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Collection Descriptions O-P

Collections are arranged alphabetically and include a brief description to assist in selecting material for research. Links to tools such as finding aids, inventories, and databases are also included to assist in locating materials within the collection.


Finding aids, which are guides to the collections, are available for processed collections. The finding aids are in PDF and/ or EAD format. For collections that have not been fully processed, inventories and/ or databases are available upon request. The archives holdings can be accessed through the CUNY+, OCLC and RLIN online catalogs.


We strongly recommend for researchers to utilize finding aids in order to assist with any information you may be looking for.

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Office of Information for Puerto Rico (OIPR)

Finding Aid
Inclusive Dates: 1945-1949
Volume (cu. ft.): 26.50

The Office of Information for Puerto Rico (OIPR) was established in 1943 and administered by the Governor’s Office in San Juan. Its purpose was to create visual documentation relating to the social and economic conditions of Puerto Rico. The OIPR, under the direction of Max E. Gloff, contracted photographers Edwin and Louise Rosskam, Charles E. Rotkin and Jack Delano to document conditions in Puerto Rico. They photographed family life, sugar cane and dock workers, fishermen, factory workers, industries, and public squares, among other things. Their work led to the creation of one of the most extensive and important collections of photographs relating to the social and economic conditions of Puerto Rico during the mid-20th century.

See The Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS)

Topics: Migration and Settlement; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform


Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS)

Finding Aid: [PDF]
Inclusive Dates: 1930s-1993
Volume (cu. ft.): 2,900.0

The Records of the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) consist of records generated by a central office and various regional and local offices operated by the government of Puerto Rico in the continental United States from 1930 to 1993. They are an unequaled resource on the history of the Puerto Rican migration containing an extraordinary amount of information about individual migrants and the institutions established by the government to assist them. These records document the functions of the Bureau of Identification and Documentation (1930-1948), the Office of Information for Puerto Rico (1945-1949), the Migration Division (1948-1989), and the Department of Community Affairs in the United States (1989-1993). Available on Microfilm.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Labor and Occupation; Migration and Settlement


Organization of Puerto Rican Artists (O.P. Art)

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1993-2012
Volume (cu. ft.): 2.0

O.P. Art is a non-profit organization founded in 1993 by a group of New York-based Puerto Rican artists to preserve and promote their artwork and cultural identity. The collection highlights the vibrancy and cultural relevance of Puerto Rican artists of the diaspora and helps expose their largely underrecognized talent and contributions. Members are part of a grassroots artist collective, which consists of emerging, established and well-known Puerto Rican artists. Many established institutions, including the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art and The New York Times have recognized the work of these artists. Members have taken their artwork outside traditional venues, such as museums and galleries, and into the community. They provide an outlet for the public to encounter, interact and explore creative works of Puerto Rican culture while examining larger social issues. The records include correspondence, bylaws, press releases, news clippings, promotional materials, photographs and artist biographies. The collection illustrates the tireless work and administrative maneuvering required for creating and managing this type of endeavor.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Organizations and Leaders


Orta, Awilda

Inclusive Dates: 1964-1997
Volume (cu. ft.): 5.0

Bilingual education director from 1980 to 1983 under Chancellor Anthony Alvarad. She worked in District 4 in East Harlem and was an active member and officer of the Puerto Rican Educators Association, the National Association for Bilingual Education and the New York State Association for Bilingual Education.

Topics: Education; Family and Community Life


Ortiz, Carlos

Finding Aid: [PDF]
Inclusive Dates: 1940s-2006
Volume (cu. ft.): 48.0

Photographer, documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the Nubia Music Society. The collection documents the creator’s two main interests: Latin music and the South Bronx. It is an invaluable resource for research on the history of the South Bronx, and in particular, the Puerto Rican community in the Longwood neighborhood, from the dire 1970s to its rebirth in the 1990s. The collection also serves to understand the New York Latin jazz and salsa scene and its legendary stars in a musical and historical context: Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Frank “Machito” Grillo, Charlie Palmieri and Tito Puente. It contains materials on the political movements, demonstrations and protests in the city over the course of 30 years. Community institutions such as the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre and the United Bronx Parents are also represented. It includes the Nubia Music Society’s papers, correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, pamphlets, photographs (negatives, prints and slides), and audiovisual materials.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Music; Photography; Visual Arts


Pacheco, Benjamin

Inclusive Dates:
Volume (cu. ft.): 

Artist, donated two of his collages.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Visual Arts


Pacheco Padró, Antonio

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1963
Volume (cu. ft.): 2.0

Antonio Pacheco Padró was a political journalist who founded a Puerto Rican Revolutionary Party in New York in 1934 and served as a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War in 1937. The collection consists of Padro’s certificate of incorporation into Editorial La Prensa. The collection dates to 1963.

