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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. 

WIITH Digital Archive Team:

The digital archives team includes UCSC undergraduate students and is co-led by graduate students Christina Ayson Plank and Meleia Simon-Reynolds. The project provides unique training and mentorship experience for graduate and undergraduate students. This includes hands-on familiarity with methods of historical documentation such as oral history; archival practices like digitization, writing descriptions, and creating metadata; and exposure to public and digital humanities tools and methodologies. 

The digital archive team would like to thank the participating families for their leadership and trust, which made this project possible. Their stories are the heart of this project and the larger Watsonville is in the Heart research initiative.


The WIITH community digital archive has been made possible with support from UCSC’s The Humanities Institute, McHenry Library Special Collections, and California Humanities. The digital archive team received essential guidance from Head of Special Collections and Archives, Teresa Mora; Center for Archival Training and Research (CART) archivist, Alix Norton; Digital Scholarship Commons librarians, Daniel Story and Kristy Golubiewski-Davis; and Humanities Division computing team staff, Xiao Li and Alejandra Sicairos. 

More about the digital archive project: