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Roy Rosen Papers

Identifier: MSS-477-BC

Scope and Content

The Roy Rosen Papers consist of journals, short stories, photographs, publications and a few personal papers. His journals are notes about experiences while traveling in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Some also concern his life in Santa Fe and his reactions to personal illness and surgery. Many of his photographs complement the travel journals. Publications containing his photographs are in this collection. Rosen's personal photograph collection is in the CSWR Pictorial Collections, arranged by subject.

The short stories derive from his personal experiences and his memories of travels as a tramp in the United States, 1914-21. With his original journals from this period lost, he tried to reconstruct his life on the road through a series of stories entitled Boe Series. Some of his other stories are set in New Mexico and Mexico and others deal with personal philosophy and religion.

Among Rosen's personal papers are correspondence and brief narratives on his reminiscences of Margrethe Mather and Edward Weston. There are also some typed notes to himself about his work revising and editing the journals and short stories. There are some business files, including correspondence with Cole Weston about the sale of a Weston negative and print in Rosen's possession.


  • 1910-1985

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.


Roy Rosen, photographer, was born in New York City in 1893. He was educated in Hebrew schools in New York, but little else is known about his early life.

Rosen lived as a hobo from 1914-1921, riding the rails and keeping extensive journals. Those journals were later lost, but what remained in Rosen's memory, he translated into many short stories. Later in life he resumed the practice of keeping journals, particularly on his frequent travels.

He first became interested in photography in the 1920s when he was acquainted with Edward Weston in California. He did not begin a career in photographyr, however, before moving to New Mexico in 1948. A self-taught photographer, he was influenced by the work of Weston and Charles Sheeler. Rosen photographed New Mexico and wherever he traveled, including Europe, Mexico and all over the United States. The photographs, along with his journals and stories, make a complete record of Rosen's perceptions.

Rosen's photographic exhibitions included shows at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University of Texas Art Museum, Austin; and the Colorado Photographic Art Center, Denver. His photographs have appeared in Camera, Luce e Immagini, New Mexico Architecture, University of Texas Quarterly, New Mexico Quarterly, and the Santa Fe Opera Program, among others. Southwest Review published a short story by Rosen, but the bulk of his writings, which he devoted the later part of his life to revising and editing, remain unpublished. Roy Rosen died in Santa Fe in 1986.


5 boxes (5 cu. ft.)

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Roy Rosen Photograph Collection.


Contact Information

  1. Center for Southwest Research
  2. Zimmerman Library
  3. University of New Mexico
  4. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-1466
  5. Phone: 505-277-6451
  6. Fax: 505-277-0530
  7. Email:
  8. URL:
Finding aid of the Roy Rosen Papers, 1910-1985
Edited Full Draft
Processed by CSWR Staff
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 477 BC::Roy Rosen Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss477bc.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