Topics: Journalism; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform


Pagán, Carlos 

Finding Aid
Inclusive Dates: 1967-2008
Volume (cu. ft.): 1.50

Pioneer in drug treatment and prevention programs in New York City and throughout the country. Carlos Pagán was born May 28, 1939 in Puerto Rico and he moved to New York City with his family in the mid-1950s, joining other Puerto Ricans in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The papers consists of awards, correspondence, clippings, flyers, notes, programs, publications, photographs, writings and a CD and DVD.

See Rehabilitation Program Pioneers Julio Martínez, Carlos Pagán and Pedro Falcón

Topics: Gender and Sexuality; Health and Community Welfare; Organizations and Leaders; Social Reform


Pagán, Muriel

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1960-1980
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.50

Former director of Bilingual Education for the Division of Special Education of the New York City Board of Education, Assistant Principal from 1968 to 1979 at P.S. 25 in the Southeast Bronx, the first bilingual school in NYC. Collection includes correspondence, information on P.S. 25 – The Bilingual School, the Office of Bilingual Services, education programs to conferences on bilingual education, the proceedings of a conference held by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Puerto on the education of Puerto Rican children on the mainland, clippings, flyers and some publications.

Topics: Education


PanaRican Manuscript

Inclusive Dates: 2008
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.20

Vicente "Panama" Alba Pérez, activist and community organizer. Collection consists of the manuscript for PanaRican. Vicente Panama, together with Richie Perez, Mickey Melendez and others, acting under the auspices of the Committee for the Freedom of the Puerto Rican Nationalist, organized a takeover of the Statue of Liberty on October 1977.

Topics: Education; Family and Community Life; Organizations and Leaders; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform


Pantoja, Antonia

Finding Aids: [PDF] - [EAD: English]
Inclusive Dates: 1923-2002
Volume (cu. ft.): 18.0

Leader in community development and a key figure in the creation of several seminal Puerto Rican institutions. The papers document the vibrant and multifaceted life of one of the great institutional pioneers of the Puerto Rican community. They lend insight into the nature and origins of the organizations founded by Pantoja and chronicle her personal and intellectual growth. A small but rich collection, highlights of the papers include personal affects from Pantoja’s early years in Puerto Rico, historical materials on the inception and initial growth of ASPIRA of New York, Inc., as well as a vast array of photographs documenting all phases of Pantoja’s life. The collection also documents the evolution of Pantoja’s consciousness as a black Puerto Rican woman and Nuyorican, and the subsequent contributions of these identities to her professional development. The materials consist of correspondence, memoranda, photographs, flyers, clippings, proposals, reports, speeches, writings, awards, posters and videotapes.

Topics: Education; Family and Community Life; Health and Community Welfare; Organizations and Leaders; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform



Inclusive Dates: 1980s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.50

A South Bronx-based organization dedicated to creating, presenting and supporting contemporary multidisciplinary work from Latino and Bronx-based artists who speak to and from the Afro-Caribbean-Latino identity of the South Bronx. Originally founded by Pepón Osorio (visual artist, MacArthur Fellow), Merián Soto (Bessie award-winning choreographer) and Patricia Bradshaw (choreographer/ dancer) as an artist collective in 1983. The collection includes a binder with information on Merián Soto’s choreographic career and 10 videocassettes featuring her choreographic work.

Topics: Arts and Culture


Pérez, Federico

Inclusive Dates: 1950-1980
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.10

Collection contains a folder of photographs that document the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Community Development Project, local clubs and associations, as well as several community events.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Organizations and Leaders; Puerto Rican Day Parade


Pérez, Nélida

Inclusive Dates: 1950s-1980s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.25

Centro's former librarian and archivist, the collection contains several art works by artist Jorge Soto, sound recordings and family photographs.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Migration and Settlement


Pérez, Richie

Finding Aid: [PDF]
Inclusive Dates: 1918-2006
Volume (cu. ft.): 22.0

The papers chronicle the political trajectory and organizing efforts of one of the Puerto Rican community’s most dedicated advocates and activists. Moreover, they help document grassroots efforts at combating police brutality and racially motivated violence and aiding community struggles for the betterment of social and economic conditions for Puerto Ricans, Latinos and other people of color in New York City. The papers include extensive materials on the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights and the Justice Committee, numerous files on local community organizations and initiatives, as well as a solid collection of leftist and Latino-focused newspapers. A large selection of audiocassettes, videocassettes and photographs help capture the vibrancy of the political and social movements Pérez was dedicated to. The collection consists of personal documents, clippings, articles, photographs, speeches, certificates, flyers, correspondence, audiocassettes, videocassettes, slides, CDs, DVDs and artifacts.

