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Susana Martínez Collection

Identifier: MSS 138

Scope and Contents

The Susana Martínez Collection predominantly consists of drafts of Martínez’s poetry anthologies, short stories, unpublished manuscripts, copyright registrations for select pieces, correspondence, newsletters, clippings, and original artwork. She self-described her writings as up-front and open, touching on topics such as emotional pain, tributes to her homeland of Puerto Rico, and memories from her childhood. The collection also documents several events and awards that recognized Martínez for her literary accomplishments, as well as contributions to the community of “El Barrio.” Also included are two photographs taken of Martínez at events where she was honored and audiovisual materials.


  • 1954 - 2002
  • Majority of material found within 1964 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by Susana Martínez.

Biographical / Historical

Susana Matos Martínez was a Puerto Rican poet and an active member of the Puerto Rican community in East Harlem “El Barrio,” New York. She was born to Nicholas Matos and Marcia Fernández on May 24, 1914, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Martínez spent her childhood in the towns of Bayamón and Cataño, in addition to Toa Baja. At a young age, Martínez was drawn to become a writer. In 1950, she began publishing a series of poems and short stories after a writing hiatus. Martínez’s poem anthologies include Cristal (1975), Pétalos (1981), and Into the Unknown (1996), as well as a novel written in English titled, Under the Apple Tree (1989).

Martínez was recognized by the Department of Literature in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina, in their publication Anuario Lírico Americano for her poems “Ansias,” “Puerto Rico,” and “Descubrete” in 1968. Over the course of her life, Martínez was also recognized by other organizations for her contributions to Puerto Rican literature and the community of El Barrio. She later received a Bachelor of Arts in Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College CUNY through the “BEST” Bilingual Program in 1980.


1.2 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


Susana Martínez is a Puerto Rican poet and an active member of the Puerto Rican community in East Harlem “El Barrio,” New York. The Susana Martínez Collection consists of 1.2 cubic of items, including two unpublished manuscripts, drafts of her writings, copyright registrations for select pieces, correspondence, event programs, newsletters, newspaper clippings, award plaques and certificates from various organizations, and an original painting.


The collection is arranged in folders by the type of materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection was a gift of Susana Martínez.

Separated Materials

One publication and two original inedited volumes from the collection were moved to the Centro library stacks: 1. Anuario Lírico Americano, 1968 - anthology of distinguished poems by Hispanic authors. 2. "Poemario Mariposas" - unpublished anthology of poems by Susana Martínez. 3. Las Hijas del Destino, 1964 - inedited volume by Susana Martínez copyrighted in 1990.

Processing Information

Archive staff members under the supervision of Pedro Juan Hernandez in August 2020. Box 1 contains a VHS and audiocassette tape in Folder 11.

Susana Martínez Collection
Archive staff members under the supervision of Pedro Juan Hernandez.
August 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 05-18-2021: Physical arrangement of materials updated in May 2021 by Project Archivist Victoria Fernandez. Loose materials were foldered and folder titles were revised for clarity. Duplicates were removed from the collection.

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.