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Howard N. Rabinowitz Papers

Identifier: MSS-874-BC

Scope and Content

Howard N. Rabinowitz's papers document his academic career as a professor of history at the University of New Mexico. The collection is divided into 4 series.

Albuquerque NM contains three subseries: manuscript, research, and Mayor David Rusk clippings. In 1994, Rabinowitz began writing his manuscript, tentatively titled, "Coping with Urban Growth in the Sunbelt: Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1940-1974," a case study of a western's city's urban growth. The manuscript subseries consists of his nearly complete book. The research subseries contains the materials Rabinowitz's used to write his book, including Albuquerque newspapers, U.S. census data, federal, state and local government hearings on urban development, City Planning Commission minutes, reports, maps, photographs and interviews with major Albuquerque city and political figures and ordinary citizens. The third subseries consists of chronologically organized newspaper clippings on the former Mayor of Albuquerque, David Rusk (1977-1981). Rabinowitz was working on an epilogue to his book that included Albuquerque's transition from a commission-city manager form of government to a districted council mayor system in 1974. The first mayor under the new system was Harry Kinney, but by 1978 Albuquerqueans elected David Rusk hoping he would take the city in a new direction. He also had plans to write a second book on Albuquerque entitled "Builders of Modern Albuquerque" with a chapter devoted to mayors, including Rusk.

Academic and Personal Correspondence is comprised of Rabinowitz's personal and academic correspondence. The personal correspondence reflects Rabinowitz's avid interest in golf and his relationship with colleagues. There are a few family letters. His academic correspondence spans his over twenty-five year career as a history professor at the University of New Mexico. Professional correspondence also reflects Rabinowitz's academic contribution to the fields of southern history, African American history and urban history.

Professional Activities documents Rabinowitz's professional activities and teaching career. It is divided into two subseries: conferences, conventions, fellowships, grants, and workshops and courses. The first subseries illustrates the breadth of academic engagements Rabinowitz participated in, including papers and lectures that he presented, correspondence, programs, and notes. It also includes fellowship and grant proposals and awards, including the Newberry Library Fellowship that he received in 1978. The workshops and courses subseries includes lecture notes, syllabi and exam questions for courses on American history, Southern history, race relations and urban affairs.

Race in the Urban South documents Rabinowitz's dedication and contribution to the field of Southern history and African American history. It is divided into two subseries: research and published/unpublished works and correspondence. The first subseries consists mostly of unpublished papers on race relations in the South and related materials such as notes, proposals and correspondence. Also of note is a file with some notes and research on his dissertation "The Search for Social Control: Race Relations in the Urban South, 1865-1890." The correspondence subseries contains letters to publishers and colleagues on the topic of the American South and race relations in that region.


  • 1896-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1970-1997


Language of Materials

English, German

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

Howard N. Rabinowitz was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 19, 1942. He received his bachelor's degree, with honors, from Swarthmore College in 1964. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago, earning a master's in history (1967) and a doctorate in history (1973). He specialized in African American and urban studies. Under the tutelage of John Hope Franklin, he wrote his dissertation entitled, "The Search for Social Control: Race Relations in the Urban South, 1865-1890." He worked as an instructor for the University of New Mexico starting in 1971 and was hired as tenure track faculty in 1973, where he remained for the rest of his academic career.

He is best known for his book Race Relations in the Urban South on the origins and significance of racial segregation. He also wrote and published on urban history, including his unfinished book project about post-World War II development of Albuquerque, tentatively titled Coping with Urban Growth in the Sunbelt: Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1940-1974. He served as chair for the Albuquerque's Landmarks and Urban Conservation Commission from 1982-1984 and was involved in the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association. In addition to his scholarly work, he was an avid golfer and wrote numerous articles evaluating and ranking golf courses. Rabinowitz retired from teaching in 1997 to finish his book project. He died of leukemia on July 11, 1998.


16 boxes (16 cu. ft.)

16 boxes (16 cu. ft.)


The Howard N. Rabinowitz papers span his over twenty-five year career as a professor of history at the University of New Mexico, documenting his academic achievements in his fields of specialization: Southern, African American and Urban history. Included are an unpublished manuscript and research on the post-war development of Albuquerque, New Mexico, personal and professional correspondence, and materials related to his professional activities.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is divided into 4 series and organized chronologically or alphabetically depending on arrangement of the original collection.
  1. - Albuquerque, NM
  2. - Academic and Personal Correspondence
  3. - Professional Activities
  4. - Race in the Urban South

Related Material

Don Johnstone papers pertaining to the Albuquerque Citizens Committee Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, University of New Mexico Libraries

Separated Material

Archival copies of Mayor David Rusk newspaper clippings are available at the Albuquerque Public Library.

Processing Information

Cassette tapes were reformatted to CD, May 2011

Correspondence related to publications and book reviews have been sampled to avoid redundancy and because they are readily available.

Correspondence files most closely related to Rabinowitz's unpublished work on Albuquerque were kept intact.

Obscure published materials pertaining to Race in the Urban South, were retained. Photocopies of publications and book reviews that are readily available at academic libraries were removed from the collection, however, a sampling of book reviews written by Rabinowitz related to his interest in Albuquerque and urbanization in the West have been retained.
Finding Aid of the Howard N. Rabinowitz Papers, 1896-1998 MSS 874 BC
Jordan Biro
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided by: University of New Mexico Center for Regional Studies.

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