Meet the archivist preserving Houston’s Hispanic history

General, People & Profiles

In an attempt to expand the Houston Metropolitan Research Center’s Hispanic Collections (HMRC), the Houston Public Library (HPL) recently hired a Hispanic Collections Archivist. Miakela Garza Selley will lead and direct HMRC’s efforts in researching, acquiring, cataloging, digitizing, and preserving archival materials related to Hispanic cultures in Houston. What this means is that she is coordinating community outreach by serving as a community liaison, attending community meetings, and representing HPL at public events specifically related to Hispanic art, history, and culture.

One of the activities Selley is coordinating for Hispanic Heritage Month is Oral History Day. HPL is inviting the Hispanic community to contribute archive materials to their holdings and to share their valuable and interesting pieces of history such as family photos or documents.  HMRC staff will make copies of all materials and record these interviews and add them to their Oral History Collection.

There are two Oral History Days scheduled, and appointments are required. To learn more and to schedule an appointment, please call HMRC at 832-393-1662.

2013.09 Julia Ideson Building MVC-003A
Houston Public Library’s
Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Stanaker Neighborhood Library
611 S-Sgt. Macario Garcia
Houston, Texas 77011
Saturday, September 21 | 10 AM – 5 PM

Flores Neighborhood Library
110 North Milby
Houston, Texas 77003
Saturday, October 12 | 10 AM -5 PM

Selley is currently working on a Master’s of Arts in Public History degree from the University of Houston and plans on graduating this summer. Her concentration is 20th Century United States History and her thesis is ‘The Melesio Gomez Family: Navigating Houston’s Business and Food Space” based on an HMRC collection she discovered while working as a student intern in 2012.  Selley has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Houston and previously worked as an Archives Research Assistant and Student Leader in the University of Houston’s Special Collections Department for 3 years.  She has published articles that have appeared in the “Houston History Magazine,” “Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals,” and “Southwestern Archivist.”

– Posted by Sandra Fernandez

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