Skip to main content

Oral History Interviews with Frank Waters

Identifier: MSS-613-BC

Scope and Content

The Frank Waters oral history interviews consist of one master set of thirty-nine (39) professional quality Beta videotapes. The contents of the original tapes are recorded on two sets of thirteen (13) videocassettes for patron use. The set of videocassettes labeled, "Window burn from Beta, camera originals," can be used for editing. Additionally, there are two sets of seven (7) audio cassette tapes of the interviews (one set for patron use), a transcript log, plus a summary log of the contents of the videotape. Several tapes include "cutaways," showing footage of scenery from the town of Taos, Taos Pueblo, and mountain views from Frank Waters' home. Of special interest on tape 5, are interviews conducted at the Taos Pueblo with three long-time friends of the author, who requested anonymity. These three interviews have very poor audio quality, and are not audible on the audio cassettes. They are best viewed from the tapes labeled "Window burn from Beta, camera originals." (7) black and white photographs taken during the interview sessions are available in the collection. These photos are of Frank and Barbara Waters, the interviewers, and the film crew.

During the interview, Frank Waters relates many anecdotes of his life, philosophy, and of his writing.He speaks of local events, history, and the environment that inspired his stories. The interviewers question the author on subjects such as; the Hopi, native american mythology, Taos artists, religious ceremonies, Pueblo life, the Southwest and it's environment. Conversations also cover topics including, Mesoamerica, the author's research experiences, his use of the term "Indian America," and his understanding of religion. On a personal basis, his wife Barbara reflects on their first meeting and on their life together.

Master video and audio cassettees tapes are housed in B3. Duplicates for patron use are housed in the collection.


  • 1989, September 14-17


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.

Project history

Video interviews recorded with Southwest author Frank Waters. These interviews were taped September 14-17, 1989, at the author's home located in Arroyo Seco, near Taos, New Mexico. The project was funded by the Bay Foundation, New York, NY and was produced by Vineyard Video Productions with the intention of producing a documentary on Frank Waters. The interviews were conducted by Dr. Charles L. Adams, Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Robert Potts of Vineyard Video Productions. Dr. Charles Adams is also the director of The Frank Waters Society, and editor of Studies in Frank Waters. The documentary was never made and the videotapes still contain only raw, unedited footage.


13 video recordings (DVD) (ca. 13 hrs.), 7 sound cassettes (ca. 5 hrs.)

Related Material

Frank Waters Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Dorothy Brett Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Ann Merrill correspondence from Frank Waters Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Writers at Work Videotapes Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Frank Waters Correspondence and Contracts Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico

Separated Material

Master video and audio tapes are housed in B3.

Processing Information

Window burn vhs tapes reformatted to DVD in May 2012.
Finding Aid of the Oral History Interviews with Frank Waters, 1989, September 14-17
Processed by GMB
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 613 BC::Oral History Interviews with Frank Waters)//EN" "nmu1mss613bc.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