This initiative documents how, over the last 50 years, Chicana historians have transformed the way we do and understand history, as well as who is included in U.S. history. Through oral histories, data collection, exhibitions, and public programs, this project honors these contributions. It is also an intervention. Interrogating the academy’s organizational culture that systematically excludes Chicanas is at the core of this initiative.

Explore Oral Histories

This archival and collecting initiative documents the field of Chicana history through in-depth oral history interviews with the women who have lived it and shaped it. These oral histories create an intellectual space for groundbreaking historians to articulate their scholarly journeys in their own words. These interviews demonstrate how Chicana historians diversified historical themes, analyses, methodologies, and sources, shifting historical focus to gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, identity, and space.


The First 100 is a project of the University of Michigan, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and Chambers Lopez Strategies LLC.

This project received support from the University of Michigan’s Anti-Racist Digital Research Initiative (ARDRI) and Institute for Research of Women and Gender (IRWG), in addition to federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. 

Este proyecto recibió apoyo de la Universidad de Michigan y apoyo federal del Fondo de Iniciativas Latinas, administrado por el Centro Latino Smithsonian.

Want to learn more?

“We still have so many areas that need work, we still have so many biographies that have not been written… We have so many areas that have yet to be written.”

– Dr. Cynthia Orozco, Professor of History and Humanities