Nancy Godoy, Curator of the Chicano Research Collection at ASU, Talks on Preserving History

By admin August 14, 2014 08:25

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Nancy Liliana Godoy

Nancy Liliana Godoy, Assistant Archivist of the Chicano/a Research Collection at ASU

By: Cindy G. Castillo

Nancy Liliana Godoy, Assistant Archivist of the Chicano/a Research Collection at Arizona State University’s Archives and Special Collections, is a passionate advocate for the Latino and Native American communities in the library and archives field.

Established in 1970 during the Chicano movement in Arizona, the Chicano/a Research Collection at ASU aims to preserve Chicano and Mexican American history in Arizona and the Southwest.

“Since 1970, we’ve acquired a distinguished collection of manuscripts, photographs, books, newspapers — material that documents an individual’s life and achievements,” she said.

Among the most prominent documents in their collection is the personal records of Roberto Reveles, an advocate for worker and immigrant rights, who founded Somos America (We Are America)and co-founded Unidos en Arizona in the early 2000’s.

“Our collection is focused very heavily on labor. People don’t realize that the Mexican community was basically the backbone of Arizona when it comes to labor,” Godoy said.

One of the most used collections is the Ocampo family’s papers and photographs. The Ocampos helped establish the first public school, St. Anthony Padua Catholic Church and library in Wickenberg, Ariz. before Arizona even became a state.

With three years of experience, Godoy is responsible for collection development, archival arrangement and description, community outreach, instruction and specialized reference services.


Chicano/a Research Collection, Arizona State University Libraries Little Maria is dressed in a special costume for her community’s celebration of September 16, Mexican Independence Day. Costumes like this were common in Mexican communities in Mexico and the United States.

“This [collection] is almost like a hidden treasure, and we want to make sure that future generations are aware of it and will continue to preserve the history,” she said.

Godoy earned her Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Southwest Studies from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and a Master of Arts in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona (U of A).

“I was lucky to get my dream job straight out of grad school. I like to consider myself an advocate for the community when it comes to archives and library services,” she said.

The Chicano Research Collection has an upcoming exhibit coming this fall focused on local leaders and politicians. In a collaboration with the Labriola National American Indian Data

Center, the exhibition will highlight Senator Manuel “Lito” Peña, Roberto Reveles, Senator Alfredo Gutierrez, Congressman Ed Pastor and many others.

“I believe Mexican history is very underdocumented in the archive field, so my favorite part of the job is reaching out to the community and encouraging them to preserve their history.”

To learn more about the Chicano/a Research Collection, visit their official website, or stay up to date at the following social media sites:


* Library Guide

* Facebook:

* Twitter

* New Tumblr account.



By admin August 14, 2014 08:25

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