Topics: Education; Health and Community Welfare; Organizations and Leaders; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform


Pérez, Sofia

Inclusive Dates: 1950-1960s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.10

Community activist and organizer in Brooklyn. She was active in the Association of Puerto Rican Women, Fiesta Folklórica and the Puerto Rico Community Development Project (PRCDP). In August 1957, she incorporated McKibb Star Social and Athletic Club Inc., which would become the venue for her community activism, political organizing and cultural events. The collection documents her political activism, and the social and cultural events she organized in her community.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement; Organizations and Leaders


Pérez-Mesa, Guillermo

Inclusive Dates: 1873-1971
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.10

Collection of Puerto Rican stamps, most are included in the Album de Sellos de Puerto Rico. Among the highlights of the collection are early stamps from 1870s to 1898, the first stamps in circulation during the early years of United States domination, the 400th anniversary of Puerto Rico's discovery, the First Gubernatorial Election in 1949 and the 450th founding anniversary (1521-1971) of San Juan City.

Topics: History


Phantomvox (Hip Hop Vox)

Inclusive Dates: 1998-2004
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.50

Corporation dedicated to the multimedia industry created by Robi Draco Rosa. Collection contains CDs and videos in VHS and Beta format.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Music


Pi, Santos

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.05

Writer. The collection includes several short stories.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Literature


Pietri, Pedro

Finding Aid: [PDF]
Inclusive Dates: 1939-2004
Volume (cu. ft.): 55.0

Writer and one of the founders of the Nuyorican poetry movement. The papers chronicle the extraordinarily creative, productive, and at times, anarchic life of one of the most original and innovative contemporary writers of the Puerto Rican community. They lend insight into the vast scope of Pietri’s literary interests and endeavors, his collaborative relationships with other writers and his editorial process. The papers include extensive original writings, annotated drafts of published works and original artwork. The collection boasts a large array of handmade artifacts and an impressive assortment of posters and publications documenting artistic activity in New York over the last three decades. The materials consist of correspondence, memoranda, photographs, flyers, clippings, poetry, plays, essays, scripts, awards, posters, programs, videotapes, audiocassettes, artwork and artifacts.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Literature; Poetry; Social Reform; Visual Arts


Politics con Sabor

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 2006
Volume (cu. ft.): 2.50

The collection contains materials gathered from donors through a two part documentary produced by Terramax, Inc. and Centro. The film features the Puerto Rican community’s involvement and impact on New York state's political history. The materials consist of audio and video interviews, as well as photographs and other original documents donated by interviewees. Among the donors are the Honorable Judge Irma Vidal Santaella, the Reverend Bernardo López, Luis Rodriguez and the family of Adriano Rivera.

Topics: Organizations and Leaders; Politics, Government and Law



Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1898-2010s
Volume (cu. ft.): 2.0

Artifical collection grouped by provenance consisting of over 900 items, almost half of which are souvenir postcards from Puerto Rico. The postcards are arranged by town and economic activities, such as sugarcane, coffee and tobacco. About two-fifths of the collection are of more recent (1990 to 2006) sociocultural activities in New York, including theatre, music, dance, film and gay and lesbian events. The remaining items are of the Antilles, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Music; Organizations and Leaders


Prayer Books

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1950s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.30

Artificial collection grouped by provenance consisting of 40 pocket-sized prayer books in the Catholic tradition of Puerto Rico. The prayers are made to saints, such as San Gabriel, Santa Isabel and San José. Also included is a Catholic identification card, which expresses the holder’s wishes to have the sacraments administered in the case of an accident.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Religion


Pre-1960s Publications

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1923-1969
Volume (cu. ft.): 6.0

Artificial collection grouped by provenance composed of 9 microfilm reels of Hispanic journals and periodicals gathered from various collections. Included are Alba de Nueva YorkBoletin de la Liga PuertorriqueñaCascabelesMundo LatinoPuerto Rico y Nueva YorkVida HispanaLa Voz de Puerto RicoEl BoricuaEn Marcha, among many others. Available on Microfilm.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Music; Organizations and Leaders


