Join us in a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month as we commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions in the United States by the Latino and Hispanic communities with roots in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Read on to learn more about the records held at the National Archives that document these achievements and contributions, and learn how you can help transcribe records as a Citizen Archivist.

Mission Specialist Ellen Ochoa working in space

Mission Specialist (MS) Ellen Ochoa drifts through the Functional Cargo Block (FGB) / Zarya during the STS-110 mission, 4/12/2002. National Archives Identifier 23362715

Poster showing two military servicemen shaking hands above a family sitting on the ground.

Las Americas Unidas Para La Victoria Y El Progreso Humano. CIAA Poster, Spanish version. National Archives Identifier 44268165, Local ID 44-PF-833

Hispanic and Latino Records at the National Archives

NARA’s holdings regarding Hispanic and Latino Americans include documents on a wide range of subjects including labor rights, arts and entertainment, and politics. Highlights include:

Cover page of oral deposition of Gordon Green

Oral deposition of Gordon Green from the 1958 segregation case of Hernandez v. Driscoll Consolidated Independent School District (DCISD), et al. The issue was treatment of Mexican-American children in DCISD schools. National Archives Identifier 26548257

Typewritten form for petition of naturalization for Antonio Rudolfo Quinn
Petition for Naturalization for Antonio Rudolfo Quinn (Anthony Quinn). National Archives Identifier 595184
Photograph of Judge Sonia Sotomayor talking with President Obama as Vice President Biden looks on
Judge Sonia Sotomayor Talks with President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden in the Blue Room of the White House, 5/26/2009. National Archives Identifier 157649738
Black and white photograph of a group of singers during a performance

Staff of the Biblioteca Benjamin Franklin, Mexico, 12/22/1949. National Archives Identifier 23932423

Mendez v. Westminster School District

This landmark suit was brought on March 2, 1945 by Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez, along with other parents living in Orange County, California, against four local school districts. The Petition (National Archives Identifier 294940) notes "That all children or persons of Mexican or Latin descent ... are now excluded from attending, using, enjoying and receiving the benefits of the education, health and recreation facilities of certain Schools." The complaint further charged "that said children are now and have been segregated and required to and must attend and use certain Schools in said District and Systems, reserved for ... children and persons of Mexican and Latin descent..."

In Judge Paul J. McCormick's Judgement and Injunction (National Archives Identifier 294946), he concurred with the petitioners, issuing an injunction against the school districts' segregation policies.

Learn more about this case on our Educator Resources page. 

First page of brief in Mendez vs. Westminster
Final page of brief in Mendez vs. Westminster
Gonzalo Mendez et al v. Westminster School District of Orange County et al, Brief of National Lawyers Guild, and American Civil Liberties Union, Amici Curiae. National Archives Identifier 294943

This brief was filed by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the petitioners in Mendez v. Westminster in support of integrating Mexican and Mexican-American students into the schools.

Transcribe Records as a Citizen Archivist

Hispanic American History mission

Continue in a celebration of Hispanic Heritage month and help transcribe records as a citizen archivist! Records at the National Archives regarding Hispanic and Latino Americans include documents on a wide range of subjects including labor rights, arts and entertainment, and politics. Help transcribe these records to make them more searchable and accessible in the Catalog.

Get started transcribing!

New to the Citizen Archivist program? Learn how to register and get started.

Painted mural photographed by David Valdez
General Records of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Select photographs, from coverages of assorted communities, accenting Hispanic heritage theme: residents, neighborhoods, buildings, murals. Photographer: David Valdez. National Archives Identifier 6190415
Oil painting by Diego Rivera in 1915

This oil painting is a cubistic still life, painted by Diego Rivera in 1915. It was given to Lyndon B. Johnson by His Excellency Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, President of Mexico. National Archives Identifier 192416

Wood carving of Patrocina Barela

Taos County, New Mexico. Wood carvings of Patrocina Barela. National Archives Identifier 521864

Visit National Archives News for more records and resources celebrating Hispanic culture. The National Archives recently hosted a Virtual Pajama Party Program with Winifred Conkling and Sylvia Mendez, which presents a fictional account of the friendship between two children whose lives intersected during World War II. Though the live event has passed, you can watch a recording of the pajama party.

Start your research on History Hub
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Have a question? Find your answer on History Hub!

For those looking to conduct research or learn more, we encourage you to browse recent posts and questions on History Hub:

Seeking recorded interviews of the 65th Infantry Regiment

How many Mexican born Americans fought in the Korean War?

Seeking Puerto Rico Census for 1870, 1872 & 1880

Seeking records showing Caribbean influence on American agriculture

The history of Latinos in America

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Make History Hub your first stop! You can ask—or answer—questions on History Hub, or see if your question has already been answered.

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