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Digital Exhibits

Activism in the Archives: Radical Imaginaries of the 1960s and 1970s

Activism in the Archives: Radical Imaginaries in the Papers of Ruth-Marion Baruch, John Thorne, and Karen Tei Yamashita explores the lives and works of three key cultural figures with roots in the northern California region, specifically the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, and the Monterey Bay Area. These international icons are united by their dedication to cultural and political activism and their involvement in and/or relationship to the social justice movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s: the Black Power, Flower Power, Red Power, and Yellow Power movements. Drawing from their personal archives of photographs, papers, correspondence, and ephemera, this exhibition highlights the radical imaginative work performed by Baruch, Thorne, and Yamashita in documenting, supporting, and reflecting on these political and cultural movements. It also illuminates the relationships that formed between the movements as the demands for equal rights, justice, and peace reached a critical volume around the world.

Activism in the Archives is the culmination of the inaugural year of UCSC Special Collections and Archives Center for Archival Research and Training (CART) fellowship program. Launched in 2014, the CART program is for graduate students who are interested in learning more about archival research. Students work closely with a professional archivist for one quarter to process and describe a collection related to their research interests.

This exhibition, curated by the 2014-2015 CART fellows, was generously sponsored by Claudia and Alec Webster.


Curated by crystal am nelson, Melissa Eriko Poulsen, and Samantha Williams. Special thanks to: Head of Special Collections and Archives Elisabeth Remak-Honnef; the Archives Processing team, especially Kate Dundon and Annie Tang; the Special Collections and Archives Staff; and Jess Spencer Waggoner.