There are an estimated 12,500 images in the Irwin Nash Photographs of Yakima Valley Migrant Labor Collection, the bulk of which are on more than 600 individual contact print proof sheets containing better than 20 images each. These images document the Latino experience in the Yakima Valley and agricultural protest movements in Washington state between 1967 and 1976, and approximately 100 of those images are currently presented here in this digital collection. The images in the collection explore Latino life in and around migrant worker labor camps and in the agricultural fields, and depict labor activist Cesar Chavez visiting the Yakima Valley on several occasions. The collection also depicts figures that were eventually involved in protests in and around Seattle and the University of Washington, protesting grape boycotts and other issues relating to agricultural workers.
Irwin Nash was a commercial photographer who was a Seattle, Washington native and received his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. His first trip to the Yakima Valley was to the Antanum Labor Camp, where he photographed the Latinos and the conditions that they lived in at the camp. He also went to the Crewport labor camp near Zillah, Washington, and made several subsequent returned trips to the Yakima area. When asked in a 1989 oral history interview why he wanted to do these types of projects, Nash replied that “I just went in there to show what was going on. To try and illustrate what was happening to a segment of the population that best might have heard about it third hand, that’s all.”
Searching the Collection
Entering search terms in the "Search" box located at the top of the page will search across all of the database fields. The "Browse This Collection" link will display all items in an alphabetical order. Search results are displayed as a series of thumbnail images that may be browsed, both forward and backward. To view an item description, double click on the thumbnail or the textual link. Any highlighted text in the description below each full-size image is searchable; just click. Options to return to the Nash front page or the WSU Digital Collections are provided along the top banner.
Creating the Database
Mark O'English, University Archivist and Photographs Curator, supervised the project and designed the metadata schemas. Katrina Burch scanned photographic images from original contact sheets as 2400 dpi TIFF files on an Epson Expression 10000XL scanner, added 72 dpi JPEG versions of the images to the CONTENTdm database, and described the images. A number of the images had been scanned in 2009 for a KCTS9 documentary, Student of Change: Los del '68, and the generosity of the producers helped make the initial start-up of this digital collection possible. Alex Merrill provided technical support for CONTENTdm. Mark O'English and Katrina Burch created this page; Jeff Kuure designed the page's banner.