University Libraries has launched a newly endowed fund to support a growing collection of materials focused on Chicanx and Latinx communities on campus and beyond.
The Chicanx and Latinx Endowed Library Collections Fund supports the growth, management, preservation and digitization of unique primary source resources for the university’s Rare and Distinctive Collections that highlight these communities and their histories, including people of Mexican descent in the United States or who have cultural ties to Latin America. These collections include archival collections, rare books, government information and maps.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to make real, impactful changes to our collections so they are more inclusive and representative of the experiences of those who don’t often see themselves in archives or other rare materials,” said Megan Friedel, interim co-lead of Rare and Distinctive Collections, head of archives and collections section lead for University Libraries.
The endowment was made possible by a generous donation by EBSCO Information Services, a key University Libraries partner. EBSCO supports the expansion of library collections through their own archives, databases and e-book collections and through special collections that share their goal of representing the scholarship, history and vitality of diverse cultures.
Currently, the endowed fund supports materials that document the legacy of the Chicano social justice movement on the CU Boulder campus, with a focus on developing resources that support research and instruction. CU’s Los Seis de Boulder, Race and Memory Symposium recently welcomed 300 virtual participants for an engaged dialogue on the stories of Los Seis de Boulder and the Chicano social justice movement.
Moving forward, University Libraries’ goal is to expand the fund’s purpose to encompass the full range, legacy and history of Latino/a/x, Chicano/a/x and intersecting communities on campus. This means building a collection including voices and stories from Hispanic, Mexican American, Central American, South American and Indigenous communities.
“This endowment is a substantial step forward for the Rare and Distinctive Collections’ priority to document and support not only the history of CU’s Chicanx and Latinx communities, but other communities of color and underrepresented groups on campus––and especially the intersectionality between them,” said Friedel.
Operational support from the endowed fund may also support fellowships and internships for students studying the collection, digital projects such as the CU Chicanx and Latinx History collection on the CU Digital Library, and the conservation and preservation of collections in the University Libraries’ archives, including the Los Seis de Boulder sculpture permanently displayed on campus.
The fund will provide members of the CU Boulder community with access to materials from the Rare and Distinctive Collections that support instruction, scholarship, engagement and other opportunities for learning. Faculty can bring classes to Norlin Library to review materials from the collection, and students and community members can visit to learn about these rich histories. Online resources and programming will allow visitors to engage virtually from anywhere in the world as well.
“Having an endowed fund for CU’s Chicanx/Latinx content helps us as a cultural heritage institution to both collect and preserve this important content from our history, as well as provide use and access to the content for generations to come,” said Robert H. McDonald, dean of University Libraries and senior vice provost of online education. “We are grateful for this generous support from EBSCO Information Services and hope others will match their generosity in support of these collections.”
The Chicanx and Latinx Endowed Library Collection signifies the commitment of University Libraries to model diversity, equity and inclusive excellence in all aspects of its operations, including building collections and offering services and spaces. The collection is part of a larger CU Boulder initiative outlined in the campus’s Inclusion, Diversity and Excellence in Academics (IDEA) Plan.
“CU Boulder is committed to creating a more inclusive culture for each member of the campus community, and building a more diverse collection of stories through University Libraries––especially those representing communities of color, LGBTQIA+ and other traditionally underrepresented groups—is a key part of creating a more inclusive academic and research environment,” said Sonia DeLuca Fernández, CU Boulder’s senior vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion. “EBSCO’s endowed gift is helping us take a big step in that direction.”
Donations to expand the fund and its collections can be made through the CU Foundation. University Libraries is also accepting donations of artifacts that document the Chicanx and Latinx experience at CU Boulder and in Colorado. Email Rare and Distinctive Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about donating an item.
Editor’s note: University Libraries has chosen to use the terms “Chicanx” and “Latinx” to recognize the intersections of gender, language, ethnicity and culture among these communities. University Libraries also recognize intersections exist with Latino, Hispanic, Mexican American, Central American and South American communities, as well as the Indigenous communities of the Americas. We remain open to dialogue and continued learning with and from these groups. For more information and context, refer to the CU Boulder editorial style guide entry on inclusive language.