Utah State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives Division (SCA) is home to rich oral history collections. SCA endeavors to preserve Northern Utah history and heritage by collecting the voices of everyday men and women. Our collections range from the poignant reminiscences of those who survived Idaho’s Teton Dam disaster to the recollections of modern-day cowboys.
Our oral history efforts serve to enhance SCA’s other documentary sources, such as manuscript, folklore and photograph collections. At times, oral history may be a first effort of discovering the history of some segments of our community. One such segment is Northern Utah’s Latino population. While this community accounts for more than twelve percent of Northern Utah’s population, its history is grossly under-represented in SCA’s holdings. In 2007, as an effort to rectify this, SCA partnered with Utah’s Cache Valley Latino communities to collect and preserve the stories of 45 people. This joint effort became known as the Latino/a Voices Project (LVP).
We are going to explore briefly the dynamic and complex communal stories of many Hispanic/Latino members living in Cache Valley. As we know, each community is unique and each one has different forms, sizes, capitals, and infinite human dimensions. It has been accepted that the concept of community should always include at least three important elements: a) A place or geographic territory, b) The people living on that place or territory, and c) The personal interactions and developed relationships that helped to establish common goals, principles, and values and shared beliefs. We will review some recorded stories on the context of the three elements of place, people, and interactions for interpretation and analysis related to the community life Hispanic/Latino residents of Cache Valley, Utah.
Maria Luisa Spicer-Escalante
Specific historical, political, and economic reasons explain the presence of Hispanics in the United States. These factors must be understood to interpret the importance and impact of Hispanics in the workforce in the United States. Therefore, it is necessary to briefly review the circumstances and events that have created the social context in which the Hispanic population is now embedded.