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Acequia de Nuestra Señora de Belen Records

Identifier: Ms-0057

Scope and Content

Acequia de Nuestra Senora de Belen records date from 1912-1963. The bulk of the material dates from 1922-1956. Many of the materials relate to the cleaning and maintenance of the ditches by the ditch association members, and to the relationship of the association with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, which attempted to take over the ditch in the 1930s. The records are contained in three series: General Files, Ledgers and Journals, and Record Books.

The General Files series contains bills and receipts from the 1950s and four folders of election ballots for the same decade. Legal records include court decisions relative to the Belen Ditch and newspaper clippings outlining the Association rules.

The Journals and Ledgers series consists of bound employee and member accounts from 1922 to 1954.

The Record Books series includes a notebook filled with meeting notes, a partial legal writing on New Mexico law, a 1926 certificate book and receipt books from 1924-1926, 1928 and 1949.

Primarily in English, with small amounts of material in Spanish.


  • 1912-1963


Language of Materials

English, and Spanish.

Access and Use Restrictions

This material may be examined by researchers under supervised conditions in the Search Room.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with copyright and other applicable statutes.

The copyrights associated with these records have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Biographical Sketch

Acequia de Nuestra Senora de Belen, a community-owned and operated ditch, was constructed in 1905 by farmers in the area between Belen and Isleta, New Mexico, to convey irrigation water from the Rio Grande. The property owners located along the ditch formed an association for the purpose of regulating the distribution of ditch water. It was one of many such small ditch associations formed in New Mexico. Water rights were contingent upon an owner working on the ditch. This usually involved cleaning the ditch and keeping it clear of weeds.

In the 1930s, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (an association of smaller irrigation and reclamation projects) sought to absorb the Belen Ditch. A court ruling left the shareholders in possession of the ditch and its water, but granted the district the right to distribute water to certain non-shareholders below the ditch, in exchange for a fee.


2 linear feet (119 items)


Records of [La] Acequia de Nuestra Senora de Belen (also referred to as Belen Ditch), Valencia County, from 1912-1963. Includes financial and employment records, correspondence, election ballots, legal papers, minutes, newspaper clippings, journals, ledgers and receipt books.


  1. RG78-33 Tibo J. Chavez


Contact Information

  1. Archives and Special Collections
  2. New Mexico State University Library
  3. P.O. Box 30006
  4. Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8006
  5. Phone: (575) 646-3839
  6. Fax: (575) 646-7477
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Inventory of the Acequia de Nuestra Senora de Belen Records, 1912-1963
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Patty Marcks, Marah deMeule, and Christine Moreland-Bruhnke
© 2000
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//New Mexico State University::Archives and Special Collections//TEXT (US::NmLcU::Ms 57::Acequia de Nuestra Senora de Belen Records)//EN" "nmlcu1ms57.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA