Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month



Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month



Did you know that tags in the Catalog can be used to create resource guides? Today we share textual archivist Kathleen Brown’s project for the Hispanic and Latino Organization (HALO), one of several Employee Affinity Groups at the National Archives.

Throughout the years, the National Archives has published various research guides to assist researchers in identifying and locating Latin American records within the holdings of the National Archives, including a Guide to Puerto Rican Records that is available as a PDF on our website.


Images from the National Archives at New York’s Guide to Puerto Rican Records, 2013.

The primary benefit of these guides is that they can provide much more contextual information about the records than a typical finding aid or catalog record. Due to the extensive research involved, however, these guides can take years to prepare and are updated infrequently. Additionally, government agencies are constantly creating records that will someday come to the National Archives, which means that by the time any guide is completed it is already out of date.

To create a sustainable way to identify and locate records for resource guides, HALO started an initiative to tag records in the Catalog. By adding the same tag to relevant records, NARA staff can quickly and easily identify records in the Catalog and continue to add new records overtime.


Example of tagging in the National Archives Online Catalog (circled in red) , Papers Relative to Seizure and Confiscation of Property.

Since last October, members of HALO have added the tag prg_2013 to all the records that appeared in the Guide to Puerto Rican Records in New York and then added the tag to records concerning Puerto Rico that did not make it into the guide. More recently, HALO members and other Archives staff have responded to a “call for volunteers” on our interoffice network and have begun tagging records related to Latin American countries with the tag lag_2017 and those related to prominent Hispanic Americans, Hispanic and Latino issues in the United States, and related records with the tag lax_2017. Other tags have also been added as relevant, including personal names, geographic locations, and subject matter.

Tagging these records not only allows us to identify records that promote Hispanic culture but will also allow us to group these records together and create “resource portals” that will enrich our existing web page of Hispanic Heritage resources, ensuring everyone will be able to discover them.


Example of tagging in the National Archives Online Catalog (circled in red), Union Pickets the Jewel Food Store, 8/1973

Please join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by looking through our catalog and tagging a few records!

Special thanks to Kathleen Brown, Textual Processing archivist at the National Archives in College Park, and co-chair of HALO, for her work on this project. Learn more on the Pieces of History blog.