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1958-2012 [bulk: 1970-2005];  43 boxes (24.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: 2011.1.2


The Carlos Vega Collection of Latino History in Holyoke consists of administrative files, electoral and legal documents, scholarly works, memorabilia, and news clippings illustrating myriad facets of the social, political, and cultural Latino experience in Holyoke. The organizational records of Nueva Esperanza, which Vega co-founded and directed, as well as the minutes, budgets, memoranda, and grant proposals composed by various grassroots organizations, citizens’ groups, and community foundations, demonstrate the all-encompassing scope, collaboarive paradigm, and remarkable accomplishments of the programs that Vega developed, implemented, and inspired thoughout the course of his life.

Since arriving in Massachusetts with his family at the age of five, in 1956, until his death in 2012, Carlos Vega was among Holyoke’s most vibrant, influential, and effective community activists. Throughout his 56 years in the city, he proved unrelentingly invested in politics and social justice at the local and national levels. He remained steadily immersed and active in Holyoke goings-on, deeply dedicated to the betterment of the city’s public services and to the experience and opportunity of its residents, and invariably involved in a plethora of social action committees and collaborative initiatives geared towards social, economic, and political justice and betterment. Serving on boards, developing and implementing social programs, and fulfilling various professional posts, Vega demonstrated an untiring commitment to the attainment of equity and due process in housing, hiring, healthcare, education, voting rights, natural resources, city planning, literacy, and the general improvement of socioeconomic conditions throughout the greater Holyoke area. Administrative files deriving from these activities dominate the intellectual content of the collection, while news clippings, decisions on civil and class-action lawsuits, elections and referenda, and some of Vega’s personal items and papers, altogether manifest the obstacles, triumphs, and general trajectory of the Latino community in this socially and culturally unique zone of Western Massachusetts.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

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