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Watzek’s Vietnamese Portland Project Gets a Second Year

April 19, 2019

Led by the Head of Special Collections and College Archivist Hannah Crummé and Special Collections & Archives Librarian E.J. Carter, Watzek Library has received a second year of LSTA funding for the project, “Vietnamese Portland: Memory, History, and Community”. This competitive $42,246 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Oregon State Library will allow the project team to continue building a distinct archive that documents the experience of Vietnamese-Americans in the Portland area. The Vietnamese community comprises 2% of the population of Portland; it is one of the densest in the United States, yet its history is not documented in any way that is publicly accessible. This project aims to change that. This growing extraordinary collection, made up of oral histories, documents, photographs, and ephemera from members of this community, serves to preserve a record of the diverse histories that make up the region. In the coming year, the second of the project, along with their community partners, Drs. Crummé and Carter will use grant funds to continue building the collection, conduct interviews, digitize images, train student archive assistants, record conversations between and among members of the community, and begin working with Public Affairs and Communications to promote use of the collection beyond Lewis & Clark. Beyond the direct benefits of the project, LSTA support provides the opportunity to train future archivists and historians while building a world-leading collection. Lewis & Clark student researchers will take away with them a sensitivity to what history has been preserved, what has been ignored, and how conducting outreach to local communities can help correct injustices in archival collections.

External support received for this project now totals over $82,000!  Recently, the Council of Independent Colleges awarded Lewis & Clark a $10,000 grant to develop podcasts about the Collection. Information about the first LSTA grant, received in 2018, in support of this project is available here

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