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Joseph Spielberg Benitez papers

Identifier: MSS 397 large

Scope and Contents

The Joseph Spielberg Benitez papers consist of materials from the agricultural migrant worker safety program: "A presentation for the promotion of occupational safety and health of migrant farmworkers." Production of the presentation was sponsored by the Migrant and Bilingual Education Division, Department of Education, State of Michigan via a contract with Michigan Economics for Human Development in Grand Ledge, Michigan. The materials in the collection include original notes and drafts of scripts for each slide program, 298 slides, 11 audio cassettes, twelve 7.5 inch audio reels, news clippings, journal articles and pamphlets. Also included is Dr. Spielberg Benitez's research for a book he planned on publishing on the 19th Century Mexican messianic prophet Pedro Rojas or "El Tatita." Included are transcriptions of documents from files held by the Archivo Municipal de Guerrero and Spielberg's unpublished manuscript. All folders are not indexed or described (Box 2 Folders 23-95.)


  • Creation: 1980-2006

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

The material is stored offsite in Remote Storage. Please contact Special Collections 3 working days in advance if you wish to use it.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of the items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. For photocopy and duplication requests, please contact the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections, Michigan State University Libraries.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Spielberg Benitez (1936-2010) was born in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He received his Ph.D. from the Michigan State University Anthropology Department in 1965. He later became Professor of Anthropology at Michigan State University, teaching and conducting research on Latin America and Mexican Americans. Dr. Spielberg Benitez was instrumental in the development of the Julian Samora Research Institute at Michigan State and served as one of its first senior faculty associates. He published extensively on economic anthropology issues and on the social organization of Mexican American communities. He served as Chairman of the Governor's Agricultural Labor Commission and was a recipient of Fulbright-Hays Lecture/Research Fellowships to the University of Costa Rica and the University of Cusco in Peru. His field work was conducted in peasant and urban communities throughout Mexico and Guatemala.


1.4 Linear Feet (2 boxes.) : 2.8 linear feet

Language of Materials

Multiple languages


Arranged in two series: I. Farm Workers Safety. II. Tatita Research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Joseph Spielberg Benitez in 2005.

Separated Materials

The following items were separated from the collection and cataloged for inclusion in the Michigan State University Special Collections library holdings: Tierra o muerte: the land belongs to the people.  E184.M5 T5477 1970; El Humanismo de Marx en la Actualidad, by Raya Dunayevskaya, Detroit: News & Letters.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Rivera in October 2012.

Finding Aid for the Joseph Spielberg Benitez papers, 1980-2006
Diana Rivera
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections Repository

MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing MI 48823 USA