Bracero History Archive News

Now Available: The Guide to Collaborative Documentation

Available for download is a step-by-step guide to collaboration in the digital age. A reference for planning, constructing, and facilitating a collaborative project, the Guide reflects the process used to build the Bracero History Archive.

News Release: Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964

September 9, 2009–January 3, 2010

A traveling exhibition exploring the history of the Bracero Program opens on September 9th at the National Museum of American History. Below is a current itinerary of venues on the tour. Please contact Minnie Micu at micum@si.edu for information about hosting the exhibition.

Through photographs and audio excerpts from oral histories, this exhibition will examine the experiences of bracero workers and their families while providing insight into Mexican American history and historical context to today's debates on guest worker programs. Begun in 1942 to fill labor shortages in agriculture and the railroads caused by World War II, the bracero program eventually became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history. Small farmers, large growers, and farm associations in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, and 23 other states hired Mexican braceros to provide manpower during peak harvest and cultivation times.

By the time the program was canceled in 1964, an estimated 4.6 million contracts had been awarded. Bittersweet, the bracero experience tells a story of both exploitation and opportunity to earn money. The exhibition draws extensively from the museum's collection of photographs taken by photojournalist Leonard Nadel in 1956, as well as oral histories, documents, and objects collected by the Bracero Oral History Project.

This exhibition will travel under the auspices of SITES. Link to Original news release

Visit the online exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History:

View objects and photographs from the exhibition, collected from individual braceros and their families and from a former bracero labor camp. The online exhibition features bilingual labels.

Bittersweet Harvest Exhibit Schedule

A traveling exhibition exploring the history of the Bracero Program opens on September 9th at the National Museum of American History. Below is a current itinerary of venues on the tour. Please contact Minnie Micu at micum@si.edu for information about hosting the exhibition.

February 20, 2010 – May 2, 2010: Mexican Heritage Plaza; San Jose, CA (hold)

May 22, 2010 – August 1, 2010 : Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture; San Antonio, TX (booked)

May 22, 2010 – August 1, 2010 : Branigan Cultural Center; Las Cruces, NM (hold)

August 21, 2010 – October 31, 2010 : El Museo Latino; Omaha, NE (booked)

August 21, 2010 – October 31, 2010: Center for Community Engagement, California State University, Channel Islands; Camarillo, CA (reserved)

November 20, 2010 – January 30, 2011: Sonoma County Museum; Santa Rosa, CA (hold)

November 20, 2010 – January 30, 2011: Chamizal National Memorial; El Paso, TX (booked)

February 19, 2011 – May 1, 2011: Wittliff Gallery, Texas State University; San Marcos, TX (booked)

February 19, 2011 – May 1, 2011: Chandler-Gilbert Community College Library; Chandler, AZ (booked)

May 21, 2011 – July 31, 2011: New Americans Museum; San Diego, CA (booked)

August 20, 2011 – October 30, 2011 : Art Museum of Eastern Idaho; Idaho Falls, ID (hold)

August 20, 2011 – October 30, 2011 : Museum of History and Art; Ontario, CA (hold)

February 18, 2012 – April 29, 2012: Oregon Historical Society; Portland, OR (booked)

May 19, 2012 – July 29, 2012: Springs Preserve; Las Vegas, NV (reserved)

August 18, 2012 – October 28, 2012 : Oregon State University Archives; Corvallis, OR (hold)

November 17, 2012 – January 27, 2013: Muskegon County Museum; Muskegon, MI (booked)

February 16, 2013 – April 28, 2013: Roland Park County School; Baltimore, MD (hold)

May 18, 2013 – July 28, 2013: The Historical Society of Saginaw County and the Castle Museum; Saginaw, MI (hold)

Download Traveling Exhibit Schedule here