American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

"Save Hostos!" CDHA Collection Now Available

Published February 15, 2017

In the introductory essay for the recently completed CUNY Digital History Archive (CDHA) collection “Save Hostos!,” professor emeritus Gerald Meyer states:

From the fall of 1973 until the spring of 1979, Hostos Community College became the site of one of the most prolonged and successful mass movements in New York City during the 1970s. Throughout that five-year period, students, staff, faculty, and members of the community mobilized three massive year-long campaigns.

Working from a larger collection in the Hostos Community College Archive, Meyer and College archivist William Casari collaborated with CDHA collections coordinator Chloe Smolarski on “Save Hostos!,”selecting documents that were representative of the struggles to save the college at the time of the city’s fiscal crisis. Meyer meticulously saved hundreds of documents from the “Save Hostos” movement, and Casari carefully retained and catalogued the fliers, photographs, articles, correspondence, student newspapers, PSC papers, and and other materials Meyers had gathered. Now, a collection containing 67 of these items can be easily accessed online along with an introductory essay and contextual information for each item. As Casari suggested in his fall 2016 article in Academic Affairs on the CDHA collections, “These primary source items from across CUNY libraries and archives can be used for homework, primary source research, or could form the basis of a small in-class workshop on Hostos history. Numerous curricular uses are possible.”

The CUNY Digital History Archive is an open, digital archive and portal that gives the CUNY community and the broader public online access to a range of materials related to the history of the City University of New York. This project also involves coordination and collaboration with college libraries and archives that house significant historical collections. The CDHA accepts historical materials and records contributed by individuals whose lives, in diverse ways, have shaped, and been shaped, by CUNY. Faculty, staff, and students have fought to sustain CUNY’s democratic mission and one of the goals of the CUNY Digital History Archive is to document and preserve those stories.

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