Latino NJ History Project

Latinos make up nearly twenty percent of the Garden State’s population. Professor Lilia Fernandez and Rutgers students have spent several summers exploring and documenting this population’s history through the Latino New Jersey History Project, a student-led, community-based research project. Launched by Professor Fernandez in 2016, the project aims to document the histories of New Jersey’s diverse Latino/a communities by identifying archival materials and conducting oral histories with local residents. Since summer 2017, Rutgers undergraduate and graduate students have been receiving training, doing preliminary research, and conducting oral histories with community members in Central and Northern New Jersey. They have gathered census data, created maps, and produced the following Story Maps and short videos below. These tell the stories of individuals who migrated from Latin America or trace the growth of entire ethnic groups in the Garden State. Others reveal how certain towns have changed demographically over the past four decades and how Latinos/as have contributed to the state’s rich heritage.

For student-produced StoryMaps and short videos, see below. For our oral history transcripts housed at the Rutgers Oral History Archives, click on the Latino NJ Oral Histories link on the right. For oral histories that Rutgers students have conducted focusing on Latinos and the Covid-19 pandemic, click on the Voces of a Pandemic link on the right.

Click here to read SAS coverage about our project!