Foto Finish

Pride, politics, protests, poverty, parades, pageants, Puente, pop singers — welcome to the photo archive of El Diario/La Prensa, New York’s oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper. The archive, which Columbia acquired in May, spans the last half century and contains some five thousand images.

El Diario has photos of people and events that other daily newspapers did not record or else simply footnoted,” says El Diario executive editor Erica Gonzalez ’05JRN. “The collection is priceless for anyone — students, researchers, documentarians — interested in producing work on New York City’s social, political, and economic life and its largest ethnic community.”

The collection’s thirty-nine boxes, co-curated by Columbia's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, will be housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Gonzalez says that the paper wanted to team up with an institution “that would give this unique treasure — a decades-long photo narrative of Latino New York — the care and importance that it deserves.”

Vintage photograph

From the archive: New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller (right) hosts a 1970 reception to support the congressional campaign of Herman Badillo (seated at left). Badillo was running to become the first Puerto Rican–descended member of Congress. Also present are Marisol Malaret, the first Puerto Rican Miss Universe, and Luisa Quintero (standing with Rockefeller), the influential El Diario/La Prensa political reporter. Badillo was elected that November.