Urban Borderlands Records, 1969 -- 2011


Title: Urban Borderlands Records
Dates: 1969 -- 2011
Bulk Dates: 2002 -- 2011
Creator: Pacini-Hernandez, Deborah
Call Number: MS083
Size: 7.45 Cubic Feet, 64 Digital Object(s)
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/14615
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection consists of oral history tapes and transcripts, photographs, and supporting documentation for the Anthropology 183 seminar Urban Borderlands. Urban Borderlands was a joint effort between Tufts undergraduates and Latino high school students from Cambridge and documents the arrival and integration of the Latino community in contemporary US cities. Through interviews, recorded oral histories, and field research, students developed a history of the Latino community of Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts. Research topics were determined by the class and included subjects such as: the history and trajectory of the various Latino groups' arrival in Cambridge and Somerville, their settlement patterns and primary economic activities; the role of the church, sports, culture and the media; and the relationships and interactions of the various Latino groups with Cambridge and Somerville's existing ethnic communities. As a final project, students collectively prepared a booklet based on their research, which was published by the Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.


This collection is organized into series by semester.


Deborah Pacini-Hernandez is professor of Anthropology and American Studies at Tufts University. She was born in the US, her father from the US and her mother from Colombia. From the age of three to eleven she lived with her family in Columbia. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, she moved back to Colombia for five years. She received her masters and Ph.D. at Cornell University, and was a full professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville. She taught at Brown before arriving at Tufts.

Pacini-Hernandez's research interests include popular music studies, comparative Latino studies, and community studies with a regional focus on Spanish Caribbean Latinos in the US; Latin America and the Caribbean, specializing in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Cuba.

Awards Professor Pacini-Hernandez has received include a Rockefeller Foundation conference grant, an American Philosophical Society General Grant, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers. She has published extensively on Latino and Latin American as well as Caribbean popular music, on coca, resource development and indigenous people, and Latino communities in the US.

The Tufts anthropology course Urban Borderlands is based on a course Pacini-Hernandez taught previously at Brown University. That class was principally a reading course, but students also interviewed Dominicans and Colombians living in Providence, R.I. Once at Tufts, Pacini-Hernandez adapted the class because, at the time, there were no Latino communities close to the Tufts campus. Then "she learned about Concilio Hispano, the oldest multi-service agency in Cambridge and discovered that although there has been a Latino community in Cambridge since the 1950s, there were few, if any, written records about it." Out of her collaboration with Concilio Hispano developed Urban Borderlands -- as an example of "public anthropology"-- an approach to the discipline that encourages active citizenship and contributions to communities beyond the academic world.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is partially processed.

Subjects and Genre Terms
  • Dept. of Sociology/Anthropology
  • Hispanic Americans -- Massachusetts
  • Hispanic Americans -- Interviews
  • Medford/Somerville history

Series Description

  1. Spring 2002, 1969 -- 2002

    This series consists of materials from the Spring 2002 semester.

  2. Spring 2003, 2003

    This series consists of materials from the Spring 2003 semester.

  3. Fall 2003, 2003

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2003 semester.

  4. Fall 2004, 2004

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2004 semester.

  5. Fall 2006, 2006

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2006 semester.

  6. Fall 2008, 1990 -- 2008

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2008 semester.

  7. Content manifestations, 2002 -- 2008

    This series consists of materials generated in the course of making selections available online, including, but not limited to, text transcriptions, audio files, and webpages. Funding for some of these activities was provided by a library Berger Family Technology Transfer Grant in 2004-2005.

  8. Fall 2010, 2010

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2010 semester.

  9. Fall 2011, 2011

    This series consists of materials from the Fall 2011 semester.

  10. Unprocessed accessions, 2011

View Online Materials

Some of the materials from this collection are available online. Not all materials have necessarily been digitized.