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Dorothy I. Cline Papers

Identifier: MSS-717-BC

Scope and Content

Dorothy Cline's papers contain seven content-based series and one series of oversized materials. Photographic materials are integrated into the collection. Researchers should check the contents of the oversized folders for materials relating to the various series. There are four large series (Personal Materials, National Politics, New Mexico Politics and 1969 Constitutional Convention), and four smaller series (Research, Correspondence, Ephemera, and Oversize). This collection is extremely important for the study of women within electoral politics and the role of citizens within the public sphere. Dorothy Cline worked for a variety of New Deal agencies in the 1930s and 1940s and thus collected a vast array of related materials. Her activities in the Democratic Party of New Mexico, local electoral politics and the 1969 Constitutional Convention were the hallmarks of her career. The collection was donated to the Center for Southwest Research by her estate upon her death

Personal Materials: Contains approximately six boxes pertaining directly to Cline's personal life and accomplishments. Included in the series are manuscripts from speeches that were given by Cline, biographical information, materials about her friends, personal and professional journals, and scrapbooks. The scrapbooks deal with personal accomplishments and campaigns, social and political issues and the 1969 Constitutional Convention.

National Politics: Contains approximately five boxes of materials dealing with Dorothy Cline's early career as a public servant. While a portion of this series deals with national politics in the 1970s, the majority focuses on Cline's career prior to her arrival in New Mexico. As such, the series begins with her involvement with the League of Women Voters in the late-1920s and expands with a large amount of materials covering the New Deal era, including involvements such as the Works Progress Administration, US Housing Authority, Office of Price Administration, Office of Civilian Defense, Federal Public Housing Authority, and the United National Clothing Collection. Materials pertaining to the Muskie for President Campaign are also contained in this series.

New Mexico State Politics: Consists of three boxes. Materials pertain to state electoral politics beginning in 1951 and run through her retirement in 1970. The main focus of this series is local and state election campaigns, including campaign ephemera, clippings, ballots and correspondence on New Mexican electoral politics, including her 1954 County Commission campaign. This series also contains material dealing with the Little Hoover Reorganization Committee, recreation, public welfare, planning, housing, the Democratic Party, Inter-Governmental Seminar, women, and other materials.

New Mexico Constitutional Convention: Materials address the role that Dorothy Cline played in re-writing the New Mexico constitution. This series contains approximately four boxes of foldered material and two boxes of audio cassettes of convention proceedings. Beginning with the campaign by the delegates, the Constitutional Convention series documents the duration of the convention, including post-convention activities, largely through daily news clippings. Subseries divide the proposals and related material by committee (Public Information, Executive, Legislative, Rules, etc.). Cline's calendars and day books chronicle the Convention.

Publications and Research: Contains the remnants of Cline's professional research, as well as her published articles and unsolicited manuscripts. The research series also includes two boxes of Professor Cline's research notecards.

Correspondence: Consists of two boxes of correspondence between Cline and friends/colleagues. This series is divided into two sub-series: Personal and Professional. These areas are fluid, as Dorothy Cline often wrote personal letters to and received letters from well known public officials. Correspondence that relates to a specific subject or series will be found within that series rather than in the correspondence series. Additionally, a sampling of Cline's postcards and holiday cards are included in this series.

Ephemera: Contains two boxes of personal and political ephemera such as bumper stickers, awards and proclamations, and campaign buttons.

Oversize: There are four folders which contain sample ballots from state and local elections, as well as newspapers, New Deal organizational charts, and other miscellaneous large-sized materials.


  • 1915-1990 (bulk 1941-1987)


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.

Biographical Information

Dorothy Cline was born in Michigan on 28 July 1904 and spent her childhood in the state. Ms. Cline graduated from the University of Michigan in 1926. She later earned a master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago. While at the University of Michigan, she became involved in the League of Women Voters, with which she maintained ties throughout her life. Over the next two decades, Dorothy Cline worked a multiplicity of jobs in a variety of locales. Around 1929, she moved to Cleveland to work for the League of Women Voters. She subsequently lived in Kansas City, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and New York, working for a variety of women's political organizations.

