HomeTension in the Archives: An Exploration of Hidden Histories

Tension in the Archives: An Exploration of Hidden Histories

Welcome to Tension in the Archives: An Exploration of Hidden Histories!

The mission of this exhibit is to highlight a small portion of the battles for social justice that are hidden in our archives. Events and movements that played pivotal roles in social and political tensions have been well-documented in the archives and libraries located at the University of Texas at Austin. For many reasons, many of these conflicts have been hidden from the public eye. We have set out to shine a spotlight on the collections where these histories are kept, and to show the commonalities between fights for social justice that are sometimes worlds apart.

About This Project

This online digital archive was created by the students of Dr. Elon Lang's Spring 2018 LAH/HUM350 course, Treasure Hunt in Campus Archives. In this class, students engaged in direct archival research with collections related to social justice at the University of Texas at Austin's Harry Ransom Center, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and LILLAS Benson Latin American Collection. Students learned about the theoretical approaches to archiving, as well as the role of archives as an institution. This small set of interrelated Omeka exhibits is part of the students' collaborative capstone projects. It aims to showcase some of the University's lesser-known archival holdings and to contextualize the archival material with research the students conducted in the University's libraries.

The Cause of the Texas Farm Workers' Union


The Texas Farm Workers' Union was an energetic, radical organization with a particular affinity toward direct actions such as wildcat...

John L. Spivak and the Role of Investigative Journalism in Exposing Mass Incarceration as New Slavery


Formed from a selection of the John L. Spivak papers and photographs, this exhibit displays the importance of investigative journalism in...

Institutional Reactions to Student Activism

Statement of Congressman Bill Archer on the Iranian Situation

This exhibit investigates several historical instances of politically motivated student activism and how institutions such as the federal government, police...

Reclaiming Sexualities: An Exploration of Marginalized Sexuality in the 20th Century


While our project as a whole focuses broadly on America's hidden histories, this exhibit is specifically dedicated to the histories...

The Cold War and Competing Visions of Human Rights


This online exhibit, consisting of a selection of items from the Maurice Cranston collection at the Harry Ransom Center, draws upon...