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Richard Martin Page Papers

Identifier: MSS-161-BC

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials pertaining to the dispute over the nature of Richard Martin Page's research at the University of New Mexico. There is correspondence, some to and from Page, George I. Sanchez, and President Zimmerman, clippings from the Albuquerque Journal and other newspapers descriptive of the 1933 incident about Page's attitude survey, papers prepared by Page for the Board of Regents' investigating committee, including copies of the survey, "Attitude Toward Natively Spanish-Speaking People of the Southwest". There is also a copy of the M.A. thesis, "Performance of Spanish-American children on verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests" (1931), by his wife, Dorothy C. Page.


  • 1931-1968 (bulk 1933)


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publications or distribution.


Richard Martin Page was born in Spencer, Iowa on March 3, 1898. He received his B.A from the University of Michigan in 1921. He taught from 1923-1924 as an instructor at the University of Texas, and from 1928-1929 he was a lecturer at the University of Chicago, where in 1932 he received his Masters degree. Beginning in 1929 he was an assistant professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Teaching industrial and clinical psychology, he also directed a psychological clinic for "problem children". Opened in 1931, it operated only briefly.

Page came to be interested in cross-cultural issues. After several years of residence in the Southwest, Page became convinced that prejudice existed to a great degree between Anglos and Hispanics of the region. Early in 1933 Page constructed a survey he modeled after L.L. Thurstone's, a pioneer in measuring racial prejudice, to measure English-speaking peoples attitudes of Spanish-speaking peoples. In his discussions with President Zimmerman about the survey, he was told to get opinions of Hispanics in the community before using it. Page contacted George I. Sanchez of the New Mexico Department of Education, Division of Information and Statistics to get his "approval of a plan to study attitudes of more mature individuals in a quiet way." Sanchez suggested sending the survey to the high school students of the state. Shortly before Page's survey was to be administered, a copy of it was made public and a statewide controversy arose. The survey was published in the local newspapers implying the negative statements were Page's own opinions. There was such an outcry that the Board of Regents formed a committee to investigate the incident. The hearings before the Committee Appointed by the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico to Investigate into and Report on the Responsibility of those Connected with the Attempted Social Attitude Survey, were conducted May 3-5, 1933.

The investigative committee's report made six recommendations; four dealing with the problem of the survey, the other two concerned the fraternities and sororities on UNM campus and the makeup of the Board of Regents. Page and Sanchez were cleared of malicious intent but it was recommended Page leave the University. Page turned in his resignation soon after the hearings. President Zimmerman and the head of the Psychology Department were criticized for not keeping better control of their employees. The committee asked for "strict regulation and abolishment, if necessary, of fraternities and sororities at the University to correct "discriminatory" conditions alleged to exist on the campus between English and Spanish-speaking students. Earlier in 1933 during the state legislative session a bill to do away with fraternities and sororities on campus had been proposed, but did not pass. After this report, the Regents appointed a committee to study the alleged prejudices against Spanish-speaking students by the UNM fraternities and sororities. The sixth proposal was for "proper and competent representation be accorded Spanish-speaking people by appointment to the Board of Regents".

Richard Page worked from 1933-1936 as Director of Personnel at the Denver Water Department. He returned to Chicago in 1937 working in various positions and receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern in 1941. In 1956 he moved to Santa Barbara, California to enter private practice. He died June 29, 1975 in Santa Barbara..


1 small box. (.5 cubic feet)


Contains material related to Richard Page's controversial UNM Psychology Dept. 1933 survey titled "Attitude Toward Natively Spanish-speaking People of the Southwest" which was vehemently contested by New Mexican Hispanic persons and organizations as being insensitive and racist.

Related Material

Governor Arthur Seligman Papers, 1931-1933 Microfilm edition. "Hearing on Racial Prejudice, May 1993"

James Fulton Zimmerman Papers (UNMA 008), Box 4. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico. "Proceedings at Hearing Before the Committee Appointed by the Board of Regents of the University of New Mexico for the Purpose of Investigating the Racial Attitude Survey," May 3-5, 1933

Phillip B. Gonzales,Forced Sacrifice as Ethnic Protest: The Hispano Cause in New Mexico & the Racial Attitude Confrontation of 1933. (New York : P. Lang, ©2001.) Call # F805 S75 G66 2001 c.1

Antonio A. Sedillo Papers Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries.

Physical Description

Microfilm edition.


"Hearings on Racial Prejudice, May 1993"
Finding Aid of the Richard Martin Page Papers, 1931-1968
Processed by T.S.Reinig
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 161 SC::Richard Martin Page Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss161sc.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