skip to main content
Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Raul Peña Collection, 1968-2005View associated digital content.

The Raul Peña Collection consists of Peña’s personal scrapbook and a compilation of video-recorded news stories depicting the struggles of migrant farm workers in Oregon during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Peña served in the U.S. Army and Oregon Army National Guard in the 1970s and 1980s, and advocated for migrant worker rights through his work for the Bureau of Labor and Industries in the late 1980s and 1990s.
ID: MSS Peña
Extent: 12.0 gigabytes
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: Collection is open for research. All materials held in this collection are protected by copyright and are not for publication without written permission of Raul Peña.
Preferred Citation: Raul Peña Collection (MSS Peña), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: During the summer of 2015, Raul Peña loaned a copy of a VHS tape and personal scrapbook to the OMA. Both items were digitized and the physical items were returned to Peña.
Acquired: 2015.
Languages of Materials

Container List

Series 1: Raul Peña Scrapbook and Migrant Worker News Stories, 1968-2005 Add to Shelf
The Raul Peña materials consist of a scrapbook documenting Peña’s life and a 52-minute compilation of news stories on migrant workers in Oregon.
Digital File 1: Scrapbook, 1968-2005 Add to Shelf

The scrapbook (digitized) consists of personal documents and memorabilia belonging to Raul Peña. The documents include military records, awards, training certificates, graduation diplomas, newspaper clippings, photographs, and letters.

The majority of the scrapbook consists of materials pertaining to Peña’s service in the U.S Army as well as with the Oregon National Guard. Documents include numerous training certificates as well as letters of appreciation, commendation, and recommendation, throughout the 1970s and 1980s; letters of promotion - Peña was promoted to Staff Sergeant E6 in 1983 and Sergeant First Class E7 in 1985 and to Master Sergeant E8 in 1997; various awards including an Army Commendation Medal in 1984, the Army Achievement Medal in 1988, the Oregon National Guard Commendation Medal in 1988, and the Army Achievement Medal in 1992; a number of Service School Academic Evaluation Reports and Performance Appraisals; an honorable discharge from the Army in 1976, an honorable discharge from the Oregon Army National Guard in 1989, and a certificate of enlistment extension for the National Guard for the years 1992-1995; various diplomas from the Army Institute for Professional Development, in 1983, 1985, and 1986; and Oregon National Guard “Run for Your Life” mile clubs certificates, 1983-1987.

Materials related to Peña’s education include his Oregon Board of Education Certificate of Equivalency, 1972; Chemeketa Community College Associate in Science – Law Enforcement, 1974; Oregon College of Education Bachelor of Science in the Social Sciences, 1977; three U.S. Office of Personnel Management certificates, 1984-1988; American Management Association continuing education units, 1997; and the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Certificate, Oregon College of Education, 1977, along with newspaper clippings and correspondence related to the award.

Scrapbook content specific to Peña’s work with and for the Latinx community include a program for Oregon College of Education’s 1976 Cinco De Mayo Chicano Cultural Awareness Week; a Chicano Culture Club Appreciation Certificate, 1982; an appointment letter as the Hispanic Employment Program Manager for the Oregon National Guard in May 1985, as well as an appointment letter to the Special Emphasis Advisory Board to represent Hispanics, also for the Oregon National Guard, 1987-1988. Materials related to Peña’s work for the Bureau of Labor and Industries as an advocate for migrant worker rights during the late 1980s and early 1990s include newspaper clippings, a letter of promotion, and a 1994 award.

Other materials in the scrapbook include documents related to Peña’s work with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 1975-1977; various certificates and letters of recommendation, 1960s-1970s; Peña’s certificates as a Notary Public for the State of Oregon, 1989-1997; documents related to Peña’s commitment to the Knights of Columbus, 1990s; a poem by Peña titled “I Have Been Everywhere” written in 1989 and revised in 1995; an American Frontier Nickel Set; a 15 year service award in recognition of service to the State of Oregon in 2004; and documents related to Peña as a Certified Highway Watch member, 2005.

There are about two dozen photographs included in the scrapbook, some of which are part of news article clippings, along with several doodles and drawings. The majority of the photographs depict Peña’s military experiences, are portraits of him, or are of his work for the Bureau of Labor and Industries.

[Note: Some of Peña’s personal information included in various documents has been redacted. Additionally, to retain the privacy of other military personnel, information not pertaining to Peña has also been redacted.]

Extent: 0.145 GB
Digital File 2: Migrant Worker News Stories - Video Clips, late 1980s - early 1990s Add to Shelf

This compilation of news stories, originally video recorded by Peña via a VHS tape, consists of twenty-two stories, including various multi-part stories. The news stories depict the struggles of migrant farm workers in Oregon during the late 1980s and early 1990s in locations such as Marion County (Salem, Gervais, Mt. Angel, and Woodburn), Washington County, and Polk County (Independence). Often cited is the Bureau of Labor and Industries, a state agency investigating migrant worker cases involving poor living conditions, wage violations, and lack of pay. Raul Peña, who worked for the Bureau of Labor and Industries, is interviewed for several of the news stories. One story featured several times involved a group of migrant workers demanding pay from Black Patch Inc., a farm corporation in Salem that owed them money. A similar multi-part story involves a group of migrant workers in Washington County refusing to work for a famer due to the deplorable living conditions and low pay. Other stories include a Northwest Medical Team mobile van dedicated to providing medical care for migrant workers, a three-part story titled “Shadows on the Field” documenting the history of migrant workers in Oregon, and a story of a community in Independence supporting a grandmother and grandson after the death of the boy’s father (this story was also briefly reported on by an unknown Spanish language news station). Also included is a story, reported by an unknown Spanish language news station, about a migrant worker who lived in Mt. Angel who was labeled mentally ill by the state of Oregon and was forced to live in a mental hospital for over two years.

[Note: SCARC digitized the VHS tape and created an .mp4 file; it is accompanied by a document that summarizes each story.]

Extent: Length: 00:52:46 Size: 11.8 GB