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Collection M 127:

Myra Ellen Jenkins papers inventory

Years this material was created: circa 1916-1993.
(The research materials in this collection include photocopies of materials dating from 1500 to 1993.)
Quantity: 56 linear shelf feet (in 115 document cases plus 1 oversize box and 1 flat file drawer)

(Photo on right: Pueblo Revolt Tricentennial Committee (Santa Fe, N.M.) group photo, 1980)
 ¬© 1998 by Fort Lewis College Foundation, Center of Southwest Studies account

Links to contents
Introduction/ Scope and contents
Administrative info
Container list

Biographical note

Series descriptions

Index to container list
Bibliography of works by Myra Ellen Jenkins
Center of Southwest Studies collection inventories
Center of Southwest Studies

 Introduction/ Scope and contents

56 linear shelf feet (approximately 53,500 items,
in 115 document cases and 1 oversize flat box and 1 flat file drawer)

This collection contains the files and records of Dr. Myra Ellen Jenkins, late noted state historian of New Mexico.  This is a thorough research collection with a personal touch, for "Dr. J"'s wonderful wit shines brightly throughout.  A lifelong lover of history, she has left to researchers a treasure trove of materials, the main focus of which is the land and water rights of New Mexico's Pueblo Indians.  As one of the foremost voices on Spanish land grants, Dr. Jenkins was often an expert witness for the tribes in court, and was honored by several governors as a "friend of the Pueblos."  She considered herself a scholar dedicated to complete honesty, however, and refused any case that could not be supported by documentary research. As she put it, she "was not a hired gun."

The collection also reflects Dr. Jenkins' dedication to accuracy in the teaching of New Mexico's history.  For over 60 years, she faithfully cut newspaper clippings and tucked them into her files, with notes of "NO WAY!" or "a deathless gem!" or "YES!", along with any documentation to support her stand: articles, essays, copies of archival material. Approximately 99% of this collection is photocopies of documents held in repositories elsewhere; the value of having them here is that they are organized topically for handy use by researchers.  The handful of original material mostly includes correspondence and historic receipts.

Biographical note and bibliography of her works, by Robert W. Delaney

For a chronology of Dr. Jenkins' life and work, see the first folders in Box 1.  For an obituary, see the Denver Post, June 28, 1993.

I Remember Myra/ by Robert W. Delaney
(published in the November 1993 issue of La Cronica de Nuevo Mexico, Issue No. 37)

For more than four decades, I knew Myra.  When I first met her early in 1951, she was a tall slender woman with no hint of the crippling osteoporosis that would plague her later years. She had come to UNM to work on her Ph.D. in Latin American History after having earned her B.A. and M.A. with distinction at the University of Colorado and after several years of successful teaching in that state's public schools.

Since we were both in the same program we worked and studied closely together: taking the same classes and helping each other prepare for the inevitable comprehensive oral and written exams.  Also, we both became Graduate Assistants to "La Suprema", Dr. Dorothy Woodward.  I got to know her parents to whom she was deeply devoted and for whom she provided a home for their later years in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Especially do I remember fondly her sense of humor.  She could categorize people and issues in a descriptive word or two.  One person at UNM was always a "fat-faced, old fool" in her eyes.  Phrases like "the Rio Grande River" or "down the La Bajada hill" were apt to evoke groans while holding her shaking head in her hands and uttering "Oh, my! Oh, my!" or "Oh croak."

Very proud of her English ancestry and heritage, she was always good for a laugh if I teasingly prefaced some remark with "God is an Irishman and He told me ....”  or, as I often asked, "Well, Myra, how are things with the schismatics?”  Such impertinence brought both a torrent of words beginning with "God is not an Irishman," and a dissertation that ended with "I am not the schismatic, you are the schismatic."

One time we were talking about someone and Myra said, "He's fine but he 'snabbles.'"   "He 'snabbles'?" I said. "Yes, he 'snabbles'."  "Myra, just exactly what does he do when he 'snabbles'?" "He can't get a complete sentence out correctly, he just 'snabbles'."  I never did get the complete etymology of the verb "to snabble" but I was convinced that "snabbling" was something to be avoided at all costs in Myra's presence.  As a cattleman's daughter, she was quick to remind me of the enmity between cattlemen and sheepmen if I ordered or jokingly said something nice about lamb chops or leg of lamb.

In recent years, we met mostly at historical conventions but it was always as if we had seen each other the day before.  She became New Mexico's pre-eminent historian but never lost that feeling for her roots nor her sense of humor.

