Santos Lives! Digital Restoration to Rebuild, Reconcile, and Remember

Jolene deVerges
Scott Martin

Jeremy Spracklin
Southern Methodist University


As a part of G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at Southern Methodist University’s mission to repair, restore, and digitize its news materials, the hope for the archive is to spotlight forgotten moments from local history, moments that impacted and changed the landscape of the current cultural climate.  Through open access and interdisciplinary practice, the Collection’s materials have reopened and relitigated certain aspects of Dallas’ past, moments which (in some instances) the city has yet to reconcile. One such story, the murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez by a Dallas police office, was all but forgotten today, but the impact on his family, in a micro sense, and the Hispanic community, in the macro, reverberate to this day.  In partnership with SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program and documentarian Byron Hunter, the Jones Collection has digitized and culled together several hours of footage from this tragedy. Working together, this collaboration intends to produce a documentary feature, using the elements from the Jones Collection, new interviews by filmmaker Hunter, and the resources and infrastructure provided by the Embrey program. With an end result being the creation of a memorial for Santos and to provide on-going aid for his remaining family, the Jones Collection is using modern digitization tools and practices to finally find some justice for this family and community, using the city’s own past and the technology of today to achieve our goal.