For the past four decades, the Stanford University Libraries have actively collected archival materials that chronicle the history of modern civil rights and social change movements in the United States, most notably the movements for Mexican American civil rights. These collections are among the most heavily used resources in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives. They provide copious research and teaching opportunities and are regularly consulted by Stanford students, faculty, and independent scholars. Now they also provide a deep and rich context for the images in the David Bacon Photography Archive. The following collections, while not exhaustive, provide a strong sense of the synergies between the David Bacon Photography Archive and allied collections in Stanford's Special Collections.
The synergies between David Bacon’s archive and The Bob Fitch Photography Archive, 1965-2013, and its companion online exhibit, Movements for Change: The Bob Fitch Photography Archive are strong and important.
Like Bacon, Fitch was an activist photographer who participated in movements for non-violent protest. Fitch documented an earlier generation of Civil Rights activists, capturing the rise of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers in California of the late 1960s and 1970s, while Bacon’s images of Chavez and the UFW and the 1980s and 1990s carry the story into a new era. Just as Fitch captured powerful images of the struggle for civil rights for African Americans in the South in the 1960s, and the Black Panther Party and the Antiwar Movement in the early 1970s, Bacon’s images of protests for immigrant rights, for labor rights, protests against the impacts of globalization, and depictions of poverty and homelessness, capture some of the most important movements for social change in the 1990s and 2000s.
Stanford's deep collections documenting the Mexican American experience include the archives of key civil rights organizations such as the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) records, 1967-2000, the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) records, 1966-2014, and the National Council of La Raza Records, 1968-2005.
The Bacon archive also has synergies with the personal papers of a number of significant activists in the struggle for Mexican American civil rights and rights for farm workers that are held at Stanford, including the Fred Ross papers, 1920-2003, the Elizabeth "Betita" Sutherland Martínez papers, 1958-2009, the Ernesto Galarza papers, 1936-1993, the Bert Corona Papers, 1923-1984, the Manuel Ruiz papers, 1931-1995, and the Frank Bardacke papers, 1960-1990.