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Rudolfo A. Anaya Papers

Identifier: MSS-321-BC

Scope and Content

The collection consists of Rudolfo A. Anaya's manuscripts of his published and unpublished works. There are often multiple drafts of individual works and many of the drafts are edited, either by Anaya or by other individuals. There are holographic manuscripts, as well as typescripts and page proofs. A small amount of related correspondence may be found with the related manuscripts. It is interesting to note that some of the unpublished works contain material which became part of later published works. Anaya's works focus primarily on Chicano culture and New Mexico's cultural landscape. Manuscripts are divided into the following 10 subseries:
  1. Published Works - Bless Me Última, Heart of Aztlán, Tortuga, Silence of the Llano, Legend of La Llorona, Adventures of Juan Chicaspatas, Chicano in China, Farolitos of Christmas, Lord of the Dawn, Alburquerque, Anaya Reader, Descansos, Zia Summer, Jalamanta, Rio Grande Fall, Maya's Children, Farolitos for Abuelo, My Land Sings, Shaman Winter, Roadrunner's Dance
  2. Plays - Angie, Ay Compadre, Farolitas of Christmas, Matachines, Season of La Llorona
  3. Unpublished Works - "Dagger," "Do Not Go Gentle," "Eva Adams," "In the Beginning," "Leaves of Dust," "Serafina's Stories"
  4. Short Stories, Excerpts, Essays
  5. Edited Works - Ceremony of Brotherhood, Cuentos Chicanos, Voces: An Anthology of Nuevo Mexicano Writers, Aztlán: Essays on the Chicano Homeland
  6. Translated Works - Cuentos: Tales from the Hispanic Southwest
  7. Introductions and Forwards
  8. Poetry
  9. Speeches
  10. Miscellaneous
The following series were added to the collection in August 2009. Materials added mostly reflect Anaya’s career as a professor and his many involvements in numerous boards and committees.
  1. Correspondence: This series holds materials that reflect Rudolfo Anaya’s personal and professional life. Mostly letters sent from friends and students to Rudolfo Anaya. Other correspondence includes letters from Anaya’s professional contacts.
  2. Criticism and Writing: This series contains academic comments on Rudolfo Anaya’s writing and also holds short articles and manuscripts written by Anaya. Also included are audio interviews with Anaya.
  3. Individuals: Friends or acquaintances of Rudolfo Anaya on whom Anaya collected writing samples, newspaper clippings and letters.
  4. Chicanismo: Rudolfo Anaya collected articles and notes on the history and issues facing the Chicano Movement.
  5. Professional Affiliations: Materials documenting professional involvements, including boards of directors positions held by Anaya.
  6. UNM English Department: For several decades an instructor in the Department of English, Rudolfo Anaya kept memos and letters exchanged between himself and other members of the UNM staff. Materials include notes from the founding of the Creative Writing Program and the Blue Mesa Reviewstudent evaluations, original theses related to Anaya’s works and internal documents.
  7. Awards, Graphics and Photos: This series holds numerous honors and awards given Rudolfo Anaya. The oversize folder holds additional awards and posters and graphics advertising Rudolfo Anaya’s lectures and produced works.


  • 1960-2004


Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

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.

Biographical Information

Photo by Cynthia Farah Haines. Part of Writers of the Southwest Collection, PICT 986-008.

Rudolfo Anaya was born to Martín and Rafaelita Mares Anaya on October 30, 1937 in Pastura, New Mexico. He attended public schools in Santa Rosa and Albuquerque. A student in the English Department at the University of New Mexico, he earned a B.A. in 1963 and an M.A. in 1968. In 1972 he earned a second M.A. in guidance and counseling, also from the University of New Mexico. Anaya married Patricia Lawless in 1966. After teaching in Albuquerque public schools from 1963-1970, he became director of counseling at the University of Albuquerque. He began teaching in the English Department at the University of New Mexico in 1974 where he remained until he retired in 1993.

Anaya achieved national recognition and an international reputation as a prominent author of Chicano literature. Since the publication of his first and best known novel, Bless Me, Última in 1972, he has produced a large body of work including: Heart of Aztlán, Tortuga, Alburquerque, Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall, Shaman Winter, The Legend of La Llorona and short stories, plays, poetry, essays, and anthologies. He has also written the lyrics for an opera based on the legend of La Llorona.

Rudolfo Anaya has received many awards and honors. These include the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Lifetime Achievement in the Humanities Award, the Mexican Medal of Friendship, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from the University of Albuquerque, and the Governor's Award for Literature. In 2002, Anaya was awarded the National Medal of Arts for his "exceptional contribution to contemporary American literature that has brought national recognition to the traditions of the Chicano people, and for his efforts to promote Hispanic writers."


24 boxes (22.66 cu. ft.) + 1 oversize folder


The collection consists of manuscripts of Rudolfo Anaya's published and unpublished work; materials from his career as a professor, his involvements on numerous boards and committees; and correspondence with colleagues and students. Anaya's works focus largely on Chicano culture and on New Mexico's cultural landscape.


  1. Manuscripts (Published Works; Plays; Unpublished Works; Short Stories, Excerpts, Essays; Edited Works; Translated Works; Introductions/Forwards; Poetry; Speeches; Miscellaneous)
  2. Correspondence
  3. Criticism and Writing
  4. Individuals
  5. Chicanismo
  6. Professional Affiliations
  7. UINM English Department
  8. Awards, Graphics, Photos

Related Archival Material

Rudolfo Anaya vertical files. Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico University Libraries. Phyllis S. Morgan Papers regarding A Sense of Place Center for Southwest Research. University of New Mexico University Libraries. David Dunaway Writing the Southwest research and recordings Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Anaya, Rudolfo. Tortuga (Polish edition) and Farolitos of Christmas have been transferred to UNM University Libraries for cataloguing.

Published articles and stories have been transferred to Rudolfo Anaya vertical files, CSWR.

Archival masters of video recordings stored in B3.

Archival copies of audio CDs stored in CSWR vault.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2005. The small amount of materials previously contained in the Rudolfo Anaya papers at the Center for Southwest Research have been incorporated into this collection.

Post-it notes have been photocopied with their original pages, and then removed. Original page without post-it note and photocopied page are included.

Information on folders/contents list not appearing on the items themselves has been taken from Anaya's original folder.

Various versions of Anaya's short stories have been filed together by title since many were published in and/or submitted to various sources.

Additions to the Anaya Collection were made in 2009. Materials added mostly reflect Anaya’s career as a professor. Audio cassette interviews reformatted to CD.

After processing the addition, there were 2 boxes numbered box 13. The box holding oversized manuscripts was changed to box 24.

Film converted to DVD, February 2011.

Inquire with reference staff for access to unprocessed addition - 38 boxes + 10 semi-processed boxes in B3-6A (acquired Dec. 2019).
Finding Aid of the Rudolfo A. Anaya Papers, 1960-2004
Processed by Beth Silbergleit
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • 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