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Jack D. Rittenhouse Papers

Identifier: MSS-431-BC

Scope and Content

The Rittenhouse papers consist of materials related to the writing and publishing of The Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography (1971). Included is a seven page narrative written by Rittenhouse about the process of writing the historical bibliography, dated April 1979. There are several published reviews of the book and correspondence between Rittenhouse and archivists at Yale University and the Huntington Library concerning the storage of Rittenhouse's notes and manuscripts (1970-1972). Central to the collection are the galley and page proofs of the book. These pages are type-written and are full of hand-written annotations and editorial comments (1971). There are two photocopied illustrations of scenes along the Santa Fe Trail and a map of the Santa Fe Trail. Also included is a pressing in glass of two papyrus samples.

Other items in the collection relate to Rittenhouse's Stagecoach Press printing business. Included are several books of typescript and samples of plain and decorative book papers from American paper and printing companies in the first half of the twentieth century. The specimen books exist in both sheet and book form. There are book publisher's guides and graphic arts, some correspondence with Rittenhouse about orders to purchase rare books, and catalogs of printing equipment. The materials related to printing (Box 2 & 3) were previously housed in manuscript collection MSS 338 BC, Printing Collection, but were combined with this collection in April, 2001. Originally, the Printing Collection was part of the Rittenhouse collection.


  • 1970-1979

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. Permission is required for publication or distribution.


Jack D. Rittenhouse, book collector, publisher, and writer, was born in 1912, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. At age 4, he moved with his family to Rittenhouse Siding, Arizona, where his father worked as an irrigation engineer. As a young man, he returned east to attend Indiana State College.

Rittenhouse's literary career emphasized writing New Mexican history. He authored several books about New Mexico including the Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography (1971) and Route 66 (1946), a popular guide to the transcontinental highway. The Santa Fe Trail received critical acclaim and its press-run of about 2000 copies sold out in a little more than a year. Rittenhouse also started Stagecoach Press in 1951 and through it published more than fifty books about New Mexico and the American West. Rittenhouse was the president of the Historical Society of New Mexico from 1968-1972, headed the Museum of New Mexico Press, and was the western history editor for the University of New Mexico Press. Later in life, he was a rare book dealer. Rittenhouse died in Albuquerque in 1991.


3 boxes (3 cu. ft.)


The Jack D. Rittenhouse Papers consist of an edited typescript of Rittenhouse's Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography (1971). Included are notes on writing the book, published reviews, galley proofs, page proofs, and general correspondence pertaining to its publication. The collection also includes typescript and paper specimens and other items related to typography.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Daniel, Price Jr. Texas and the West: Featuring Books Printed and Designed by Jack D. Rittenhouse of the Stagecoach Press (A Bibliography). Catalogue No. 32. Waco, TX: Price Daniel Jr., Bookseller, 1965.
  • Holtby, David V. "In Passing: Jack D. Rittenhouse," New Mexico Historical Review. 68(2):199-200.
  • Rittenhouse, Jack D. Santa Fe Trail: A Historical Bibliography. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1971
  • Salazar, Carlos. "Jack Rittenhouse, 78, Loved Lore of West," Albuquerque Tribune, August 13, 1991.
  • Sandlin, Scott. "'Bookman' Jack Rittenhouse Dies," Albuquerque Journal, August 13, 1991.
Finding Aid of the Jack D. Rittenhouse Papers, 1970-1979
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Tad McIlwraith
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 431 BC::Jack D. Rittenhouse Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss431bc.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