We Also Built Stockton: Experiences of Immigrant Women in Stockton, California

My project will be a digital collection with teaching tools for my US Women’s History class. I am inspired by the Bracero History Archive, which collects and makes available oral histories and artifacts about the Bracero program.

In the early 1980s, Sally Miller, Professor of History at University of the Pacific, and her students interviewed sixty immigrant women from at least twenty-five different nationality groups in Stockton.  A few of these interviews were transcribed and appeared in the Pacific Historian, but most were inaccessible until a few years ago when students and archivists at the University of the Pacific Library transcribed and digitized the interviews.

“The Pacific Historian, Volume 26, Number 2 (1982)” (1982). The Pacific Historian. 102.

For my project, I will collect the interviews and their transcriptions in an Omeka Classic collection and create teaching resources to accompany them. 

A set of teaching resources can be used in college-level classes.

1. Oral History Resources: One resource will focus on how to use oral history in historical research. Students will be encouraged to think about how oral history is produced and how the interviews can be contextualized and corroborated. One resource will be tools for creating new interviews, with the objective being students’ understanding of the production of sources.

2. Research Guides: Teaching and research questions will help students think about 1) immigration as an experience shaped by gender; 2) the unique characteristics of immigration (including laws and policies) in the second half of the 20th century; 3) and the significance of Stockton as a mid-sized California city in the middle of California’s agricultural economy.

The audience is both history students in my US Women’s History class who will use the site to complete assignments and other history faculty. This project will be useful in my US Women’s History class and for classes on immigration history and California history.

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