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CENTRO: Puerto Ricans in New York: Voices of the Migration

Identifier: CENTRO-12-05-PRNYVM

Scope and Contents

This project consists of audiocassettes and corresponding digital files for 27 oral history interviewees, including community leaders, garment workers and early community settlers who migrated to New York City from Puerto Rico during the Great Migration (late 1940s-50s). Interviewees for the project discussed their lives, including their experiences migrating and getting settled in New York City, their families and relationships, and their work.


  • Creation: 1983-1985


Conditions Governing Access

Access to the original audio cassette tapes is restricted. The interviews are available digitally.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by CENTRO.

Biographical / Historical

Puerto Ricans in New York: Voices of the Migration was a three year oral history project by the Centro Oral History Task Force intent on interviewing, among others, community leaders, garment workers and pioneros (early community settlers) and retrieving primary source materials. It was a multi-pronged project that resulted in several public presentations on the Puerto Rican migration experience, including the Comunidades: Extended Roots from Hawaii to New York, Migraciones Puertorriqueños a los Estados Unidos Conference and Workshop, and in the acquisition of Centro's first archival collections on community activist Jesús Colón and photographer Justo A. Martí. In addition, it spawned a side project on women garment workers, "Nosotras Trabajamos en la Costura," which included an award winning radio program and slide show, as well as an environmental installation called "Paisaje de Sudor y Sentimiento."


27 Cassettes

49.65 Gigabytes

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.
Puerto Ricans in New York - Voices of the Migration
Center for Puerto Rican Studies
In Progress
Lindsay Wittwer
September 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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.