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Watsonville is in the Heart: A Community Archive and Research Initiative



The Watsonville is in the Heart digital archive preserves and uplifts the stories of the “manong” generation (Ilokano/Tagalog for "older brother"), the first wave of Filipino migrant farmworkers to arrive in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Focused on the pioneering families of Watsonville and the greater Pajaro Valley, the archive enshrines the manong, the women who married the manong, and their descendents’ memories of migration, labor, leisure, and community formation. The digital archive includes oral histories, family photographs, family heirlooms, letters and correspondences, and newspaper clippings. 

The archiving project emerged from the collaboration between Filipino community members and the students and faculty from the Watsonville is in the Heart Research Initiative based in The Humanities Institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Led by UCSC graduate and undergraduate students, the digital archive team would like to thank the participating families for their leadership and trust, which made this project possible. Their stories are the heart of this project and the larger Watsonville is in the Heart research initiative.

The digital archive has been made possible with support from UCSC’s The Humanities Institute, Institute for Social Transformation, McHenry Library Special Collections, and California Humanities. The digital archive team received essential guidance from Head of Special Collections and Archives, Teresa Mora; Center for Archival Training and Research (CART) archivist, Alix Norton; Outreach and Exhibits Librarian, Jessica Pigza; Digital Scholarship Commons librarians, Daniel Story and Kristy Golubiewski-Davis; and Humanities Division computing team staff, Xiao Li, Jessica Pan, and Daniel Chang. 

More about the Project: