The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $200,000 grant to the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center to help the center arrange, describe and digitize seven archival collections of newspapers, magazines, personal papers, correspondence and photographs, among other materials, that pertain to the Mexican American experience in Los Angeles in the 1960s-70s.

The three-year project, “Providing Access to Mexican American Social History in Los Angeles,1960s and 1970s,” is being done under the direction of Chon Noriega, director of the center and a professor of film and television at UCLA. The seven collections total approximately 506 linear feet of materials and nearly 25,000 photographic negatives.  

The grant was the largest the NEH made to 11 Southern California institutions. A total of $22.8 million in grants is being awarded to 232 humanities projects in this second round of NEH grant awards this fiscal year.

Among the grant winners in Southern California is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is putting together “The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka,” a touring exhibit that will highlight artwork that spans 2,000 years. UCLA art history professor Robert Brown, who holds a joint appointment as curator of South and Southeast Asian art at LACMA, will prepare the exhibit for 2019 with the help of a $40,000 NEH grant.

The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center is finishing up work on a related project that focuses on five collections focused on L.A.-based Mexican-American public figures who were active during the decades following World War ll. The new proposal will focus on leaders who were active since the 1960s.

“While this period is one that has received increasing critical attention, Mexican American participation continues to be underrepresented in archival collections, the public record and historical research,” according to the grant application.

Noriega, who appeared in the CNN series “The Sixties,” has been recognized for addressing the urgent need to increase access to documents, photographs and audiovisual records.