short-term investment by a limited number of people; instead, it should be a part of every library’s and librarian’s work. At the Oregon State University Libraries (OSUL), we felt that in order to create a program dedicated to employing MLIS students of color, it was essential to understand the systems and histories of oppression, as well as the culture of Whiteness, within our state, our university, our library, and ourselves. While the bulk of this article is dedicated to an in-depth explanation of the development and implementation of our Diversity Scholars Program (DSP) to support MLIS students of color, we first share information about our local context, specifically the ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion work within our library, as well as the professional literature that addresses these issues. The purpose of our case study is to provide a roadmap of our program, with lessons learned, for other academic libraries to consider creating a program like ours at their institution. We cover why and how the OSUL created the DSP, how the program functions, as well as current assessment practices used by the DSP Committee to surface the already visible impacts of the program while we work towards the long-term goals of culture and systems change. Within the article we have integrated the perspectives of the Diversity Scholars and the OSUL University Librarian to create a more robust and thorough accounting of the work required to create and launch such a program.
Citation: Fernández, N & Filar Williams, B (2020). Creating a Library Wide Culture and Environment to Support MLIS Students of Color: The Diversity Scholars Program at Oregon State University Libraries. In the Library with the Lead Pipe.
This article, co-authored by Anne Bahde, Tiah Edmunson-Morton, and Natalia Fernández, is published in Alexandria: The Journal of National and International Library and Information Issues. The three curators discuss how their exhibit curation work fulfills the ideals of a land-grant university - public education, scientific research and direct engagement with the citizens of the state - through three case studies on exhibit collaborations. By examining lessons learned from their collaborations with students and faculty, campus organizations and community groups, the authors offer suggestions for navigating exhibit partnerships and planning for future collaborations.The third case study in the article “Case study 3: Partnership with community organizations” features the OMA’s collaboration with two performing arts organizations, Milagro Theatre and the Obo Addy Legacy Project, to curate the 2014 exhibit “Applause!”
Citation: Bahde, A., Edmunson-Morton, T., & Fernández, N. (2019). Partners in showcasing history: Activating the land-grant engagement mission through collaborative exhibits. Alexandria, 29(1–2), 77–95. https://doi.org/10.1177/0955749019876372
In honor of the bilingualism featured in many of Milagro’s plays, the OE entry is available in both English and Spanish (the first entry of its kind in the OE). The entry includes a brief history of the organization, along with information about its current endeavors.
Citation: Fernández, N. (2019). Milagro Theater. Oregon Encyclopedia. https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/milagro-theater/#.X_NAPud7mHt
In recent years, more and more communities, including colleges and universities, across the United States are challenging the existence of memorials associated with the Confederacy and white supremacy. Archivists and special collections librarians are often called upon to provide historical context, and have the opportunity to engage their communities in productive and transformative discourses. As a case study, readers will learn about the Building and Places Names Evaluation process at Oregon State University; the process which included developing evaluation criteria, providing historical research assistance to scholars, designing a community engagement plan, and implementing a renaming process. Readers will be able to adapt the information learned to achieve successful evaluation processes within their own communities.
Citation: Fernández, N. (2019). When Building Namesakes Have Ties to White Supremacy: A Case Study of Oregon State University’s Building Names Evaluation Process. Journal of Western Archives, 10(1), Article 5. https://doi.org/10.26077/b38e-e3dd Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol10/iss1/5
In 2015 the OMA began the oral history project Latinos en Oregón to document the stories of Oregon’s Latino/a communities. This article details the project’s beginnings and partners, as well as the geographic regions reached so far. The bulk of the article focuses on the OMA collaboration with the Canby Public Library on a spring 2016 mini-oral history project as part of Latinos en Oregón. The article explains how the relationship began thanks to the opportunity for the OMA to give a presentation at a REFORMA OR meeting earlier that year. It details of the Canby Public Library partnership with the OMA and its results. In addition, the article highlights how beneficial it is to have the REFORMA OR network and such a great group of active members. The article concludes with future project plans along with a call for other libraries to join in on the opportunity for collaborative story gathering through the Latinos en Oregón project.
Citation: Fernandez, N. M. (2017). Las Historias de Latinos en Oregón: Canby, Oregón An Oral History Project Collaboration Between A Librarian and an Archivist. OLA Quarterly, 22(4), 12-16. https://doi.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1876
This article details the creation and development of the Oregon State University Queer Archives (OSQA) as the product of collaboration between an archivist and professor. The authors provide an overview of the history of OSQA, including theoretical foundations of queer archival methods; discuss community-based initiatives that have helped to build the archive; and share lessons learned through their collaboration. They conclude by offering recommendations for others who are considering collaborations between archivists and professors on Queer Archives initiatives as well as other community-based archives in higher education settings.
