The collection is arranged thematically into six series: 1) Publicized oral histories, 1988-1989, 2) Post-project oral histories, circa 1989, 3) Transcripts, 1988-1989, 4) Puerto Rican community papers, 1973-1991, 5) Other Latino/a communities records, 1950-1992, and 6) Photographs, 1924-1990. Interview recordings were originally made on compact cassette tapes and are housed separately from the papers.
Series 1: Publicized oral histories, 1988-1989 The materials in Publicized oral histories constitute the bulk of the collection. The thirty-six interviews are arranged using the original order created at the time of the project, with narrators generally grouped according to their heritage. Interviews one through eight, and thirty-six, are with narrators from Puerto Rico. Interviews nine through thirteen are with narrators from Panama. Interviews fourteen through sixteen are with narrators from Cuba. Interviews seventeen through nineteen are with narrators from the Dominican Republic. Interviews twenty through twenty-two are with narrators from Mexico. Interviews twenty-three through twenty-five are with narrators from El Salvador. Interviews twenty-six and twenty-seven are with narrators from Nicaragua. Interviews twenty-eight and twenty-nine are with narrators from Guatemala. Interviews thirty through thirty-three are with narrators from Ecuador. The remaining interviews contain one narrator each from Colombia and Peru.
Series 2: Post-project oral histories, circa 1989 The materials in this second series of oral histories were not transcribed, abstracted, or indexed at the time of the project and have one of the following traits: Technical issues at time of recording, not a formal interview, no authorization from narrator, or restricted by narrator agreement.
Series 3: Transcripts, 1988-1989 makes up the physical bulk of the collection. The transcripts are arranged using the system of notation created presumably by Morton Marks whereby the transcript of each interview was assigned a three-part character string: H.O.H. = the abbreviation for Hispanic Oral History; 1 = the transcript's numerical position in the series of thirty-three; and [PR] = the acronym for the interviewee's nationality, in this case Puerto Rico. The nationalities represented in the transcripts also include Panama [PAN], Cuba [CU], Dominican Republic [DR], Mexico [MX], El Salvador [ELS], Nicaragua [NICA], Guatemala [G], Ecuador [EC], Colombia [COL], and Peru [PE]. In the container list names have been added to the preexisting folder headings for quick reference, but users are encouraged to consult the Abstracts of Transcripts in Box 1, Folder 1 for a brief biographical profile of each interviewee.
Series 4: Puerto Rican Community papers, 1973-1991 Puerto Ricans are the Latino/a group most represented in this collection. For that reason relevant items are assembled in Puerto Rican Community and arranged alphabetically. The bulk of the material derives from 1986-1991 and is ephemeral in nature. There are fliers and programs commemorating Puerto Rican cultural festivals, informational brochures (some in Spanish) on receiving health care, and miscellaneous publications such as those found in "Puerto Rican Studies Materials" (Box 3, Folder 7). This is the most substantive folder in the series; it contains bibliographies, a published monograph, and three back issues of Centro, the Bulletin of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (New York, NY).
Series 5: Other Latino/a communities records, 1950-1992 contains a variety of material either connected to a particular Latino/a group or general in nature. The series is comprised of business cards, newspaper clippings, miscellaneous periodicals, sample menus from Brooklyn-based restaurants, a music cassette tape, as well as fliers, programs and booklets disseminated in connection with cultural and recreational events. The bulk date for these items is 1986-1990. All the clippings (Box 4, Folders 10-11) are photocopies and most were culled from Spanish-language newspapers in Brooklyn and beyond. The music cassette tape (Box 4, Folder 17) is entitled Marc Rizo Plays Caribbean Danzas and was produced by the Manhattan-based South American Music Project. The periodicals folder (Box 4, Folder 8) consists of the July 11, 1988, issue of Time and the April 9, 1990, issue of Newsweek both of which feature articles on the Hispanic population in America.
Series 6: Photographs, 1924-1990 includes photographic images that were commissioned as part of the Hispanic Communities Documentation Project, as well as photographs that were donated to the project by members of Brooklyn's Latino/a communities. A substantial portion of this series is made up of photographs taken by photographer Tony Velez in the late 1980s, which were commissioned as part of the project. These include images documenting events in Brooklyn's Latino/a communities, including religious festivals, parades, and other community gatherings. Also included are individual and group portraits of various community members. The rest of the series is comprised of photographs donated by various individuals, including family photos, images documenting community life and events, and community organizations. Collectively, these photographs span the years 1924 through the late-1980s.