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Dorothy L. Pillsbury Papers

Identifier: MSS-271-BC

Scope and Content

The Dorothy L. Pillsbury Papers consists of fan mail and general correspondence; article typescripts, related research, and correspondence with publishers; publications containing Pillsbury's writings, as well as clippings of published works, book reviews; and a scrapbook. The series and folders overlap, as some materials are arranged loosely by subject, some by date, and some by where/when they were published. The preponderance of material relates to New Mexico and its cultural landscape as conceived in Pillsbury's writings-Hispanic Americans, Native-Americans, Santa Fe and New Mexico social life and customs, festivals, and travel.


  • 1922-1966


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

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.


Dorothy L. Pillsbury was born in May of 1888, in New Jersey. Her father was William M. Pinckney. Pillsbury graduated from Pomona College, California and attended the University of Southern California, the University of New Mexico, as well as schools in Mexico and Puerto Rico where she conducted research for her writing. She spent fifteen years doing social work in Los Angeles before moving to New Mexico to become a full time writer. She contributed to many magazines including New Mexico Magazine, Southwest Review, Reader's Digest, and the Christian Science Monitor, where much of the material in her books appeared.

Pillsbury's four published books relate to the culture of New Mexico and include, No High Adobe (1950), Adobe Doorways (1952), Roots in Adobe (1959), and Star Over Adobe (1963). Because of her many published articles, particularly her Christian Science Monitor writings, she corresponded with "fans" who wished to relocate to New Mexico and the Southwest, those who with nostalgia recalled visits to New Mexico, aspiring writers, and those interested in Christian Science. In her correspondence, Pillsbury used her married name, Dorothy Pillsbury, for everything relating to New Mexico and her maiden name, Dorothy Pinckney for everything else.

Dorothy Pillsbury lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 25 years. She was a winner of the Zia Award, presented by the New Mexico Press Women's Association. She died in Santa Fe at the age of 78, on April 15, 1967.


4 boxes (3.45 cu. ft.)

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Dorothy L. Pillsbury Photograph Collection

The following publications have been transferred to the University Libraries for cataloguing:
  1. Writer CA: Writer, Inc. (Nov. 1951)
  2. Desert Magazine Boston: Desert Publishing Co. (Dec. 1943., Apr. 1947, Nov. 1948, Oct. 1949)
  3. New Mexico Recollections, Part II: NM: Vergara Print Co. (1961).
  4. New Mexico Magazine NM: Bureau of Publications (May 1955, Jan. 1960)
  5. Common Ground NY: Common Council for American Unity (Summer 1943, Winter 1944, Summer 1944, Winter 1945, Summer 1945, Winter 1946, Autumn 1947)

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Sonnichsen, C. L., ed. The Southwest in Life and Literature. New York: The Devin-Adair Co., 1962,pg 551.
Finding Aid of the Dorothy L. Pillsbury Papers, 1922-1966
Edited Full Draft
Processed by G. Martin Ross; Described by Dennis P. Trujillo
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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