New Mexico has lost a treasure, but I lost a close and dear friend of many years. 

Requiescat in Pace

Dr. Myra Ellen Jenkins' career will be detailed in other places but she will be remembered for her works and writing in New Mexican History.  A selected account of them will indicate the scope of her impeccable scholarship.

Expert historical witness before U. S. Indian Claim Commission for Pueblos of Laguna-Acoma, 1957-1960; Pueblo of Taos, 1962; Pueblo of Nambe, 1962; Ysleta del Sur, 1970 and for the Pueblo of Zuni, U.S. Court of Claims, 1982.  Prepared land title histories of Pueblos of Taos, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Pojoaque, Tesuque and Santa Clara under contract with BIA, 1981, and similar history for the Pueblo Laguna, 1979.  Under contract with Taos Pueblo legal counsel.

As State Historian, served as historical consultant and witness for the State Engineer in determination of water rights and acequia priorities. Served as expert witness in "State of New Mexico, ex reI. S.E. Reynolds, State Engineer v. Aamodt, et  al and United States of America, et  al., Civil No. 6639l," U.S. District Court; expert witness for the New Mexico Attorney General in "Paul Livingston and Sara Livingston, doing business as Livingston Homecrafts v. George Ewing as Director of museum of New Mexico, et al.," U. S. District Court, No. 77-192-B (involving right of the state to restrict sales in front of Palace of Governors to Indians only), 1978; "Mescalero Apache Tribe vs. Fred L. O'Chesky, Jr., et al., U.S. District Court, Civil No. 76-171B," 1977.

Wrote history of the Rio Grande Interstate compact for use by State Engineer's counsel in 1982-83 litigation, "The City of EI Paso et al., vs. S. E. Reynolds, Jeff Bingaman and Lalo Garze et al.", U.S. District Court, Civil No. 80-730-HB.

Selected Publications:

Guide and Calendar, Spanish Archives of New Mexico.  Santa Fe: State Records Center and Archives, 1968.

Guide and Calendar, Mexican Archives of New Mexico.  Santa Fe: State Records Center and Archives, 1970.

Guide and Calendar, Territorial Archives of New Mexico.   Santa Fe: State Records Center and Archives, 1974.

A Brief History of New Mexico (with Albert H. Schroeder).  Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1974.

"The Baltasar "Bata 'Grant', History of an Encroachment," El Palacio, 68, .Nos. 1-2 (Spring, Summer), 1961; reprinted by Museum of New Mexico as separate publication; reprinted in Richard N. Ellis, editor, A New Mexico Reader, Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1971.

"Taos Pueblo and its Neighbors," New Mexico Historical Review, 41, No.2 (April), 1966.

"Spanish Land Grants in the Tewa Area," New Mexico Historical Review, 47, No.2 (April), 1972.

"The Pueblo of Nambe and its Lands," in Changing Ways of Southwestern Indians, Albert H. Schroeder, editor.  Glorieta, N.M.: The Rio Grande Press, 1973.

History of the Laguna Pueblo Land-Claims, in R.. L. Rand's report to Indian Claims Commission.  New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1974.

Navajo Activities Affecting the Acoma¬∑-Laguna Area. 1746-1910, with Ward Alan Minge.  Report to the Indian Claims commission. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1974.

"Aboriginal Use and Occupancy bv Tigua, Manso and Suma Indians," in her Tigua Indians of Ysleta del Sur during the Spanish Colonial Period."  New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1974.

"Spanish Records in the West," in Western American History in the Seventies, Daniel S. Tyler, editor.  Fort Collins: Educational Media and Information Systems, 1973.

"Land Tenure History in New Mexico," EI Cauderno, 1976.

"Arthur Rockford Manby," The Denver Westerners Brand Book, 1967.

"The American Colonies, English and Spanish 1765-1783," The Journal of the New Mexico Council for the Social Studies, November, 1976.

"Early Education in New Mexico, The New Mexico School Review, 53, No.1 (Winter), 1977.

Tracing Spanish-American Pedigrees in the Southwestern United States.  Salt Lake City: The Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1969.

The Historic Preservation Program for New Mexico, 2 vols. editor, and author of Vol. I.  Santa Fe: State Planning Office, 1973.

Old Santa Fe Today, The Historic Santa Fe Foundation, editor, and author of various sections.  Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1972.

