The Rodolfo F. Acuña Collection documents the academic career of Rodolfo "Rudy" Acuña, whose work was at the forefront of the Chicano Movement and who was instrumental in the creation of the Mexican American Studies Department (now Chicana and Chicano Studies) at California State University, Northridge. The collection contains works authored by Acuña, especially books, early drafts of unpublished works, extensive research notes, and subject files. Correspondence between Acuña and his contemporaries is included, as well as biographical items about him. A large portion of the collection is dedicated to materials pertaining to the trial between Dr. Acuña and the Regents of the University of California system. Some of these materials include flyers, posters, memorabilia, and newsletters. The collection consists of eight series: Writing (1956-2004), Personal Files (1932-2003), Correspondence (1964-1999), Research Files (1857-2006), Subject Files (1926-2006), Chicano Studies Department (1969-1993), Multimedia (1990-2005), and Acuña vs. the Regents of the University of California (ca. 1911, 1962-2004).
Series I, Writing, contains materials that Acuña authored throughout his career. Materials have been separated into six subseries. Books (1972-2004), contains various editions of his books, galley proofs, typescript pages, proposals, publisher agreements, and peer reviews. These are arranged in alphabetical order according to book title. Chapters in Books, Journals & Magazine articles (1970-2000), contains works Acuña wrote for different publications. These items are arranged alphabetically by title of the work. Book Reviews (1985-2000), documents his review of other scholarship in his and related fields. It is arranged alphabetically by title of the work. Political Essays (1986-2004), is arranged chronologically by the year the piece was written. Unpublished Works (1970-1991) and Early Writings (1956-1965), are arranged by title of the work.
Series II, Personal Files, contains biographical items pertaining to Acuña's life. This series is split into four subseries. Biographical (1932-2001) includes Acuña's birth certificate and military records. Academic (1952-1968) consists of awards and certificates he has received, as well as research papers, final oral examinations, notes, bluebooks, yearbooks, and a curriculum vitae.This subseries is arranged alphabetically by title of the university he attended. Articles About (1985-2003) contains articles written by authors regarding Dr. Acuña, and is arranged alphabetically according to the author's last name. Awards (1985-1999) contains awards he won over the years, and consists of certificates, folio-sized awards, and plaques. These materials are arranged alphabetically according to the institute that granted them.
Series III, Correspondence, consists of handwritten and typed correspondence exchanged between Acuña and his friends and colleagues, including Edward Roybal, Jerome Richfield, Julian Nava, Delmar T. Oviatt, and Cesar Chavez, and documents conversations both professional and personal, with topics including drug use in the barrio, university boycotts, Chicano/Chicana civil rights, the United Farm Workers/AFL-CIO, and affairs at California State University, Northridge. The series is arranged alphabetically according to last name.
Series IV, Research Files, consists of materials that Acuña compiled and used as a part of his research throughout the years, and is arranged by format. It is split into thirteen subseries: Archival Research (1857-2006), Articles (1906-2004), Books (1890-2004), Court Cases (1970-1990), Journals (1968-2002), Magazines (1960-2000), Manuscripts (1999-2000), Newsletters (1966-2006), Pamphlets (1906, 1954-2001), Theses and Dissertations (1912-2001), Research Notes (1972-2002), Note Cards (ca. 1970-1990), and Complete Newspaper Issues (1969-1999). Topics covered include social injustice, women's rights, the Zoot Suit Riots, the Sleepy Lagoon case, Mexico City, the 1933 Cotton Strike, Chavez Ravine, and the United Farm Workers movement. Each subseries is arranged alphabetically.
Series V, Subject Files, documents Acuña's personal interests and general research conducted by him independent of a specific book or other research project. Topics covered include the Los Angeles riots, Proposition 187, labor union issues, the California State University system, Chicano/Chicana creative arts, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, migrant farm workers, and La Raza. This series consists of many clippings from newspapers and magazines, research reports, census information, programs, flyers, announcements, minutes, and booklets. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series VI, Chicano Studies Department, documents the establishment of the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, and contains materials such as early department proposals, course proposals, teacher training manuals, annual reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, brochures, and graduation announcements. These materials are arranged alphabetically by item type.
Series VII, Multimedia, consists of different types of media, including video, photographs, negatives, audio reels, and microfilm. The series contains features and interviews with Acuña, documentaries, political forums, official government records, and covers topics such as the bracero migration of the 1950s, the protests at UCSB, and issues affecting Mexican Americans in the southwest. The series is arranged alphabetically, and separated by the form of media.
Series VIII, Acuña vs. the Regents of the University of California, has been divided into six subseries. Court Documents (ca. 1911, 1992-1998) contains official court materials such as clerks transcripts, declarations, exhibit lists, objections, transcripts, and notices of depositions. The subseries is arranged by the court the trial took place in. Depositions (1993-1995) contains depositions from individuals involved in the trial. They are arranged by the last name of the individual. Correspondence (1981-1998) includes letters between Acuña and others regarding the case. This subseries is arranged by last name of the correspondent. Research Files (1962-2004) contains a vast amount of research used during the trial such as correspondence about the case, aggregate summaries, materials produced during the case, numerous CVs, court reference material, and witness lists. They are arranged alphabetically by title of the subject. Trial Exhibits (ca. 1968-ca. 1999) contains trial exhibits used during the case. They are arranged according to the court stamp number assigned to them. Friends of Rudy (FOR) Acuña Committee (1986-1998) includes items used by the committee to raise funds for Acuña during his trial, especially correspondence, tickets for events, memorabilia, advertisements, and newspaper articles. Items are arranged alphabetically by type.