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José A. Rivera Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-587

Scope and Content

The collection contain photographs compiled by University of New Mexico professor José A. Rivera while researching two separate projects. The photographs from the first project document mutual aid societies. The photographs from the second project document the history, maintenance, usage, and social impact of agricultural irrigation systems in the Southwest.

The 2017 addition builds on these projects with photographs gathered for the publication La Sociedad: Guardians of Hispanic culture along the Río Grande focusing on the Sociedad Proteccion Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU; also, Society for the Mutual Protection of United Workers.) This accession also includes a set of digital photographs about acequias in New Mexico, arranged by place and theme. The second addition includes images of acequias, irrigation, and water management systems in New Mexico; in Missions in Texas, Arizona, and California; and photographs from Mexico, Peru, Spain, and the Phillipines. Often Rivera would travel with two cameras, one loaded with slide film and a second with print film. Thus, for most sites, there is a near correspondence between prints and slides.


  • 1897-2013

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed only for educational and research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist..


José A. Rivera is an Emeritus Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico. He holds an M.S.W. from Brandeis University (1970) and earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis University in Social Policy in 1972. He taught at UNM from 1982-2016 and served as Director of the Southwest Hispanic Research Institute from 1982-1994. His courses at UNM included Rural Community Development, the Practice of Policy Development and topics courses in Water Resources Planning. In the area of research, he specialized in the study of irrigation communities of New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas, and for a comparative perspective he also conducted field work on the acequias of Spain, Mexico, Peru, and the zanjeras of Ilocos Norte in the Philippines. He authored many publications that resulted from this work, as well as a book and journal articles about mutualista societies of the Southwest. From 2010-2014, he served as Secretario Superior of the Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos, a tri-state mutual aid society with local councils in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.


5100 items (5 boxes) : 1180 photographic prints, 2300 slides, 1586 digital image files

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


The collection contains photographs compiled by University of New Mexico professor José A. Rivera while researching mutual aid societies and irrigation systems, including acequia, in the Southwest.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize box shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number.

Images available online

Selections of the Jose A. Rivera Collection are available online via New Mexico Digital Collections .

Related Materials

Articles authored by Jose A. Rivera on specific topics, richly illustrated with photographs, are found in the UNM Digital Repository. Many are located here and here

Separated Material

Pictorial material separated from the José A. Rivera Papers.

Processing Information

Original accession was processed in 2007.

In 2017, an addition including digital images and photographs from the 2010 publication La Sociedad was processed. A second addition was received in 2022. This addition of partially corresponding prints and slides was minimally processed.
Finding Aid of the José A. Rivera Pictorial Collection, 1897-2013
Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2007, 2022
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.
  • 11/15/2021: RMOA import review complete

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