Foreward to Ray John de Aragon, Memorias sobre la Vida del Presbitero Don Antonio Jose' Martinez.  Santa Fe: The Lightning Tree Press, 1978.

"John Gaw Meem, FAIA, citizen of Santa Fe," New Mexico Architecture, 22, No.2 (March-April), 1980.

Sections of New Mexico history for the New Mexico Secretary of State Bluebook, 1965-1974.

"Some 18th Century New Mexico Women of Property," in Marta Weigle, editor, Hispanic Arts and Ethnohistory in the Southwest, papers inspired by the work of E. Boyd, 1983.

"Zuni History during the early United States Period," in E. Richard Hart, editor, Zuni History, Institute of the American West, 1983.

Guide to the "Lost" Records of the Mission of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Zuni, 1775-1858.  With Robert Delaney.  Santa Fe: New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, 1988.  

On video recording: KNME-TV, 1985.  Three Territorial Governors: Edmond G. Ross, L. Bradford Prince, and Miguel Antonio Otero.

Other articles and reviews in Encyclopedia Britannica, Americana Yearbook, El Palacio, Arizona and the West, La Cronica, Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, The Southwest Churchman, New Mexico Quarterly Review, Utah Historical Review.

Administrative information

Arrangement note:  Series are numbered consecutively.  Box numbers start with 1; folder numbers start with 1 in each box.  The series are organized in approximately the same order they were in Dr. Jenkins' files, therefore not necessarily in chronological order.  If files are chronological, that will be noted.  Because we do not expect to add to this collection, the boxes are numbered in one single numbering scheme starting with 1.

Acquisition information:  When Dr. Jenkins passed away in 1993, it was learned that she had bequeathed her papers to the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College.  This is accession 1993:08001 (plus a small addendum that is accession 1994:05002 and a subsequent accession 2006:105 primarily comprising diplomas, certificates and awards).

Processing informationThis collection (40 boxes of materials) was arranged and described by Cindy Jackinsky, a Fort Lewis College senior history major hired as the Center of Southwest Studies' archival assistant for this project during the summer of 1994, with Todd Ellison as supervising archivist, ending in August of 1994.  This index was produced by Todd Ellison in the summer of 1994, and was edited and indexed by Todd Ellison on (last revision ) March 20, 1996, plus formatting changes in October of  2005).  Initial html conversion work was by John Kelly Robinson, July 16, 1998; further html work was by Todd Ellison, March of 1999, January of 2002, and November-December of 2004.  Student archival assistant Haley Sladek produced the hyperlinks from the index to the folder lists, September-October 2005.  Student archival assistant Virginia Collins inventoried accession 2006:105 in October of 2006.

Note to researchers about newspaper clippings photocopies: The greatest challenge in processing Dr. Jenkins' files was not in deciding what to keep, but in copying her 7000+ clippings.  In an effort to balance the need to copy every clipping, while saving time and precious paper, several methods were tried.  Some copies turned out very small, and apology is given ahead of time.  Many clippings were made double-sided, so if one side did not turn out, well, just look ahead to see if it was recopied!  Happy researching. (Cindy Jackinsky, August 1994.)

Records deaccessioned: 9 boxes of clippings and of duplicate documents that were not originals.

Two related microfilm collections at the Center of Southwest Studies that Myra Ellen Jenkins edited and compiled:

I 004   Spanish Archives of New Mexico on microfilm.  For the period 1621-1821.  Edited by Myra Ellen Jenkins, and microfilmed in 1967 through an NHPRC grant.  Administrative, civil, military, ecclesiastical and judicial records and journals of the Spanish colonial government in New Mexico -- during the period of Spanish sovereignty over New Mexico.  Does not include materials on Spanish explorations and land grants.  Filmed chronologically, except for miscellany (1680-1821) on roll 21 and orders and decrees (1656-1821) on roll 22.  For an inventory on the Web including a detailed listing of the frames on each roll of microfilm, see http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm/NmAr/nmar%231972-002/   The Center of Southwest Studies has all 22 rolls of the microfilm edition, in microfilm cabinet 4, drawers 3 and 4.  See the Center's microform collections finding aids (M 129) for guide to the collection (1967; 23 pages) and calendar (1968; 182 pages), both volumes produced by Myra Ellen Jenkins.  A good starting place for using this microfilm is the 182-page printed calendar of the microfilmed records -- a detailed description of contents that was produced by the State of New Mexico Records Center as a part of the microfilm project that was sponsored by the National Historical Publications Commission in 1968.  The calendar describes the content of each roll of microfilm -- listing the date, contents description, frame number, and Twitchell Number.  According to Juan A. Trujillo of the Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Oregon State University, "The entire collection for which Jenkins prepared the microfilm calendar was described, annotated and partially translated earlier by Ralph Emerson Twitchell in a two-volume work published in 1914 called The Spanish archives of New Mexico: Compiled and chronologically arranged with historical, genealogical, and other annotations, by authority of the State of New Mexico.  Twitchell actually affixed numbered tags to each of the original documents he examined, and these numbers have been used ever since by researchers."  Dr. Trujillo adds that the 1914 work "is a critical resource for anyone doing serious work on the SANM microfilms, but it is very expensive -- prices start at around $500 on the rare book market."  The Center of Southwest Studies has this 1914 two-volume work, available for use only in the Delaney Southwest Studies (call number CD3394 1914 ).

