Upcoming Events

2019 Summer Lecture Series

with Ruth Lambert

The Center wraps up the summer series with Ruth Lambert's Documentation of Three Hispano Cemeteries along the San Juan River, on Wednesday, August 21st. The year's series theme is Hispanidad!, dovetailing with our newly updated Treasures of the Southwest exhibit featuring items from our Hispanic collections.

The lectures take place in the Center's Lyceum Room #120 at 1:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

This illustrated presentation will describe the history and study of three small Hispano cemeteries at the historic settlements of Gato/ Pagosa Junction, Juanita, and Trujillo. These are isolated and lonely places along the San Juan River; seemingly forgotten by all but the rare visitor. 

The cemeteries were selected because they provide an important glimpse into the history of these settlements as they chronicle the lives of the early Hispano settlers. For some individuals, these forgotten cemetery headstones are the only public record of their contribution to our history - the only visible evidence of their legacy. Many of the graves display Hispano traditions through language, religious iconography and statuary, and unique folk art that creatively incorporates local materials and objects.

Ruth E. Lambert is the Cultural Program Director at the San Juan Mountains Association where she develops and implements cultural projects using trained volunteers.  Past projects include the documentation of rural country schools, several small rural cemeteries, and Hispano arborglyphs.  Currently she is studying Hispano settlement along the San Juan River and the churches associated with several small towns.  She is the author of The Wooden Canvas: Arborglyphs as Reflections of Hispano Life Along the Pine-Piedra Stock Driveway and has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico.

8/21/2019 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM/Author: Tapley-Booth, Julie/Number of views (1094)/Comments (0)/

Center of Southwest Studies 55th Anniversary Gala

Honoring Morley & Arthur Ballantine

The Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College is celebrating its 55th anniversary with a gala on Thursday, August 22nd from 6:00-9:00 pm in the Center’s Plaza. Tickets are $100.00 supporting the Center’s educational programming aimed at student success. Attendees will be treated to live guitar music, a performance from the college’s Ballet Folklorico, and delicious food and beverages. Please visit www.fortlewis.edu/55thgala for ticketing and charitable contribution information. Limited seating. Please make your reservation by August 16th.

The Center of Southwest Studies provides an active program of free public lectures and events year-round at its museum, research library, and archives facility on the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. The Center was imagined and founded in 1964 by Morley and Arthur Ballantine, former publishers of the Durango Herald, college president John Reed, and professor of history, Dr. Robert Delaney, to collect and curate all aspects of the history of the Southwest. The Center was the first of its kind to exclusively focus on the Southwest. Over the years the Center has collected thousands of original documents, photos, artifacts and rare books, all to be cared for and made readily available to faculty, students and researchers from all over the world. It remains as one of the premier facilities with the best archival photograph collection and textile collection, the Durango Collection®, of any undergraduate institution in the West.

According to Center director, Shelby Tisdale, “It is through the insight and vision of our founders, Morley and Arthur Ballantine, and the ongoing generous support of the Ballantine family that the Center of Southwest Studies has grown from a modest library and archives in a small lean-to attached to the Academic Building, to the 50,000 square foot building on the north end of the Fort Lewis College campus that houses the Center’s archives, library and museum as well as academic classrooms, faculty and staff offices, and a storage area for the college’s collections. As we celebrate our 55th anniversary we look to a future of continuing our support of student success and community engagement. Please join us in honoring our founders and thanking the Ballantine family for more than half a century of ongoing support.”

For more information, please contact the Center’s business office at 970-247-7456.

8/22/2019 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM/Author: Tapley-Booth, Julie/Number of views (165)/Comments (0)/

 Summer Hours - Museum
Monday - Friday: 1 pm - 4 pm or by appointment
Library & Archives: by appointment only 8/12-8/16/19

Map & Directions

Purchase parking passes at kiosks located at Fort Lewis College information signs near entrances to campus.


Center of Southwest Studies
Fort Lewis College
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, CO 81301

Contact Us

Phone Numbers

Main Office: 970-247-7456
Library Reference Desk: 970-382-6982
Special Collections Library: 970-247-7135
Archives: 970-247-7126
College Records: 970-382-6951
Museum: 970-247-7456