Cynthia Tobar


Associate Professor/Head of Archives at Bronx Community College

Artist, Activist-scholar, Archivist, Oral historian


Academic Interests

documenting social movements and student activism; oral history and storytelling, socially-engaged art; community-based archiving; equity, inclusion, diversity and anti-racism in higher education


Associate Professor, Head of Archives, Library, Bronx Community College


Ed.D., Higher and PostSecondary Education, Teachers College, Columbia University.

M.L.S., Certificate in Archival Management, Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science.

M.A., Political Science, New School for Social Research.

B.A., English, Hunter College.


Book Chapters

Tobar, C. (2022) “This isn’t going to work”: Barriers to Higher Education for Welfare Recipients in NYC. In Kim, R., Cho, G. M. and McGinty, R. (Eds), Children of the People: Writings by and about CUNY students on Race and Social Justice. New York: Dio Press.

Tobar, C. (2021) Create, Transform, and Connect: Fostering Arts-based Community Partnership at Bronx Community College’s Archives. In Porterfield, J. (Ed). The Teaching with Primary Sources Cookbook. Chicago: ACRL Publications.

Tobar, C. (2020) Reclaiming the Hall: Amplifying Community Voices at the Hall of Fame. In Weida, C.L., Adeniji-Neill, & Cambronero Varela, C. (Eds), Illuminations of Social Imagination: Public Art, Community Engagement, and Visions Beyond 2020. New York: Dio Press. Forthcoming.

Tobar, C. (2014) Capturing Dissident Voices: Grass-roots Organizing and Working-Class Feminist Activism at Welfare Rights Initiative. In Morrone, M. (Ed), Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond (An Edited Collection).* Duluth: Library Juice Press.

Tobar, C. (2013) Documenting the Untold Stories of Feminist Activists at Welfare Rights Initiative: A Digital Oral History Archive Project. In Cool, C. and Ng, K. B. (Eds) Recent Developments in the Design, Construction and Evaluation of Digital Libraries.* Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global).

Magazine Articles/Blog Posts

Tobar, C. (2019) “Inclusive Archiving, Public Art, and Representation at the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.”The Gotham Center for New York City History Blog. July 18, 2019.

Tobar, C. (2019) “”Debemos abogar por sistemas de respuesta más rápidos”: Cynthia Tobar, de Archivistas en Espanglish, entrevista a Hilda Ayala, bibliotecaria en la Universidad de Puerto Rico.” Archivoz, Feb. 2019.

Tobar, C. (2016) “Draw the Line.” The New Inquiry. 49, Feb. 2016. 20-23.

Tobar, C. (2011) Music to my ears: The New York Philharmonic Digital Archives.* D-Lib Magazine. 17 (7-8): 7-8.

Peer Reviewed Articles

Tobar, C. (2021). “‘Cities for People, Not for Profit’: Gentrification and Housing Activism in Bushwick.” Us Latina & Latino Oral History Journal. 5: 94-109.

Perez-Hazel, Y, Tobar, C., Loose, S., Gallagher, E., Kelly, A., Snider, S. (2016) “Storycircles: Case Studies on Motives, Methods, and Takeaways from Group Interviews.” In Context Journal. 1 (1).

Cohen, M., Smale, M., Cirasella, J., Tobar, C., and Daniels, J. (2013) “Speaking As One: Supporting Open Access with Departmental Resolutions”. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 2 (1).

Tobar, C. (2009) “Between The Lines: Arte Cubano: A Reference Guide to Cuban Art Resources at the New York Public Library”. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America. 28 (2): 67-71.

Book Reviews

Tobar, C. (2012) “Religion and Revelry in Shakespeare’s Festive World. By Phebe Jensen. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008; pp. xii + 267, 6 illustrations. $103.00 cloth”.* Theatre Survey. 53 (01): 167-168.

Tobar, C. (2011) Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb.* Broadside, newsletter for the Theatre Library Association, v. 38, n.2, Spring 2011 issue, p. 21.

Tobar, C. (2010) Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer edited by Joan Simon.* Broadside, newsletter for the Theatre Library Association, v. 38, n.1, Fall 2010 issue, p. 28.

Tobar, C. (2010) George O’Brien: A Man’s Man in Hollywood by David W. Menefee.* Broadside, newsletter for the Theatre Library Association, v. 37, n. 3, Summer 2010, p. 21.

Encyclopedia Entries

Tobar, C. (2010) Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In Diner, H. R. (Ed) Encyclopedia of American Women’s History. Facts on File.

Tobar, C. (2010) Welfare Reform. In Diner, H. R. (Ed) Encyclopedia of American Women’s History. Facts on File.