The Terezita Romo Papers: Capturing the Spirit of Collective Action in Archives


  • Moriah Ulinskas University of California, Santa Barbara; California State University, Sacramento



Archival description, Collective action, Chicana art, Chicano movement, Sacramento


This article addresses the Terezita Romo Papers, one of a handful of archival collections of the Royal Chicano Air Force—a large collective of young, mostly immigrant or first-generation Mexican American artists and activists who produced countless community events and art projects and programs in Sacramento, California during the second half of the twentieth century. While membership of the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) and its activities are hard to calculate, its history has been shaped by a tendency towards iconization of the group’s male founders in archival description. Specifically, where collections are described to highlight the unique contributions of individuals, it is difficult to retain and promote the collective voice of action which made so many of these movements successful. Using the papers of Tere Romo, one member of the RCAF, this paper looks at how the archives of the RCAF have tended towards iconization—overshadowing the contributions of its female members—and explores ways in which archivists can reconsider the language of archives when processing and describing materials documenting collective action in American history.


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Author Biography

Moriah Ulinskas, University of California, Santa Barbara; California State University, Sacramento

Moriah Ulinskas is an archivist and audiovisual preservationist whose work seeks out and supports collections which fall outside mainstream historical narratives and major institutions. From 2011 to 2017 she served as the Diversity Committee Chair for the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), has been an organizing member of the Community Archiving Workshop since 2012, and was Preservation Program Director at the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) from 2011 to 2014. In her role at BAVC, she oversaw the development of the first release of QCTOOLS, open source software for audiovisual preservationists, and established the NEA funded Preservation Access Program. She is a contributor to the recently published Citizen Internees: A Second Look at Race and Citizenship in Japanese American Internment Camps and is currently pursuing a PhD in Public History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and California State University, Sacramento.


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How to Cite

Ulinskas, Moriah. 2018. “The Terezita Romo Papers: Capturing the Spirit of Collective Action in Archives”. KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 2 (1):4.

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