Despite years of constructive discourse about documentation theory, the complex nature of identity, approaches to ethnicity, and the role of the archivist in light of postmodernism, the call for archivists to collect the documentary heritage of minorities and other historically marginalized groups remains largely unanswered. With the exception of a relatively few specialized institutions and dedicated programs, the identification and preservation of Latino archives are not keeping pace with the nation's fastest growing and increasingly geographically dispersed population. This paper presents two related initiatives, developed in dialogue over the past seven years. It outlines operational practices related to identification of collections in private hands, outreach, trust, and long-term relationships. The paper then provides a practical model and insights for overcoming the day-to-day challenges of identifying and preserving the documentary heritage of the Latino experience and challenges others to undertake such projects.

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