I 005   Mexican Archives of New Mexico on microfilm.  For the period 1821-1846.  Microfilmed in 1969 through an NHPRC grant.  Official manuscript administrative, judicial, civil, military, and legislative records of the Mexican Republic government in New Mexico from 1821-1846.  See Collection M 129 at the Center of Southwest Studies for the separate printed calendar (produced in 1970) of the documents.  Rolls 1–41 are (in chronological order) the documents of the Mexican Archives of New Mexico from 1821 to 1846.  Roll 42 consists of the journals of various legislative bodies in New Mexico from 1822 to 1837 and from 1845 to 1846.  This collection pertains to Spanish, Mexican, Pueblo Indian, Navajo, Apache, Genizaro, and Mestizo cultures of the region.  Myra Ellen Jenkins was the project director and editor for the microfilm edition.  The original records filmed on rolls 1-41 are housed at the New Mexico State Records Center & Archives.  The documents on roll 42 are housed at the Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  The Center of Southwest Studies has all 43 rolls of this microfilm edition at the Delaney Southwest Research Library, in microfilm cabinet 4, drawer 4.

Series descriptions

Note: Record groups (RGs), shown in boldface, are numbered consecutively. The lower levels of organization, following the RG number, are subgroups (SGs) and series. Box numbers start with 1 in each series.

Record Group (with hyperlink to container list) and Series

Record Group 1. PERSONAL:

Series 1.1    Myra Ellen Jenkins biographical files, 1923-1993, 1 document case.  Biographical information about Dr. Jenkins.  Arranged by subject from the most general to the most specific. Includes vitae and publications list current to May 1994.

Series 1.2    Myra Ellen Jenkins, background of family and friends, 1880-1993, 2 document cases.  Includes correspondence, genealogical information.

Series 1.3     Myra Ellen Jenkins, personal correspondence, 1964-1993, 1 document case.  Arranged chronologically.

Series 1.4     Scrapbook, "C. U. days", 1933-1937, 1 document case.  Contains fragile paper.

Series 1.5     Photo and audio recordings file, 2 document cases.

Series 1.6     Awards and recognition certificates, 1932-1992, 2 document cases and 1 oversize flat lidded box.


Series 2.1     New Mexico State Records Center, 1962-1991, 1 document case.  Correspondence, notes on archival and preservation issues.

Series 2.2     Commission of Public Records, 1986-1993, 2 document cases.  Meeting reports, chronological.


Series 3.1     Historical Society of New Mexico, 1959-1991, 2 document cases.  Meeting reports, chronological.

Series 3.2     Museum of New Mexico Foundation, 1990-1992, 1 document case.  Meeting reports, chronological.

Series 3.3     Historic Santa Fe Foundation, 1966-1991, 2 document cases.  Meeting reports, chronological.

Series 3.4     Assorted New Mexico museums, foundations, 1967-1991, 3 document cases.  Meeting reports, brochures, newsletters.

Series 3.5     La Cienega, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, 1970-1993, 2 document cases.  Meeting reports, chronological. Documentary research materials pertaining to the period 1701-1972.

Series 3.6     Southwest Mission Research and Cultural Properties Review Committee, 1967-1990, 2 document cases.  Meeting reports, correspondence, newsletters from other foundations.

Series 3.7     Quincentenary Commission, Roots and Wings, 1989-1992, 1 document case.  Meeting reports and clippings.


Series 4.1     Pueblo of Taos/Land claims, 1533-1993, 8 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials on related subjects.  Includes information on other Pueblos.

