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Gilberto V. and Minerva T. Martinez papers

Identifier: MSS 389 large

Scope and Contents

The Gilberto and Minerva Martinez Papers (1971-1997) contain materials related to Gilberto Martinez's life and political activism in Michigan and Texas. Included are files, photographs, illustrations, newspaper clippings, articles, realia and memorabilia focused on artists, exhibits, political events, political parties - such as La Raza Unida - and business ventures in broadcasting and communications. Of particular note is the history of the flags in Series 5. These flags were those flown over the Zavala County Courthouse on the eve of the La Raza Unida Party (LRUP) defeating the incumbents. The Texas flag was later loaned out for use in Chicano civil rights marches as far north as Wisconsin.


  • Creation: 1971-1997

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open and available for research in the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections' reading room.

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

Gilberto Martinez was an active supporter of establishing a new political party in Crystal City, Texas, the "Spinach Capital." In a town where Chicanos were the majority, an alternate party, La Raza Unida, gained force quickly in the late 1960s and took control of town and school government in the early 1970s. Martinez also researched and wrote reports assisting community organizations in Texas and elsewhere in acquiring free cable, radio, and television broadcast time and the requirements for establishing a television and audio production facility. In Michigan, Martinez's activities included work as a newspaper publisher (Sol de Aztlan) and as a community leader and organizer helping to establish radio and television programming through Michigan State University to the mid-Michigan Latino population. He was involved not only with mentoring and counseling Latino prison population and civil rights causes, but also with running a business and supporting community groups.


6 Linear Feet (6 boxes 3 oversize)

Language of Materials



Arranged in five series: Series 1. Personal papers; Series 2. Media and politics (outside Michigan); Series 3. Media and politics (within Michigan); Series 4. Artists and their work; Series. 5 Oversize items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were donated by Gilberto V. and Minerva T. Martinez to Michigan State University. Items purchased are noted in 2007.


Accurals are ongoing.


This is a collection in the José F. Treviño Chicano/Latino Activism Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Huizar Rivera in 2012.

Finding Aid for the Gilberto V. and Minerva T. Martinez papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Finding aid prepared by Diana Huizar 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