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Ruth Glasser Puerto Rican Music Oral History Collection

Identifier: OHC 6

Scope and Contents

The collection is made up of 40 audiocassette tapes containing interviews Glasser conducted with Puerto Rican musicians, people involved in the music industry and relatives as part of the research for her dissertation and subsequent book, My Music is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917-1940, published in 1995 by University of California Press. Highlights include interviews with prominent musicians such as Bobby Capó and Johnny Rodríguez, and their relatives, such as Victoria Hernández, sister to composer Rafael Hernández and owner of Almacenes Hernández in East Harlem, now known as Casa Amadeo, possibly the first Puerto Rican-owned music store in New York City.


  • Creation: 1988-1993


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers through the digital collections portal. Access to the original audiocassette tapes is restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by Centro.

Biographical / Historical

Ruth Glasser was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is an associate professor-in-residence of Urban and Community Studies at the University of Connecticut. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in comparative literature from the University of Wisconsin. Her research and teaching specializes in United States ethnic and latino history, oral history, urban history, public history and service learning. She has been involved in numerous academic and community-based projects, including several resources for teaching K-12 Latinx history. The oral histories she conducted for her dissertation that formed the basis for her book, My Music is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917-1940 (University of California Press, 1995) form the basis of the collection.


.30 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


This collection consists of 40 audiocassettes containing interviews with 28 interviewees conducted by Glasser while writing her book/ dissertation, My Music is My Flag. The collection contains interviews of prominent Puerto Rican musicians, composers, music store owners, and their relatives. The interviews date from 1988 to 1993.

Other Finding Aids

English and Spanish bilingual finding aid is available upon request.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ruth Glasser.

Existence and Location of Copies

The full collection has been digitized and is available through Centro's digital collections portal. See "Digital Material" for access to files.

Ruth Glasser Puerto Rican Music Oral History Collection
John Binet under the supervision of Pedro Juan Hernández. Spanish translation by Pedro Juan Hernández.
April 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 9/13/2022: Brendan Enright added a container list to the Resource Record, creating container instances and associating them with their locations in AV storage. He also linked the items with their digital objects and created a link to the URI for the digital objects page in Centro's Digital Collections. He also added a small number of Subjects to the Collection level description as well as the Metadata Rights Declaration.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Silberman Building, Hunter College
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York New York 10065

About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.