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Watsonville is in the Heart: Community Digital Archive


The Watsonville is in the Heart (WIITH) community digital archive preserves and uplifts the stories of the manong and manang generation (Ilokano: "older brother" and "older sister"), the first wave of Filipino migrant farmworkers to arrive in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. Focused on the pioneering families of Watsonville and the greater Pajaro Valley, the archive enshrines the manong, the Filipina and non-Filipina women who married the manong, and their descendents’ memories of migration, labor, leisure, and community formation. The digital archive includes oral histories, family photographs, family heirlooms, letters and correspondences, and newspaper clippings.  MORE

Contribute to the Archive

We are always looking for new stories and materials that represent the diverse and under-documented Filipino communities of the Pajaro Valley. If you are interested in participating in an oral history interview or if you would like to see your family collection represented in our digital archive, please fill out this survey or contact us at to make arrangements to digitize or record your history. For more information on what this process entails, please see our Objectives, Values, and Process. In addition, for concerns about copyright and ownership, please see our Copyright Policy

The Watsonville is in the Heart digital archive aims to:

  • Amplify vital but often overlooked histories of Filipinos in the Pajaro Valley 

  • Utilize community-based archiving and historical documentation methods that align with ethnic studies, decolonial, and public history approaches

  • Increase accessibility for diverse public audiences including local community members, primary and secondary students, educators, researchers, and scholars

  • Highlight visual sources, material culture, and oral accounts that expand our knowledge of manong history along California’s Central Coast


Contact Information: 

For general inquiries and to contact the digital archive project directors, email us at

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