Series 4.2     Pueblo of Sandia/Land claims, 1710-1989, 3 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials on related subjects.  Includes information on other Pueblos.

Series 4.3     Land grants-tenure: Navajo, Laguna-Acoma, 1540-1992, 4 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.4     Mrs. Walter K.(Suzie) Marmon, 1938-1981, 1 document case.  Oral history notes, reports, interviews.  Related photos have been placed in the photographs file.  Also some information on Nambe land claims.

Series 4.5     Land grants-tenure: Mesilla, Carnue, others, 1770-1982, 4 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.6     General: Plains, Utes, Apaches, Hopi, 1742-1992, 1 document case.  Documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.7     Ysleta del Sur incorporation, Apache Overlap cases, 1500-1989, 3 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.8     Land grants: Sangre de Cristo, Diego Gallegos and others, 1689-1992, 6 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.9     Water rights: Santa Cruz-Quemado, San Juan and others, 1696-1986, 1 document case.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.10     Water rights: Rio Hondo, Rio Grande Compact, 1693-1990, 1 document case.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.11     Pueblo water rights, State v. Aamodt, 1500-1985, 2 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials, some information on Pueblo ethnohistory.

Series 4.12     Pueblo ethnohistory, land claims, 1500-1990, 3 document cases.  Legal, historical and documentary research materials, reports.

Series 4.13     Pueblo of Zuni v. U.S., land claims, 1500-1990, 12 document cases.  Legal and documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 4.14     Pueblo of Santa Ana v. Baca, land claims, 1695-1993, 1 document case.  Legal and documentary research materials. Continued in next box of collection.


Series 5.1     Geography/archaeology/mining, 1955-1986, 2 document cases and 1 flat file.  Maps, reports, documentary research materials.  Continues in next box.

Series 5.2     Assorted articles on New Mexico history, 1959-1993, 2 document cases and 1 index card file.  Papers by Dr. Jenkins and others.

Series 5.3     New Mexico's Spanish/Hispanic heritage, 1648-1992, 3 document cases and 2 large flat files.  Documentary research materials on Spanish policies, New Mexico families and Hispanic issues.

Series 5.4     Territorial New Mexico to present, 1848-1993, 5 document cases.  Articles, documentary research materials and clippings.

Series 5.5     Religion in New Mexico, 1894-1992, 2 document cases.  Articles and clippings on several faiths, including Penitentes.

Series 5.6     History of New Mexico towns and counties, 1754-1992, 2 document cases and 1 index card file.  Documentary research materials, clippings and articles.

Series 5.7     Santa Fe, 1754-1992, 4 document cases and 1 large flat box.  Articles, documentary research materials, and many clippings.

Record Group 6. WORLD HISTORY:

Series 6.1     History of Christianity, 1931-1976, 1 document case.  Dr. Jenkins' class notes and lectures, with focus on the Episcopal Church.

Series 6.2     European history, 1500-1962, 2 document cases.  Publications, class notes and clippings.

Series 6.3     U.S. history/church, 1861-1983, 2 document cases.  Publications, manuscripts and clippings mostly on Civil War era and Kennedy Assassination.  Also, history of churches in the U.S.

Series 6.4     Colorado history: general and church, 1874-1991, 1 document case.  Publications and clippings, especially on Pueblo, Colorado.  Continues in the following document case with Series 6.5 materials.

Series 6.5     Mexico history, 1810-1964, 4 document cases and 1 index card file.  Publications, many clippings and dissertation on Mexican Revolution.  Also folders on Spain and Portugal.

Series 6.6     Latin American history, 1928-1956, 2 document cases and 1 index card file.  Publications, many clippings and reports.

Doing your own research:
This description of a portion of the collections at the Fort Lewis College Center of Southwest Studies is provided to inform interested parties about the nature and depth of the repository's collections.  It cannot serve as a substitute for a visit to the repository for those with substantial research interests in the collections.

This collection is located at the Center of Southwest Studies on the campus of Fort Lewis College.  Researchers wanting more information about using this material at the Delaney Southwest Research Library at the Center may email the archivist at archives@fortlewis.edu or click here to use our E-mail Reference Request Form (or phone the archivist at 970/247-7126).  The Center does not have a budget for outgoing long-distance phone calls to answer reference requests, so please email if you wish to receive a response from the Center.  To request reproductions/copies, click here for instructions.


Page last modified: February 21, 2008