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C. V. Theis Papers

Identifier: MSS-560-BC

Scope and Content

The C. V. Theis papers contain reports, manuscripts, correspondence, notebooks, journals, publications, lecture notes, and research files pertaining to Theis' wide-ranging work in hydrogeology. The collection is arranged in four series: I. Office files, II. State files, III. Charts, tables and worksheets, IV. Personal papers. Included in the collection are research materials and reports pertaining to ground-water supply, water quality, geological surveys, waste disposal, and petroleum reserves. Many of the research notes and reports are filed under the name of the state in which the work was done. Also included are records of Theis' activities in professional associations and on national committees such as the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Geologic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Disposal.

The organization of the collection is based on a filing system, which actually included at least 3 separate systems, used by Theis' office and modified over the years. File numbers assigned to the original folders are indicated before the folder title on the contents list. Theis had set up handwritten ad hoc categories in his last years, which are indicated by [CVT] on the contents list. Alfred Clebsch of the U.S.G.S. inventoried, screened, and organized the Theis files and set up additional categories to accommodate loose, un-filed papers, before the collection was donated to UNM in June 1988. These folders are marked [AC] on the contents list.

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  • 1922-1985

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

There is no access to Box 19 until the year 2030. The rest of 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 publications or distribution.

Biographical Information

Dr. C. V. Theis was a Research Hydrologist in the Albuquerque, N.M. office of the United States Geological Survey from 1936 until the mid-1980's. He officially retired from the USGS in 1970 because at the time, compulsory retirement from government service was mandatory at age 70. However, Theis continued to work, and to come to the office regularly, either as a "rehired annuitant" or as an unpaid volunteer, until the mid- 1980's, when he began to spend less and less time in the office.

Theis graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1922 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the same university in 1929.

Theis spent one year with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and joined the Ground Water Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1930. In 1931 he was assigned to study irrigation water availability on the High Plains in eastern New Mexico. He was assigned District Geologist of the Ground Water Branch in Albuquerque in 1936. From 1951 to 1957, he was Coordinator of all activities of the Water Resources Division's cooperative program with the Atomic Energy Commission. After 1957, he continued to do research on ground disposal of radioactive wastes. His assignment as Staff Scientist, which began in 1968, gave him free reign to pursue whatever research interests he felt would contribute best to the mission of the Water Resources Division.

During his professional career Theis wrote articles, papers and reports totaling about 130 publications.


25 boxes (23.8 cu. ft.)

Related Material

U.S. Soil Conservation Service records, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Silver City Water Resources Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the C. V. Theis Photograph Collection.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Theis, C. V. Selected Contributions to Ground-water hydrology, U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply paper; 2415.


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 C. V. Theis Papers, 1922-1985
Processed by J. Brzosko
©2000, 2013
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 560 BC:: C. V. Theis Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss560bc.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