Editorial Fundamentos, 1995, 1996 & 2006


In my 2003 book, Life in Search of Readers: Reading (in) Chicano/a Literature , I advocated for a history of Chicano/a literature that included not only what Chicanos/as have written but also what they have read. I further explored that approach in several other published pieces, but soon it became clear to me that new instruments to collect and analyze data on Chicanas/os as readers were needed. To that end, I have developed and launched four complementary research projects, for which I serve as director and principal investigator:

alternative publications, the first of these projects to be made public, is a virtual press that publishes works by Chicano/a writers on an impermanent basis. In addition, a forum and an archive are provided to collect comments by readers.

The Chicano/a Literature Intertextual Database (CLID) traces references to literature, authors, and the world of print culture in general, in works written by Chicanas/os. With the help of several associated researchers, I have collected thousands of quotes and hundreds of references to individual authors and titles. The database will be accessible to researchers in the near future.

The Chicano/a Readers Oral Project (CROP) is a repository of stories written or told by Chicano/a readers about their experiences with literature, newspapers, and the world of print culture in general. This database includes both digital recordings and transcripts of the interviews, as well as a catalog of titles, authors, and periodicals mentioned in the interviews. The database will be open to researchers in the near future.

The Chicano/a Private Libraries Index (CPLI): Documenting what books have been owned and treasured by Chicanas/os involve our ability to index and analyze Chicano/a private libraries. Expanding Eleanor B. Adams and Frances V. Scholes' early analyses of colonial New Mexico libraries, as well as my own catalog and study of Governor Miguel Antonio Otero's family library, this project intends to produce a map of Chicano/a private book ownership. The project includes individual catalogs (by owner) as well as dynamic access to a database of titles and book cover information so that informants and contributors may recognize books that may have been part of their personal or family libraries.

The Mexican American Reading Circuits project (MARC) studies book sales and markets to account for reading trends in the past. The database is populated with information found in Mexican American newspapers, including book advertisements and catalogs, book reviews, original literature published in those periodicals, and articles on literature in general.