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NPS Spanish Colonial Research Center Restructured as "Latino History Research and Training Center"

National Park News


The National Park Service’s (NPS) Spanish Colonial Research Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been restructured as the “Latino History Research and Training Center.”  The change more accurately reflects the current efforts to support the NPS American Latino Heritage Initiative and the goals of the recently completed NPS Latino Heritage Theme Study.  The name change was approved by the NPS leadership in Washington, D.C., with the support of Laura Joss, Acting Intermountain Regional Director.

“The idea to create the Latino History Research and Training Center emerged in 2010, and once the Latino Theme Study was completed, it became apparent that the NPS needed to increase its support of the goals established by the American Latino Heritage Initiative and the theme study,” said Joseph Sánchez, superintendent of Petroglyph National Monument and the Spanish Colonial Research Center. “This concept also addresses multiple goals and measurable actions identified in the Service’s “A Call to Action” strategy designed to prepare the NPS for a second century of stewardship and engagement.”

The Spanish Colonial Research Center was developed by the NPS in 1985 and signaled a commitment to embrace and fortify the agency’s commitment to the interpretation of Latino heritage as a part of our national story. The Spanish Colonial Research Center began as a partnership between the National Park Service and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The mission of the Center had been to create and maintain a documentary database from domestic and foreign archives and depositories, specifically for 40 Spanish Colonial Heritage sites in the NPS.  

In effect, the Spanish Colonial Research Center in Albuquerque has been absorbed into the newly established National Park Service’s Latino History Research and Training Center.  The Center will assure that NPS interpreters and resources managers are better prepared to work with Latino audiences and include Latino themes into park operations.  In addition, the Center will continue to: 

  • conduct research, both domestic and internationally, regarding Latino history as part of our national story;
  • provide research, training, and Spanish language translation services to federal, state, and local agencies. Spanish language translations will be provided for brochures, film scripts, exhibit labels, scientific studies, correspondence, etc.;
  • assist national parks to achieve NPS Call to Action goals, by introducing new audiences to NPS sites, and creating an environment for future generations to learn more about our national story;
  • continue its publication program, including the Colonial Latin American Historical Review (CLAHR), a scholarly, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal that enjoys an international distribution.  

The Latino History Research and Training Center aims to open new doors in research, interpretation, and preservation of the historical and contemporary Latino heritage in the NPS. Through outreach, research and training, the Center will also develop new data regarding Latino heritage which binds our national story with that of Spain, Mexico, and the rest of Latin America, with whom we share a common history.


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