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Ross Calvin Papers

Identifier: MSS-218-BC

Scope and Content

This collection contains a manuscript of "The Log Book," written by Calvin. He calls this piece (which documents his travels from 1902-1929) "a chronological record of observations, experiences, field trips, travels, relating to seasons, plant life, bird-and-animal life, climatic matters and such, beginning on the prairies of Illinois, continuing through a sojourn in New England, several years of residence in Pennsylvania and New York, both in the great eastern cities and in communities closer to the countryside, and eventually reaching the arid Southwest and California."

Ross Calvin's scrapbooks, memorabilia (programs from his own sermons as well as other church services and social events he attended, ranging from theater productions to dog shows), and souvenirs (such as an Air Force silk map of the Sea of Japan from 1943) are also housed in this collection. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings which reflect the major news items of his time. Clippings of a column entitled "The Village Parson" written by Calvin for the Silver City Daily Press provide insight into Calvin's religious views.

The collection also contains correspondence regarding Calvin's publications and reviews of his published works. A letter from the MacMillan Company, dated 1933, expresses their desire to publish Sky Determines, also indicating their wariness of the "risks" of publication "in theses days of depression." Also among the correspondence is a letter from Barry Goldwater of the U.S. Senate providing Calvin with positive feedback on his book River of the Sun, regarding the Gila River Valley. Calvin's interest in the weather (as evidenced in the subject matter of his publications) is also manifest in the numerous diaries which are housed in this collection. Many clippings saved by Calvin shed light on the factors such as climate, geography, history, and New Mexican culture which influenced his writing.

The collection also includes two digital items provided by the family of Ross Calvin. A book he wrote about his first wife, Adine Chilton Calvin, entitled A Mystical Bride, and her photograph.


  • 1899-1969

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 publication or distribution.


Ross Randall Calvin was born in Illinois in 1889. He attended De Pauw University (graduating in 1911), Harvard, where he got his Ph.D. in English in 1916, and the General Theological Seminary in New York City from 1920-1921. In 1917 he married his first wife, Adine Chilton Calvin, who died of influenza in 1918. He served as an Episcopalian minister at the Church of the Good Shepard in Silver City, New Mexico, from 1927-1942, and at the St. James Church in Clovis, N.M. thereafter. He was the author of four noted publications (Sky Determines; River of the Sun; The People of New Mexico; Lieutenant Emory Reports; as well as a contributor to numerous religious and regional publications (such as Arizona Highways, New Mexico Magazine, and the Southwest Churchman). Calvin's non-religious writings deal primarily with the southwest and the climatological, archaeological, anthropological, and historical influences in this region's present cultural and ecological state. A review of Calvin's book Sky Determines, published in the Minneapolis Journal sums up Ross Calvin as "a desert-loving clergyman."


6 boxes (4.9 cu. ft.)


This collection is comprised of papers pertaining to Ross Calvin, clergyman, author, and resident of New Mexico.

Alternative Form Available

'The log book, September 16, 1902-October 27, 1965" is available on microfilm at the Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico University Libraries (F796 C241x).

"A Mystical Bride" book is available online via New Mexico Digital Collections.

A photograph of Ross Calvin's first wife, Adine Chilton Calvin is available online via New Mexico Digital Collections.

Related Archival Material

Ernie Pyle Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Ross Calvin Photograph Collection.

See List of Cataloged Materials after Container List.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • A.N. Marquis Co. Who's Who in the West. Chicago: Marquis- Who's Who, 1954.
  • Abousleman, Michel D. Who's Who in New Mexico. Albuquerque: The Abousleman Company, 1937.

Books Cataloged Separately

  • Kiepert, Henry: Atlas Antiques, Rand McNally, 1899
  • Bradfield, Wesley, Cameron Creek Village, El Palacio, 1931
  • Fewkes, J. Walter, Additional Design On Prehistoric Mimbres Pottery 1924 Smithsonian, Vol 76#8
  • Powell, L.C. Southwestern Book Trails, 1963
  • Calvin, Ross, People Of New Mexico, 1947
  • Clarke, D.L. The Original Journals of Henry Smith Turner, 1966
  • Sonnichsen, CL. Cowboys and Cattle Rings, 1951
  • Emory, W.H. Notes of A Military Reconnaissance, NY 1848 no maps
  • Calvin, Ross, Sky Determines, 1934, 1965
  • Calvin, Ross, River Of The Sun, 1946
  • Calvin, Ross, Lieutenant Emory Reports, 1951, 1950
  • Calvin, Ross, People Of N.M. June 1947 UNM
  • Calvin, Ross, Barnabas In Pittsburgh, 1966
  • Calvin, Ross, Exotic Plants Of NM, 1966 in Mosaic Of NM Scenery, Rocks, and History, Socorro

Processing Information

Collection is basically unprocessed. Materials may not be arranged or described well. In March of 2014, box 5 was refoldered and slightly rearranged.
Finding Aid of the Ross Calvin Papers, 1899-1969
Processed by K. Stocker
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 218 BC::Ross Calvin Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss218bc.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