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William Gutierrez Papers

Identifier:  MSS 0237

Scope and Contents

The William Gutierrez Papers includes handwritten notes, letters, memorandums, reports, and proposals as well as newspaper clippings, event programs, discrimination claims, voter registrations, student questionnaires, city records, political campaigns, and publications. In addition to papers, this collection includes 35 photographs, two 8-track audio tapes, a personal planner, a nametag, and a book of commemoration.


  • 1966-1980
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1979

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the MSS 0237 William Gutierrez Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

In 1970, William “Bill” Gutierrez was the first Mexican American to be appointed to direct the Wesley Community Center and would later earn a position as the Coordinator of Community Activities for the Mayor’s Citizens Action Office. Gutierrez was an active member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and secured positions working for historic LULAC efforts such as the Little School of 400 and Project SER. The Little School of 400, a precursor to project "Head Start" aimed to teach 400 English words to help Spanish-speaking children manage instruction given in English in the regular public educational system and therefore help them achieve higher levels of schooling. Project SER was a federally funded, grant project aimed at developing Hispanic citizens into competitive work candidates by offering job training and education. This experience and network led Gutierrez to become involved in the council against the Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) Desegregation Task Force. In December of 1979 Gutierrez suffered a heart attack and passed away suddenly at the age of 35.


5.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


The William Gutierrez Papers is arranged into three series. These are Personal Papers, Professional Papers, and Photographs. The Personal Papers series contains biographical documents pertaining specifically to Gutierrez, while the Professional Papers are organized into sub-series that pertain to the jobs he held, his political involvement, and his community involvement. This was determined to be the most logical order as the scope of his work was similar and overlapped throughout his career. Furthermore, the folders within each subseries have been arranged in chronological order. Folders without dates were either placed at the end of the subseries or maintained original order as needed (i.e. whenever an undated folder lost relevance without its previously corresponding dated neighbor).

Series 1 Personal Papers Series 2 Professional Papers Series 2.1 Executive Director of SER ; 1968-1970, 1974-1975 Series 2.2 Coordinator of Community Activities – Office of the Mayor ; 1975-1979 Series 2.3 Political Involvement Series 2.4 Community and Organizational Involvement Series 3 Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Linda F. Gutierrez in 1983.

Related Materials

MSS 0103 Ben T. Reyes Papers, MSS 0108 Felix Tijerina Sr., Family Papers, MSS 0079 Fred Hofheinz Papers, MSS 0369 Gregorio Salazar Papers, MSS 0130 Mariano Rosales y Pina Papers, MSS 0159 Alfred J. Hernandez Papers, MSS 0160 John J. Herrera Papers, MSS 0194 Carmen Cortes Papers, MSS 0205 Little School of 400 Papers, MSS 0228 J.A. Tony Alvarez Papers, MSS 0255 Alex Arroyos / John Kennedy Papers, MSS 0282.028 MAFP: Frank Pinedo/LULAC Collection, MSS 0294 Mamie Garcia LULAC Papers, MSS 0306 Fernando Salas A. Papers, MSS 0328 Ernest Eugia Papers, MSS 0330 Isidro Garcia Papers, MSS 0353 LULAC Regional Records, MSS 0360 Tony Campos Papers, MSS 0366 Constable Raul C. Martinez Papers, MSS 0411 Joe Orlando LULAC Papers, MSS 0472 Benny Martinez LULAC Papers, RG 1314 LULAC News

Victoria Ferro
May 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002