Pregones Red Rose

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 2005
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.12

The Pregones Theater is a Bronx-based ensemble performing original plays and musical theater rooted in Puerto Rican/ Latin culture. Since 1979, the theater has produced more than 50 new plays and presented twice as many visiting performing artists. In 2005, the theater produced a play based on the life of Jesus Colón called The Red Rose starring Danny Rivera. Colón was a writer dedicated to chronicling the Puerto Rican migrant experience and considered an iconic figure in Puerto Rican diaspora history. The collection consists of playbills from the November-December 2005 season, an invitation to the opening night gala event for the Red Rose and other mailings announcing the play.

Topics: Arts and Culture; Music; Organizations and Leaders


Puerto Rican Communities

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1990-2002
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.12

Collection consists of reports, conference materials and photographs of Puerto Rican communities in the U.S., including California, Chicago, Florida and Hawaii.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement


Puerto Rican Family Institute, Inc.

Inclusive Dates: 1960s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.12

The institute is a multiprogram, family-oriented health and human service agency whose primary mission is to prevent family disintegration and enhance the self-sufficiency of the Latino community. Programs operate in the continental United States and in Puerto Rico. Collection contains a report detailing the official proceedings of the First Forum on the Human Rights of the Puerto Rican Migrant Family from 1983.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Social Reform


Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF)

Finding Aid: [PDF]
Inclusive Dates: 1973-1993
Volume (cu. ft.): 232.0

The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF) is a major civil rights advocacy organization for the Puerto Rican community in the U.S. Headquartered in New York and taking its place among institutions, such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund (NAACP-LDF) and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). A rich resource for legal scholars, the organization's records are a significant contribution to the history of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. They are valuable to historical and humanistic scholarship in the fields of ethnic studies, education and political rights, among others. This collection makes a major contribution to an area of American social and political history that has been sparsely documented. The holdings consist of administrative records, minutes, correspondence, executive directors files, subject files and closed litigation files from 1972 to 1988. Available on Microfilm.

Topics: Education; Labor and Occupation; Politics, Government and Law; Social Reform


Puerto Rican Migration Consortium

Inclusive Dates: 1977-1983
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.50

Collection consists of correspondence, membership forms and financial information about the consortium.

Topics: Migration and Settlement


Puerto Rican Studies Association Chicago Conference Collection

Inclusive Dates: 2002
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.10

Contains materials from the 5th Conference of the Puerto Rican Studies Association held through October 3-5, 2002, as well as several flyers on community organizations and events.

Topics: Education; Organizations and Leaders


Puerto Ricans in California

Inventory Available
Inclusive Dates: 1990s
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.10

Contains photographs and digital images from the Medina Echevarria Family Western Region Puerto Rican Council and El Día de San Juan Festival in San José in June 1999.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement


Puerto Ricans in Central Florida 1940s-1980s: A History (oral histories)

See Oral History Collections page for access information
Inclusive Dates: 2008-2009

A collection of interviews of Puerto Ricans living in Central Florida. The project was produced by the University of Central Florida Digital Ethnography Laboratory. This collection is only available on site in the Centro Library & Archives reading room.

Topics: Migration and Settlement; Organizations and Leaders


Puerto Ricans in Florida

Inclusive Dates:
Volume (cu. ft.):

Contains informational brochures for Centro de Cultura Puertorriqueña de la Florida and Asociación Borinqueña de Florida Central.

 Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement


Puerto Ricans in Hawaii

Inclusive Dates:
Volume (cu. ft.):

Collection of poems titled A Puerto Rican Poet on the Sugar Plantations of Hawai’i by Blase Camacho Souza and Austin Dias, a course catalog for the summer 2000 session at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa Outreach College and a calendar celebrating 100 years of Puerto Ricans on Maui. Also in the collection is a program for the Puerto Rican Community Conference held April 19-20, 1969 at Baruch College, CUNY.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement


Puerto Ricans in Virgin Islands

Inclusive Dates: 2004-2006
Volume (cu. ft.): 0.25

Collection contains event programs, postcards, newspapers, newsletters, a t-shirt and a small poster. In particular, the materials document the Puerto Rican presence in the United States Virgin Islands and chronicle the activities of the Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Committee.

Topics: Family and Community Life; Migration and Settlement



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