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Evelia Cobos Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-2013-009

Scope and Content

In the mid-1980s Ruben Cobos entrusted these early photos of his grandmother and first family to his eldest daughter Evelia. She generously donated them and some other family photos, with accompanying notes, to the CSWR in 2013. There are shots of Ruben at Menaul High School, during World War II, and at several early performances. Others show Evelia as a child with her parents, her brother Irving, and traveling with her family in Mexico City. There also are photos of Ruben Cobos, his second wife Elvira Garcia, and their children Renee and Ruben Marcelino. Evelia added images of her 1981 wedding and of her sons and grandchildren. Also included are photos of her father receiving her book about him; her book signing event; news clippings about the book; and three insightful essays about him. This personal collection provides a deeper understanding of the life and family of Dr. Ruben Cobos, a New Mexico culture icon.


  • 1930-2015
  • Majority of material found within 1970-2015


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

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


Evelia Cobos and Lee Olhoffer

Evelia Cobos was born in 1937 in Wagon Mound. She is the eldest daughter of Ruben Cobos and his first wife Rita Sanchez. The early lives of Evelia and her brother Irving and sister Helene were influenced by their father and filled with the ups and downs of everyday life, and also with love, humor, music, dance and folklore.

Dr. Ruben Cobos was a well-known UNM Spanish professor, folklorist and musician. Born in Mexico, he came to Albuquerque in 1927. He graduated from Menaul High School in 1932; got his BA and MA in 1936 and 1938 from UNM, both with honors; and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1957. During World War II, he served as an Army intelligence language consultant and translator, mostly in Maryland and Texas. He started teaching at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 1944. He and his students recorded Hispanic folklore in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado until his retirement in 1977. He wrote several bilingual books, numerous newspaper and journal articles, gave many public talks and musical performances and taught a UNM Spanish course on television.

Ruben Cobos married Elvira (Vera) Garcia in 1956 and their children are Rene and Ruben Marcelino. Ruben married a third time to Ella Martinez Vigil, whom he met at Colorado College, returning to Elvira about 1985. He died in 2010. In 2012, his second family donated his collection of over 500 reels of folklore to the CSWR (MSS 892).

Evelia Cobos graduated from Albuquerque High School in 1955; earned a BFA from UNM in music and art in 1965; and used to write short stories for the UNM Lobo. After receiving her elementary education certification, she taught in California and New Mexico. She was married several times. Today she lives in Rio Rancho and enjoys writing, music, and crafting. Her book about life with her father Ruben, between 1946-1953, is entitled They That Laugh Win, LPD Press, 2010. Her second publication is One of Us, 2012, by Ex Libris. She is writing sequels to her books and other stories on her blog and maintains a lively communication with readers.


60 items (1 box) : 50 photographs, 2 framed photographs, 3 essays, 3 clippings, 2 digital images

Language of Materials



The Evelia Cobos Pictorial Collection contains photos of Evelia, her father, Ruben Cobos, and their families. Also included are two of Ruben’s early concert programs; news clipping about Evelia’s 2010 book on her father; and three of her essays about him.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number.

Images Available Online

Seven images from the Evelia Cobos Pictorial Collection have been digitized and are available online on New Mexico Digital Collections.

Related Archival Material

Ruben Cobos Collection of Southwestern Folklore and Folk Music, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

Book: Cobos, Evelia. 2012. One of us. [S.l.]: Xlibris Corp.


Box 1 in Big Box location


Finding Aid of the Evelia Cobos Pictorial Collection, 1930-2015
Edited Full Draft
Eileen Hogan
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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