Dotty, as her friends often called her, worked for many New Deal era governmental agencies: Works Progress Administration, National Youth Agency, Office of Price Administration, Public Housing Authority and United National Clothing Company. She worked in the 1930s on the building and maintenance of the Federal Housing Authority's community of Willow Run, Michigan. At Willow Run, Cline was in charge of recreational activities and resources. The intersection between recreation and political involvement served as the main area of study for Ms. Cline. Throughout her life, Cline published articles on recreation, citizenship, women in politics and electoral politics in New Mexico. She was accused of Communist activities and subsequently, it appears, expelled from her public employees union. She was vehemently "anti-Communist" (read anti-Stalinist), but still a leftist Democrat.

Dorothy Cline arrived in Albuquerque in 1946 and through her connections with Tom Popejoy, she was hired as an adjunct professor at UNM. As the first women in the Department of Government (currently the Department of Political Science), Cline continued to teach and publish at UNM until her retirement in 1970, when she was granted the status of Professor Emerita. In 1969 she served as a representative to the controversial Constitutional Convention. In addition to her many other accomplishments, Dorothy Cline also served as the first woman County Commissioner of Bernalillo County and State Director of Health, Education and Recreation. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed her to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations. She died in Albuquerque on 4 December 1993.


29 boxes (19 cu. ft.) + 4 oversize folders


The Dorothy Cline Papers contain personal and professional materials related to the life and research of Dorothy Cline. Cline was a professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico and was actively involved in state and national politics. This collection is important for the study of women within electoral politics and the role of citizens within the public sphere.

Related Material

Dorothy Cline Interview UNM Archives Oral History Collection. Center for Southwest Research, General Library, University of New Mexico K. (Katherine) Wood Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico University of New Mexico Oral History Projects and Video Recordings Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Dorothy Cline Papers. Special Collections. Albuquerque Public Library

Separated Material

The following publications have been transferred to UNM University Libraries:
  1. UNM Alumnus. March 1979
  2. Five Year Facilities Master Plan, 1982-1987: The University of New Mexico Gallup Campus, June 1982.
  3. Five Year Facilities Master Plan, 1982-1987: The University of New Mexico, June 1982.
  4. Legal Status of the American Family. United States Department of Labor, 1950.
  5. A design for development decisions. New Mexico State Planning Office, 1962.
  6. A Report to the President of the United States on the United National Clothing Collection, 1945.
  7. Design for Development Decisions. New Mexico State Planning Office, 1963 reprint.
  8. Albuquerque Festival Marketplace. Enterprise Development Co. , 1984.
  9. Report of the Design Review Committee for the Festival Marketplace and Urban Park to the City Council, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico., 1985.
  10. Albuquerque Data Book, May 1988.
  11. Nation. Aug. 17, 1932, July 3, 1954.
  12. New Republic. Sept. 23, 1936, Dec. 2, 1940, May 18, 1942, Oct. 5, 1942, April 15, 1946, Sept. 23, 1946, Dec. 16, 1946, May 3, 1948, Nov. 14, 1949, Dec. 14, 1953.
  13. Summary Reports on New Mexico's Resources: Phase I State Resources Development Plan. State Planning Office, 1965.
  14. An Analysis of Intergovernmental Relations in Natural Resources in New Mexico. State Planning Office, 1966.
  15. "Material on Purpose, Function and Organization of Planning." City of Albuquerque, 1988.
Master audiocassettes stored in B3.

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • Dorothy Cline [videorecording]. Albuquerque, N.M. : KNME-TV, 1986 (CSWR JK8025 1910 C44 1986 )
  • Vasquez, Carlos, Dorothy Cline Interview [Videorecording]. UNM Oral History Program, 1993. (CSWR JA88.U6 D67 1993 )
  • Vasquez, Carlos, Dorothy Cline Interview [Sound Recording]. UNM Oral History Program, 1993. (CSWR JA88.U6 D672 1993 )

Processing Information

Newspaper clippings have been photocopied. Only a sampling of Professor Cline's greeting cards have been retained in the collection. Otherwise, the collection has retained its original character.
Finding Aid of the Dorothy I. Cline Papers, 1915-1990 (bulk 1941-1987)
Edited Full Draft
Processed by Dylan Miner, Ryan Edgington
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 717 BC::Dorothy I. Cline Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss717bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).

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