Citation: Fernández, N. & Boovy, B. (2016). Co-Founding a Queer Archives: a collaboration between an archivist and a professor. Archival Practice, 3. http://libjournal.uncg.edu/ap/article/view/1365
When multicultural educators and archivists collaborate to design projects that engage students with multicultural history through archival research, students can learn in-depth research skills with primary source documents, creatively share their knowledge, and, on a broader level, engage with their local community history. The projects shared in this article serve as examples of how partnerships between multicultural educators and archivists can occur, the types of projects that can be developed and how they are implemented, and students' responses to their work. The three student projects, including a display, a history guidebook, and an oral history project, are intended to offer a variety of ideas to inspire multicultural educators to reach out to their local archivists to develop archival research projects of their own. And, to promote effective and fruitful partnerships, also included are lessons learned as well as tips for successful collaborations between multicultural educators and archivists.
Citation: (2016). Collaborations Between Multicultural Educators and Archivists: Engaging Students with Multicultural History Through Archival Research Projects. Multicultural Perspectives, 18(3), 153-158.
With an Oregon State University 2015 Individual Learning Innovation Grant, the OMA worked with several students to create two iBooks featuring the Obo Addy Legacy Project and Milagro archival collections. The Milagro theatre and Obo Addy Legacy Project are two Portland based performing arts groups – a Latino based theatre and Ghanaian music and dance group. The article discusses the iBooks projects, lessons learned, and future plans. It also covers the overall process of building relationships with both groups, making the archival collections accessible, and curating a physical exhibit.
Citation: Fernández, N. (2015). Archives and the Arts: Showcasing the Histories of Communities of Color. Performing Arts Resources, 31, State of the Profession: Performing Arts Librarianship in the 21st Century.
Collaborations between tribal and nontribal organizations bring diverse communities together, often for the first time, to educate and learn, to address misinterpretations of the past, and to share cultural resources and knowledge. By examining data obtained through a nationally distributed survey, this research explores how successful partnerships between tribal and non-tribal institutions are initiated, developed, and maintained; examines the degree to which the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials were used in the development of policies, procedures, and memorandums of understanding; and reveals the “lessons learned” across a wide range of collaborative projects and partnerships. This overview of collaborative models is intended to offer best practices for both tribal and nontribal organizations interested in sharing useful skills, knowledge, and resources through partnerships.
Citation: Joffrion, E. & Fernández, N (2015). Collaborations between Tribal and Nontribal Organizations: Suggested Best Practices for Sharing Expertise, Cultural Resources, and Knowledge. The American Archivist, 78(1), 192–237. https://doi.org/10.17723/0360-9081.78.1.192
In 2012 Oregon State University hosted the Oregon Tribal Archives Institute (OTAI), a week long archival education training opportunity specifically designed for Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes. This article describes the OTAI project development, organization, and implementation. The authors offer various lessons learned that can be applied by others who wish to offer a similar archival education institute.
Citation: Fernández, N. & Lewis, D. (2015). Developing and Organizing an Archival Education Training Opportunity for Oregon’s Tribal Communities: The Oregon Tribal Archives Institute. Journal of Western Archives, 6(1), Article 5. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol6/iss1/5
This article describes a library project with Oregon State University's Cultural Resource Centers' library collections.
Citation: Fernández, N., & Nichols, J. (2014). Booxter and LibraryThing Making cultural resource centers library collections visible and accessible. College & Research Libraries News, 75(6), 318-335.
This article is a case study of a collaboration between the OMA, Portland State University Library's Special Collections, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), and the Northwest News Network to preserve and make accessible a recovered box of Oregon Chinese disinterment documents. By examining what influenced and engaged each partner, this case study offers an opportunity to better understand the motivations of diverse stakeholders in a “postcustodial era” project that challenges traditional practices of custody, control, and access.
Citation: Fernández, N. & Paschild, C. (2013). Beyond a Box of Documents: The Collaborative Partnership Behind the Oregon Chinese Disinterment Documents Collection. Journal of Western Archives, 4(1), Article 5. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol4/iss1/5
In honor of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Oregon, the Oregon Historical Quarterly published a special issue regarding Women and Citizenship in Oregon in Fall 2012. The OMA is included in this issue with an article which discusses the herstories and collections of Annabelle Jaramillo, Jean Moule, and the women of the Urban League of Portland.
Citation: Fernández, N. & Edmunson-Morton, T. (2012). Women of the Oregon Multicultural Archives. Oregon Historical Quarterly, 113(3), Special Issue "Women and Citizenship"
In Fall 2012, the Oregon Library Association Quarterly published an issue highlighting a number of Oregon's cultural history and the archives that preserve that history and make it accessible; the OMA article briefly covers the history of the Bracero Program and highlights the Braceros in Oregon Photograph Collection.
Citation: Landis, L. A., & Fernández, N. (2012). Documenting Oregon’s Latino Heritage: The Braceros in Oregon Photograph Collection. OLA Quarterly, 18(3), 21-27. https://doi.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1366
Presentations and other publications in ScholarsArchive@OSU by Natalia Fernández.