Special Collections @ UNM


UNM's Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections houses a wide range of materials related to American and British Literature.

Published materials include fiction, poetry, and essays by and about Southwestern writers, as well as other literary works set in the region.

Also held is a general collection of rare books by American and British writers from all periods. Historical editions of works such as Gulliver's Travels, Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, etc., support the study of how such texts were originally published, marketed, and received.

Prominent New Mexico writers of fiction whose papers are available for study include Tony Hillerman, Rudolfo Anaya, Frank Waters, Agnes Morley Cleaveland, Margaret Randall, John Sinclair, Conrad Richter, Witter Bynner, and Wilfred McCormick.

The collections also include two Edward Abbey manuscripts and an unrevised proof of John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday. The papers of UNM alumnus Michael Blake contain drafts of his novel and screenplay Dances with Wolves. Of related interest is selected correspondence of Jack Schaefer, author of the classic Western novel Shane.

D. H. Lawrence, who spent several years in New Mexico, is another area of strength.  In addition to historical editions of his works, some of his papers are held by the library, along with the papers of fellow Bloomsbury writer and Taos artist Dorothy Brett. 

Among other major collections related to English-language literature are the Day Science Fiction Collection (1,275 titles, 1926-1950), the Seder Dime Novel Collection (2,000+ titles, ca. 1879-1912), and the First Issue Periodicals Collection (126 titles, 1892-1910).

See also the separate LibGuide to the History of Books and Printing.

Finding Materials

All Special Collections materials can be searched for in the UNM Libraries CatalogImportant: After entering a search term, select the limiter for "Center for Southwest Research" in the top left corner of the search results screen. Otherwise you will see materials from libraries around the world. For further tips, see Find Books.

Although you can use the catalog to search for archival materials (manuscripts, photographs, recordings, etc.), it is better to go directly to the New Mexico Archives Online. This shared resource provides inventories for archival collections in New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming, so be sure to use the Advanced Search and limit your search to UNM's Center for Southwest Research.