Borderlands Archives Cartography

Black and white map of the united states

Borderlands Archives Cartography

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Maira E. Álvarez
Founder Inter-University Program for Latino Research (IUPLR) Director, Houston Office Center for Mexican American Studies University of Houston
Sylvia A. Fernández
Founder Public and Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities University of Kansas
Digital Archives GIS/Mapping


Borderlands Archives Cartography (BAC) is a personal commitment to border communities. This digital mapping project conceptualizes founders Maira E. Álvarez and Sylvia A. Fernández’s fronteriza/transfronteriza knowledge from the U.S.-Mexico region, as well as their academic background in border, literary, and archival studies at the intersection of digital technologies. The project was founded in 2017 by then-graduate students Álvarez and Fernández as an independent, non-funded, and non-institutional project. As a transborderlands digital humanities project, BAC is dedicated to locating, mapping, and facilitating access to 19th and mid-20th century newspapers from 1808 to the 1930s from the United States-Mexico border region. BAC visualizes and deepens the understanding of the region, its communities, and histories through primary sources incorporated in a digital map. Through this digital map, a transborder digital archive is created that unites local, national, and bi-national histories in a territory that has faced various geopolitical transitions. The map allows users to interact with the geopolitical transitions/movements of the region and encourage the user to explore, understand and question the content’s borderlands newspapers in different ways: geographically, historically, politically, socially and culturally . The project thus serves as an alternative conceptual tool for presenting the notion of a fluid region and challenges established by nationalistic narratives. 


Álvarez, M. E., & Fernández, S. A. (2017). Borderlands Archives Cartography.

Jiménez, L. G., Álvarez, M. E., & Fernández, S. (2019). Language and translation practices of Spanish-language newspapers published in the U.S. borderlands between 1808 and 1930. Translation and Interpreting Studies. The Journal of the American Translation and Interpreting Studies Association, 14(2), 218–242.


Ortiz, N. N. (2020). Review: Borderlands Archives Cartography. Reviews in Digital Humanities, I(4–5).