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Guide to the José Antonio Villarreal Papers
MSS.1974.11.01  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The José Antonio Villarreal Papers, 1950-2010 (bulk 1959-1984), document the personal and professional life of José Antonio Villarreal. Villarreal became well known for his book Pocho, which was first published in 1959 and is considered a landmark in Chicano literature. Included in the collection are manuscripts and proofs of Pocho, The Fifth Horseman, and Clemente Chacon; an early manuscript and precursor to the book Pocho, entitled Our Little Life; shorter works by Villarreal; personal and professional correspondence with literary agents, publishers, academic institutions, friends and family members; writings about Villarreal, his publications, and Chicano literature; publicity materials; and personalia. The collection is arranged into five series: Series I. Correspondence, 1953-1991, and undated; Series II. Writings by Villarreal, 1959-1992, and undated; Series III. Printed Materials, 1959-1995; Series IV. Personalia, 1950-2010; and Series V. Audiovisual Materials, 1975, and undated.
Background
José Antonio Villarreal (1924-2010) was born in Los Angeles on July 30, 1924 to José Heladio (a Mexican revolutionary) and Felícitaz Ramírez Villarreal. In 1921, Villarreal’s parents moved to the United States from Mexico and found work as migrant farm laborers in California. At age six, Villarreal’s family settled in Santa Clara, and he spent the remainder of his childhood there. After graduating high school in 1942, Villarreal served three years in the Navy during World War II. In 1950, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Villarreal married Barbara Gentles in 1953, and they had three children: Ian, Kelly, and Caleb. To support his family while pursuing a writing career, Villarreal held numerous positions ranging from public relations to bus driver to speech writer. After the second edition of Pocho was published in 1970, Villarreal began to receive guest lectureships and teaching positions at various universities, including the Pan American University, the University of Colorado, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Santa Clara, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
Extent
10.1 linear feet, 22 boxes
Restrictions
Materials in the Department of Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Santa Clara University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Santa Clara University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.
Availability
The collection is open for research.