1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself and your interests in Latin American and Caribbean cultural heritage archives.
Hello! My name is Lisa Cruces and I am the Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian with the University of Houston’s Special Collections Department. Before joining UH, I worked in various libraries and archives creating access to Spanish-language records or objects whose provenance originated in the Hispanic or Latin American sphere. The root of my interest in heritage archives is directly tied to my family tree, my parents. From them I inherited a strong interest in my Mexican heritage and a curiosity for the history and culture of Latin American communities. What drew me to the Archives profession specifically were the aspects of service and the opportunity to work with an array of users (students, faculty, and individuals outside of academia).
2. You recently started in the newly created Hispanic Collections Archivist position at the University of Houston. Tell us a little bit about the new role and your goals for collecting and doing outreach in this area.
My role as the Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian is great because it involves a little bit of everything: acquiring new collections, instruction, outreach, collaborating with faculty, and processing physical and digital records. In regards to collections and developing our holdings, my goal is to capitalize on the unique aspects of the Hispanic experience in Houston and the greater East Texas region. I envision our holdings including representation of Latinos in the arts and humanities, business, and community development. The aim is to foster a more representative account of Hispanic history and support the scholarship of our faculty and students at the University of Houston.
3. What has been the most rewarding part of your career? Any advice to fellow new professionals?
The most rewarding part of my career has been the opportunity to continue learning. It’s a great feeling to do what you love and to learn more about it through working with a new collection, donor, student, or colleague.
My advice for students and new professionals is to try new things. It may not apply to what you are immediately working on, but trying new things and challenging yourself will help you develop skills and insights for future projects and relationships.
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