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Fun (Photo) Friday!

13 Feb

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day tomorrow – Today we are sharing a beautiful piece from the Cele Peterson Collection that is currently being processed by our Tucson Archivist, Liz.



Photo Friday– Zoot Suiters from the 1940s

26 Sep

As we prepared to have a tour for a class that is learning about Zoot Suit women or Pachucas in the 1940s, we were lucky enough to find this gem of an unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s, in our vast collections of photographs.

Unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s -- Photo #64674

Unidentified Zoot Suit Woman or Pachuca from the 1940s — Photo #64674

Zoot Suiters (also known as Pachucos or Pachucas) were Mexican Americans located in various parts of the Southwest, including Tucson, Arizona in the WWII era. They dressed distinctively, and they rebelled against total assimilation in the the mainstream culture. Their Zoot Suits, (or something like it for women, although some women wore Zoot Suits) included long coats with padded shoulders or tacuches, dress pants with a wide leg and tight at the bottom, as shown in the photograph below of the unidentified Zoot Suiter. They also spoke in Pachuco slang or what they called Caló.


Unidentified Pachuco from the 1940s — Photo #64673

Zoot Suits were also popular in the African American and Italian American communities. If you want to see more photos like this, check out the Mexican Heritage Project online exhibit or come to the archives!

Website now has information in Spanish/Información en Español!

11 Sep

We are excited to announce that the Arizona Historical Society – Library and Archives is in the beginning stages of having information available in Spanish!

Archivist/librarian, Liz, is dutifully in the process of translating from English to Spanish all the library/archives forms, creating brochures, and creating bilingual Finding Aids for the Spanish-Language Collections.


Check in periodically to see the progress! —

If you have any questions – contact Liz at

Leaving the heat to go to the heat – My Conference Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada

16 Jul

One of the most exciting parts about being in the library and archives profession is the opportunities to grow and network with other librarians and archivists.

From June 24th – 27th, 2014, I attended the the 55th Annual Rare Books and Manuscripts Pre-Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada with a full scholarship. This conference was scheduled to be right before the American Library Association Conference, which hosts over 20,000 librarians in the field, and was meant to be more intimate with a little over 300 participants.


My badge for the Rare Books and Manuscript Pre-Conference along with my program.

As a  part of the conference I was able to participate in workshops on outreach, crowdsourcing, technology, cataloging, and the future of the archival profession and their institutions. The conference also had opportunities to meet and greet other members of the profession and to reflect, network, and converse about their institutions. It’s an interesting experience to hear what other members of the field are doing.


Brian Schottlander presenting in the plenary titled, “Books as Archives”

Overall, my experience at the 55th Annual Rare Books and Manuscripts Pre-Conference — Retrofit: Exploring Space, Places, and the Artifact in Special Collections was something I’ll never forget. I was able to network with various archivists, and discuss future collaborations with other places in the country. It was great to get to know what other archival institutions do, and bring the tools I learned back to the Arizona Historical Society. I feel like this is the first step for me to get involved in a national level with different librarians and archivists, and if it is possible, I will definitely love to go again next year.

Outreach Efforts at the Library/Archives – Latino Literacy Roundtable

7 Mar

As stated in an earlier post, The Latino Literacy Roundtable will be hosted at the Arizona Historical Society – Tucson Division on March 14, 2014 from 9am – 3pm. Here at the Library/Archives division of Tucson, we are excited to announce that we are going to have a table at this event dedicated to show the community our future plans for a traveling exhibit of the Mexican Heritage Project.


Women of the Figueroa Family with Instruments, Circa 1900s (#62695)

The Mexican Heritage Project has done such an amazing job in cementing the rich history of Arizona and the Mexican and Mexican American community with vibrant photographs, journals, oral histories, and business records. This effort of the traveling exhibit is the beginning of a long-term project in where we will displaying the Photographs to different sectors of the community. For example, we want to share the exhibit with community centers and public libraries and we will also be encouraging the Mexican and Mexican American Community to donate materials, and their stories via oral histories.