For decades, Nuestra Cosa provided a platform for UC Riverside’s Chicano students to share their stories, poetry, and art with the campus.
After the newspaper stopped publishing in 2012, much of that history became harder to find, with back issues tattered or fading away. A new project has made those voices available once again in a digital collection where readers can browse through the 40-year span of the newspaper.
The project converting almost 100 issues of Nuestra Cosa into a digital format was a collaboration between the UCR Library and Chicano Student Programs, or CSP, as well as student groups Teatro Quinto Sol and the Encuentros, Student Participatory Research Project (ESPARiTU).
It was unveiled last month at a gala celebrating the CSP’s 50th anniversary, which also marks the 50th anniversary of Nuestra Cosa, which published its first issue on Dec. 7, 1972.
The celebration included displays of newspaper covers and was attended by alumni who wrote for the publication. It was a powerful experience to share the project with contributors to Nuestra Cosa and the community it chronicled, said Sandy Enriquez, a special collections librarian who oversaw the effort for the library.
The publication, whose title translates into “Our Thing” in English, was founded by Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, or MEChA de UC Riverside, a student organization founded in 1969 during the Chicano movement with chapters at universities across the United States. It was created at a pivotal time when student members were active in the social and political issues of the time and were seeking to increase their representation on campus.
The archive also includes a 1969 publication called Adelante by MEChA de UC Riverside that was a precursor to Nuestra Cosa.
The project is the latest step in making documents and records of campus history more accessible. Earlier this year, the library posted the complete archives of the Highlander student newspaper on the same Calisphere database where Nuestra Costa is now available.
Calisphere includes digital records from all 10 University of California campuses along with a variety of historical records from libraries, archives, and museums throughout California.
You can read (a lot) more about Nuestra Cosa at: https://insideucr.ucr.edu/stories/2022/12/13/historic-chicano-student-newspaper-made-available-online.