Skip to main content

Patricia D'Andrea Rio Grande, Rio Bravo Project Collection

Identifier: MSS-855-BC

Scope and Content

The collection contains Patricia D'Andrea's interviews, slides, photographs and research on the Rio Grande, Rio Bravo. The collection includes articles, brochures, bulletins, correspondence, fact sheets, legislation, maps, memos, notes, newsletters, pamphlets, resolutions and reports.

The collection is arranged into 3 series.

Rio Grande/Rio Bravo: This series provides the context for the Rio Grande, Rio Bravo project. It is organized thematically with files most directly related to the project first, followed by research materials organized by subjects: Rivers, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Mexico, Water/Ecological Issues and Border/Immigration Issues. D'Andrea researched the history, environment, peoples, and cultures of the river.

Oral Histories/Interviews: The collection's greatest value lies in the oral histories D'Andrea conducted in an effort to preserve traditional knowledge about the river and the people whose lives revolve around it. D'Andrea travelled from the headwaters in Southern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico to find and interview over one hundred people. D'Andrea started with personal connections and as she moved along the river, she expanded her interviews to include individuals who had ties to the water: water managers, acequia mayordomos, water engineers and others whose lives or professions are directly connected with the river. She also talked with politicians and health professionals who shape policy. After interviews with those most directly involved with water, D'Andrea interviewed individuals whose relationship with water is more abstract, such as those who are natives to a river area, immigrants, historians and artists. These interviews demonstrate a rich diversity of Anglo-American, Pueblo and Hispanic cultures.

Of the over 120 interviews available on audio, the majority have corresponding documentation including a photograph and in some instances transcripts, notes, articles and other related research materials. Each file contains multiple interviewees. Not all interviews have transcripts and a few transcripts lack an audio component.

Slides: This series is composed of over 2,000 images on slides. D'Andrea traveled up and down the river 17,000 miles to create a documentary view of the river's course. The slides include images of people who live in communities along the river, places on the river in Colorado, New Mexico and Mexico and the river itself. D'Andrea documented both the pristine beauty of the river and its destruction, particularly along the borderlands, which have become dumping areas for toxic waste.


  • 1912-2007
  • Majority of material found in 1988-2000


Language of Materials

English, Spanish

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

Patricia D'Andrea started the Rio Grande, Rio Bravo project in 1988 with the intention of promoting a better understanding of its history and people encouraging its preservation. The river, called Rio Grande in the United States and Rio Bravo in Mexico, runs through part of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas and through the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. D'Andrea travelled the length of the river "in order to create a detailed record of the river's condition and the visible relationships between the river its plant, animal and human communities." While traveling, she conducted oral interviews with individuals living in river communities. She also made a photographic record of the river's course. National Geographic conducted a similar survey in 1938, thus, researchers can compare how the river has changed over time. In preparation for her project, D'Andrea conducted research on the places she would visit along the river, particularly focusing on history, culture, environmental, ecology and border/immigration issues.


10 boxes (9.5 cu. ft.) plus 1 oversized folder


This collection contains oral histories, slides and research materials relating to the Rio Grande, Rio Bravo project conducted by Patricia D'Andrea in 1988. The research materials include information about the river, places along the river from the headwaters in Southern Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, environmental issues and border/immigration issues.

Related Archival Material

Basia Irland Papers. Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries.

Separated Material

Archival CDs are stored in B3.

The following publications have been catalogued for CSWR general book collection: Valley of the Cranes and Tradiciones del Valle: Folklore Collected in the San Luis Valley
Finding Aid of the Patricia D'Andrea Rio Grande, Rio Bravo Project Collection, 1912-2007 MSS.855.BC
Jordan Biro
© 2010
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