The Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at California State University, Northridge has received a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to digitize some of the approximately 22,000 images in its Farmworker Movement Collection that tell the story and document efforts to unionize farmworkers in the 1960s and early 1970s.
In addition to preserving the images digitally, the center is collecting the oral histories of some of the people in the photographs taken by John Kouns and Emmon Clarke, to create a digital database that can be accessed by educators and others who are interested in learning more about the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers (UFW), and the people who made it happen.
The NEH grant will support the creation of a digital archive — accessible through CSUN’s University Library Digital Collections website — that will include 6,600 images, as well as 20 oral histories of people featured in images and other publicly available digital resources to tell the stories of those involved in the movement.
The Tom & Ethel Bradley Center’s archives contain over one million images from Los Angeles-based freelance and independent photographers between the 1930s to the present. The core of the center’s archive is a large collection of photographs produced by African-American photojournalists. Oral histories, manuscripts and other ephemeral materials support the photographic collection.
The archives contain more than 70 oral histories from African American photographers, civil rights leaders and organizers, individuals involved with the history of Los Angeles, journalism, the group Mexicans in Exile and the United Farm Workers, as well as the personal papers of many individuals and organizations. The center’s Border Studies Collection examines the issues surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico.