Skip to main content

Lansing B. Bloom Papers,

Identifier: MSS-110-BC

Scope and Content

The collection is divided into two series: Lansing Bloom Personal Papers/AGI Research and the John Gregory Bourke Papers.

The Bloom series, which is box 1 of the collection, contains Bloom's private papers and descriptive lists of hundreds of documents pertaining to Northern Mexico, New Mexico and Southwest history from the AGI that Bloom located and copied. The numbers in the lists that he assigned to the documents also appear on the photostats of the documents themselves in the AGI - AGN collection at UNM. Box 1 also contains a transcription by Bloom of a document from AGI: Justicia, Legajo 339 and various notes on this section of the archive, focusing on Francisco Váizquez de Coronado, the Governor of Nueva Galicia and Cristóbal de Oñate, the Lieutenant Governor. In addition, it includes family, personal and professional correspondence, University of New Mexico Faculty Senate business and offprints of several of his research publications.

The John Gregory Bourke series contains manuscript, publication material and diary transcriptions related to John Gregory Bourke, soldier and ethnologist, and many Indian groups in the West and Southwest. Six index card boxes provide an index to the Bourke diaries and clippings.

Bourke's field notes contain rich details about his military service in the West; studies of Indian and Hispanic villages; comments on U.S. military and political leaders; life at the Southwest forts; Quaker Indian peace efforts; and railroad and open road travels in New Mexico, Colorado, California, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, Idaho, and Wyoming. He wrote about the Apaches, Mohave, Hopi, Coconinos, Zuni, Shoshone, Hualpai, Navajos, Utes, and Pueblos. He met Crook, Clum, Kautz, Cooke, Brigham Young, Cushing, Gould, Bishop Lamy, Governor Wallace, and John Menaul. He saw and described Ft. Craig, Ft. Yuma, Ft. Wingate, Ft. Defiance, Ft. Garland, Ft. Bliss, Prescott, San Carlos, Beale Springs, the Rio Puerco, Rio Grande and Rio Verde, Tucson, San Xavier de Bac, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, the Cerrillos hills and mines, Tesuque, Albuquerque, Taos, Acoma, Laguna, Isleta, Sandia, El Paso, Pojoaque, Santa Clara, San Juan, San Ildefonso, Nambe, Raton, Embudo, Espanola, San Felipe, Cochiti, Zia, Jemez, Bernalillo, Santa Ana, Pena Blanca, Socorro, Senecu, the San Luis Valley, Ft. Lewis, Durango, Antonito, Chama, San Francisco, California, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Topeka, Chicago, and Denver.

The John Gregory Bourke materials were previously housed as their own collection, John Gregory Bourke Diaries. They were originally donated with the Lansing Bloom Papers, and thus are now back in the collection from whence they came.


  • 1540-1946 (bulk 1870-1946)


Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws.

Biographical Information

Lansing B. Bloom, an ordained Presbyterian minister, came to New Mexico in 1912 and worked at several missions, including the Jemez Pueblo church, before accepting a staff position with the Museum of New Mexico and School of American Research in Santa Fe, in 1917. In 1924, Bloom became a fellow of the Historical Society of New Mexico, where he held the position of secretary until his death in 1946. He served as editor of the New Mexico Historical Review (NMHR), with Paul A. F. Walter as managing editor, from its inception in 1926 until 1946, dates which coincide with his teaching duties in the Department of History, University of New Mexico.

Over the course of years, from 1928-1940, Bloom and his wife, Maude McFie Bloom, made numerous trips to the archives of Mexico, Spain, and Italy where he conducted research on the history of New Mexico, the Southwest and Northern Mexico. Sometimes their children, Carol and John, accompanied them. Bloom located and copied thousands of documents in those archives that were hitherto unknown to Southwest historians, greatly adding to the historical record and expanding on the work done earlier by Adolph F. Bandelier and Herbert Eugene Bolton. A large part of the photostat copy documents have been deposited at UNM Library. Some of them are also at the Library of Congress and the Bancroft Library.

Just a few of his countless "discoveries" in these archives were the rival 1540 claims and lawsuits of Cortes, Guzman, and Alvarado to explore the northern frontier of New Spain; the Gallegos report of the Rodriguez-Chamuscado expedition; Lujan's report of the Espejo expedition; Fray Marcos de Niza's Relación and the residencia of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, the Governor of Nueva Galicia and Cristóbal de Oñate, the Lt. Governor. He also found many documents pertaining to Juan de Oñate and the founding of New Mexico; accounts of Alonso de Benavidez's activities in Spain; documents for the Governorship of Luis de Rosas; the Inquisition cases of Governors Peñalosa and López de Mendizabal; accounts of the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, Otermin's recovery activities and De Vargas's reconquest. He located royal cedulas for New Mexico, accounts of the missionaries and reports on Indian affairs in New Mexico. In the AGI Contraduria files he tracked the expenses, personnel and supplies over the decades that kept the New Mexico colony alive, thus filling in the details of New Mexico's documentary past that was lost in the Pueblo Revolt. He also located the lost Bandelier colored illustrations of the Franciscan missions of New Mexico and the Southwest and the Florentine Codex or Sahagun's history of the Indians of New Spain.

One of the pieces Bloom worked on as editor of the New Mexico Historical Review (NMHR) was the 1870-1882 field notes or diary of Captain John G. Bourke, who was appointed by the army to study the Indians of the West. In 1931, Bourke's daughter loaned the field notes to Bloom for study and publication, after which they would be deposited at West Point (NMHR, "Biennial Report to Historical Society of New Mexico," April 1933). Bloom ran the edited notes or diary in the NMHR from January 1933 to April 1938, when a usage dispute suspended the series. (A brief overview of the NMHR Bourke series is contained in the NMHR finding guide at CSWR.) Bloom's 84 volume copy of Bourke's field notes is catalogued at CSWR (See Related Sources). The Bloom series also contains notes related to editing and publishing the field notes or diary, and a card index to the Bourke field note entries.

Scholars continue to use the documents Bloom located and brought to UNM, carrying on his legacy of historical study and publication. The photostats of these documents, Bloom's transcriptions of some of them and assorted notes are located in the AGI/AGN (Archivo General de las Indias - Archivo General de la Nación) collection at the CSWR. He was responsible for the major part of the selections in the AGI collection, while he and Dr. George P. Hammond also collected many of the ones from the AGN that are now in the CSWR. Many of Bloom's notes are also found in the frontispiece of each volume. France V. Scholes was Bloom's associate at UNM. After Bloom's death in 1946, Scholes continued this research tradition and added to the document collection at UNM. In addition, some of Bloom's transcription work and notes are also inadvertently contained in the France V. Scholes Collection at CSWR. Bloom published many articles based on these documents between 1913 and his death in 1946.


8 boxes (2.5 cu. ft.)

Related Archival Material

Frank Driver Reeve Papers. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. New Mexico Historical Review Records. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. France V. Scholes Papers. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. Bourke, John Gregory. Diaries [bound copy], ZIM E83.866 .B753 1872c. Also available on microfilm. Archivo General de la Nación de México (AGN) Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. Documents from the Archivo General de Indias and other related archives.Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Carol Bloom Photograph Collection, Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico. Eleanor B. Adams Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Richard E. Greenleaf Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Brown, Nancy M. "Sixty Years of the New Mexico Historical Review." New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 61, no. 4, pp., 341-352. Albuquerque: UNM Press, 1986.
  • New Mexico Historical Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 1946, special issue containing a biography of Bloom, a discussion of his research in Spain, description of the documents he located and tributes to him.
  • Bloom, Lansing B, editor, "Bourke on the Southwest." New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 8-13, 1934-1938.
  • Bourke, John Gregory. Diaries [bound copy], CSWR 917.8 B66d, v. 1-84.
  • Bell, William Gardner. John Gregory Bourke : a soldier-scientist on the frontier.Washington : Potomac Corral, The Westerners, 1978.
  • Turcheneske, John A. Captain John Gregory Bourke : soldier and ethnologist on the Apache frontier, 1882-1886. [s.l. : s.n.], 1970?
  • Bourke, John Gregory. 1846-1896, On the border with Crook. [Chicago] Rio Grande Press, 1962
  • Porter, Joseph C. Paper medicine man : John Gregory Bourke and his American West. Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1986.
  • Turcheneske, John A. "Historical Manuscripts as Sources for Anthropological Study: The Ethnological Correspondence of John Gregory Bourke." New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 59, no. 3, July 1984.
  • Hedren, Paul L. "Paper Medicine Man and the Renaissance in Frontier Military History: A Review Essay." New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 62, no. 1, January 1987.
Finding Aid of the Lansing B. Bloom Papers, 1540-1946 (bulk 1870-1946)
Processed by D. Trujillo, Revised by M. Burkee 10/2000, and N. Brown-Martinez 4/2003
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 110 BC::Lansing B. Bloom Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss110bc.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 UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131