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Raymond Otis Papers

Identifier: MSS-363-BC

Scope and Content

This collection consists of letters and clippings pertaining to Raymond Otis. The value of the collection, however, lies in the four bound volumes of his unpublished work. These writings parallel events in Raymond Otis' life (such as his childhood visits to New Mexico, his education at Yale, and his early years as a high school Latin teacher). They also allude to other members of the Santa Fe literary and artists' circles of the time (such as D.H. Lawrence, artist Gus Baumann, poet Witter Bynner, and novelist Mary Austin) and other prominent personalities of the time (such as Mabel Dodge). This collection would be invaluable to any scholar of Western novels already piqued by Raymond Otis' published writings as well as to researchers of the Santa Fe artists' colony. These unpublished works are also useful for their descriptions of areas of New Mexico (Lamy, Raton, Taos, and Santa Fe) in the early 1900s with regard to landscape, ethnic relations, and social life and customs.


  • 1925-1966
  • Majority of material found in 1938

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material 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

Raymond Otis (1900-1938) was a novelist who resided in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the last ten years of his life. The New Mexican landscape was the setting for his novels (Fire in the Night, Miguel of the Bright Mountain, and Little Valley). Otis was involved in many civic activities. He volunteered for the Santa Fe Volunteer Fire Department, worked for the Indian Arts Fund, and worked with the League of Spanish-Speaking workers (la Liga Obrera de Habla Espa?ol). Marta Weigle, in her introduction to Otis' novel Miguel of the Bright Mountain, writes that "Ray Otis was briefly but vitally a part of the New Mexico literary scene." He formed part of the Santa Fe arts colony of the late 1920s and early 1930s as well as being an associate of Writers' Editions (a local cooperative publishing venture) and participating in the Federal Writers' Project as an editor. In addition to his novels, Otis published three short stories. He also published Fire Brigade, Indian Art and the Southwest: An Exposition of Methods and Practices, and The Santa Fe Volunteer Fire Department: a History of its Life and Reputation. He died of chronic nephritis at age 38 in Santa Fe.


1 box (.38 cu. ft.)


This collection is comprised of letters, clippings, and writings pertaining to author Raymond Otis.
Finding Aid of the Raymond Otis Papers, 1925-1966 (bulk 1938)
Processed by K. Stocker
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 363 BC::Raymond Otis Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss363bc.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