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Boyd C. Pratt Papers pertaining to the "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects"

Identifier: MSS-736-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence, drafts, notes, photocopies of articles, clippings, and images accumulated during the writing of the unpublished "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects." The collection is a compilation of research materials generated separately by Boyd Pratt and Susan McColeman Elder during their involvement on the directory project beginning in 1987. They continued to collect materials until 1992 in anticipation of adding information before publication. The directory, however, was never published.

Information in the directory includes vital statistics, educational background, professional practice, and general description of the work of the architects. Materials relate mainly to New Mexico architects whose practices began as early as 1882, with a small group of out-of-state architects also included. Research materials on architects not included in the final draft of the directory are also part of this collection. Biographical material is arranged alphabetically under the architect's name. Information on over 70 architects, including Charles T. Gaastra and Edward Buxton Cristy, is available in the collection. A 1988 draft of the directory, along with editorial correspondence and guidelines for the project are included.

Background research materials on the history of architecture in New Mexico complete the collection. These include student theses written by women during the early 1900s relating to early 20th Century residential architecture in New Mexico. Building specifications covering structures such as the state penitentiary and the Museum of New Mexico and research materials about city planning for "New" Old Santa Fe, dating from around 1912 are also included. The Santa Fe materials include correspondence, clippings, bills of sale, city planning maps, and published materials.


  • 1882-1992

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.

Biography/Background Information

The "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects"," funded by a grant from the American Institute of Architects in 1987, contains biographies pertaining to New Mexico architects. Architects who began practicing in the state before 1945 were eligible for inclusion, although some of them continued their practices into the 1970s. Acting as an editorial board, architectural historians Boyd Pratt, Carleen Lazzell and Chris Wilson developed collaborations with local researchers to produce the biographical essays.

As project manager and chief editor, Boyd Pratt initiated the project, and generated the majority of correspondence with researchers. Pratt, a consultant for historic preservation projects, collaborated on a number of surveys and reports about the architectural and cultural landscape of New Mexico.

Chris Wilson is the founding coordinator of the University of New Mexico Historic Preservation and Regionalism program at the School of Architecture and Planning. His research has focused on public spaces, tourism, and regional design in New Mexico.

Carleen Lazzell has worked on oral history and historic preservation projects in New Mexico. Her Ph. D. dissertation was a study of nineteenth century New Mexico courthouses.

Susan McColeman Elder, a contributor to the project, was employed by the office of the university architect and authored, "A History of the Buildings of the University of New Mexico, 1890-1934." She published under her maiden name, McColeman, although she married during her involvement with the directory project.

The final draft of the directory, completed in 1989, was never published.


2 boxes (2 cu. ft.)


Research material, correspondence and complete draft relating to the unpublished book, "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects"."

Related Archival Material

Drawings and plans produced by some architects mentioned in this collection are part of the John Gaw Meem Archives of Southwestern Architecture, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Catalogued copies of "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects" (draft) are available in the Center for Southwest Research and Fine Arts Library, UNM (NA54 N4 P73 1988).
Finding Aid of the Boyd C. Pratt Papers pertaining to the "Directory of Historic New Mexico Architects" 1882-1992
Processed by Ellen Evans-Colburn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • 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