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Bainbridge Bunting Papers

Identifier: MSS-385-BC

Scope and Content

This collection focuses on historic buildings and architecture in New Mexico. There is a significant component of the collection that relates to the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and nominations of buildings to the National Register of Historic Places. Student research and research papers, class notes and lectures, and Bunting's articles and publications are significant components of the collection. Photographs associated with reports remain in the collection, while loose photographs have been transferred to CSWR Pictorial Collections.

The collection is divided into six overlapping series:

Series I, comprising the bulk of the collection, includes research materials pertaining to historic buildings, architecture, and city planning in New Mexico. This series begins with Albuquerque, including the Downtown, North Valley and Old Town neighborhoods, and the University of New Mexico. Following Albuquerque, the series is arranged alphabetically, with locations and subjects interfiled. Subjects included in this series are diverse, including churches, forts, gravestones, homes, John Gaw Meem, murals, penitentes, woodworking, etc.

Series II, New Mexico Miscellaney and Non New Mexico, contains general New Mexico subjects and materials relating specifically to locales outside New Mexico (Guanajuato, Mexico; Trinidad, Colorado, El Paso, Texas; Tumacacori, Arizona). Subjects in this series include archaeology, Indian architecture, biographical information about Bunting, the Cultural Properties Review Commission (CPRC), criteria for registration of historic structures and districts, HABS correspondence, radiocarbon dating, tree ring dating, etc.

Series III focuses on New Mexico Indian Pueblos. Materials are arranged alphabetically from Acoma to Zuni. Formats include pamphlets, blueprints, reports, and notes

Series IV contains Bunting's manuscripts and research for publications, including articles and books, notably Taos Adobes, as well as book reviews and related correspondence.

Series V highlights student research and class/lecture notes, although much of Series I through III also contain student research.

Series VI consists of one box of oversized drawings, maps, and blueprints.


  • 1849-1981
  • Majority of material found in 1964-1979


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. Copyright to materials created by Bainbridge Bunting has been transferred to UNM. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Bainbridge Bunting was born in Kansas City, Missouri on November 23, 1913. He attended the University of Kansas and later the University of Illinois, where he received a baccalaureate degree in architectural engineering, in 1937. He completed his doctoral dissertation, "The Architectural History of the Back Bay District in Boston," at Harvard University.

A conscientious objector during World War II, Dr. Bunting worked in forestry camps and mental hospitals from 1942 to 1946, under the sponsorship of the American Friends Service Committee. In 1948, he joined the faculty at the University of New Mexico Art Department, where he remained until 1980, climbing the ranks from Assistant Professor to Professor.

When he first arrived at UNM, he was the entire Art Department faculty. Bunting immediately and fully immersed himself in the local culture, and began an important study of adobe architecture. Popular with his students and active in the community, he was co-editor of the state's architectural journal, New Mexico Architecture, for seven years. Dr. Bunting was also a trustee of the Albuquerque Museum and a member of the Old Town Architectural Review Board. He authored numerous articles and three books on the architecture of New Mexico, Taos Adobes (1964), Of Earth and Timbers Made (1974), and The Early Architecture of New Mexico (1976). Among many other projects, Bunting conducted studies on Zuni Pueblo, and on the architecture of John Gaw Meem. In 1978, in recognition of these important contributions to the history of architecture in New Mexico, Bunting received the Governor's Award in the Arts.

Simultaneously, Bunting continued his research in Massachusetts. From the mid 1960s, he undertook an extensive study of the architectural history of Cambridge, resulting in a four-volume work, published by the Cambridge Historical Commission. In 1968 and 1975, he taught the summer session at Harvard University. At the time of his death he had substantially completed a history of architecture on the Harvard campus published by the Harvard University Press. Always active, Bainbridge Bunting was preparing to teach the fall semester of classes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he died on February 13, 1981.


7 boxes (5.7 cu. ft.), plus oversized folder

Related Archival Material

HABS Measured Drawings of New Mexico Buildings Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico David Kammer Professional Papers Center for Southwest Research. University Libraries. University of New Mexico. Bainbridge Bunting Collection of Measured Drawings Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Mitchell/McClure Architects Wool Warehouse Remodeling Drawings Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, Student papers on historic preservation in New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, Vertical File: Bunting, Bainbridge, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

Loose photographs have been transferred to the Bainbridge Bunting Photograph Collection.

Bunting Measured Drawings are housed in the John Gaw Meem Archives of Southwestern Architecture.
Finding Aid of the Bainbridge Bunting Papers, 1849-1981 (bulk 1964-1979)
Processed by EMF
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 385 BC::Bainbridge Bunting Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss385bc.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