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Toney Anaya Papers

Identifier: MSS-575-BC

Scope and Content

The majority of the Toney Anaya papers contain documents accumulated during his tenures as New Mexico Attorney General (Jan. 1975-Dec. 1978), Governor of New Mexico (Jan. 1983-Dec. 1986), and his involvement in national minority issues and NAFTA legislation. The collection is divided into five series: Attorney General Papers, 1974-1978; Gubernatorial Papers, 1982-1987; Social and Political Activities, 1987-1995; Memorabilia; and Audio and Video Recordings, 1977-1985.

Series I, the Attorney General papers, contains campaign records, speeches, background files, press clippings and materials relating to his 1978 run for the U.S. Senate. The Gubernatorial papers, in Series II, contain campaign materials including election petitions by county, campaign finance records, and press clippings. Records of the governor's office include policy manuals, budgets, correspondence, press clippings, agency reports, legislation, and background files on education, energy, economic development, and capital punishment. Series III, Social and Political Activities, 1987-1995, is the largest series. The bulk of it relates to economic, labor, and environmental aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement, 1987-1995. It contains social and economic studies on Mexico, publications, background files, clippings, and daily reports/updates issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission. Also included here are records of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, 1992, and records of the Democratic National Committee, 1990-1991. Series IV contains memorabilia such as awards, recognitions, and souvenirs from Anaya's career. Finally, Series V houses recordings of speeches, interviews, and campaign advertisements.

An addition was processed in December 2011. Materials added are organized into the following series: Biographical, Death Penalty, Education, Events/Speaking engagements, Hispanic American Institute, Hispanic Issues, Santa Fe Home Rule Commission, Jessie Jackson Presidential Campaign and National Rainbow Coalition, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Latin America, NAFTA, Newspaper Clippings Scrapbooks and Political Cartoons, Organizations and Causes, and Press Releases/Policy Statements.

Biographical includes correspondence about Anaya's early career along with photos of family and friends, early newspaper clippings of the Anaya family and work in Moriarty, N.M., featured articles and memorabilia. Death Penalty includes correspondence and informational material. Education includes reports, summaries, and correspondence regarding Governor's Task Force on Higher Education. Events/Speaking engagements includes correspondence, printed and handwritten public speeches and publications. Hispanic American Institute includes organizational and grant writing material. Hispanic Issues include correspondence, publications and informational material. Home Rule Commission materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, plans, etc. materials related to Santa Fe city charter. Jessie Jackson Presidential Campaign and National Rainbow Coalition includes unique manuscripts, photos, and ephemera not available elsewhere about Anaya's and New Mexicos contribution and involvement in the Jackson campaign and Rainbow Coalition. Los Alamos National Laboratory includes primarily material related to Procurement Task Force and small business. Latin America contains distinctive material related to Latin America during the Reagan era. NAFTA includes similar material found in series III of this collection. Newspaper Clippings Scrapbooks and Political Cartoons contains clipping gathered from various newspapers throughout New Mexico related to Anaya. It also contains one box of large original cartoon drawings. Organizations and Causes and Press Releases/Policy Statements series contain notes, correspondence, and publications related to Anaya's involvement with various public institutions and political issues.

An unprocessed addition of twelve boxes was added to the collection in May 2024. The addition includes personal materials related to Governor Anaya's time as Attorney General and Governor, as well as related campaign materials for Attorney General, Governor, US Senate, the Reverend Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign and other similar matters. Please consult with CSWR Reference staff for access to this addition and for any questions.


  • 1965-2005


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 publicaiton or distribution.

Biographical Information

Toney Anaya, a prominent New Mexico politician and national Hispanic leader, was born in Moriarity, N.M. on April 29, 1941. He grew up in a small dirt-floored adobe house with no electricity or indoor plumbing. After attending public school in Moriarity and a brief stint at N.M. Highlands University in the late 1950's, Anaya transferred to Washington D.C., where he graduated from Georgetown University in 1963 with a B.A. in Economics/Political Science. He received his J.D. from Washington College of Law, American University, Washington D.C. in 1967.

Anaya demonstrated an early interest in and attraction to national politics. He worked as a clerical assistant to U.S. Senator Dennis Chavez in 1959, held federal jobs while in school in Washington D.C., and was Legislative Counsel to U.S. Senator Joseph M. Montoya from 1966-69. Nevertheless, he maintained strong ties to his home state, where he returned in 1970 as a partner in a law firm. Aside from occasional brushes with private legal practice and business ventures, most of his career since 1970 has been in public service.

As Attorney General, 1975-1978, Anaya established his reputation for being fearless and tenacious. He concentrated his efforts on issues like consumer education, consumer protection, and legislative campaign reform. As governor, 1983-1986, his agenda was based on the premise that government should provide services that individuals cannot provide for themselves. Anaya pursued his program as governor energetically, regardless of the consequences. He took a strong controversial stand opposing the death penalty; declared New Mexico a sanctuary for political refugees as a response to the turmoil in Central America in the mid-1980's; and vehemently opposed discriminatory immigration legislation.

During his gubernatorial administration, he expanded his activities to include involvement in national Hispanic politics. This caused frequent absences from New Mexico, and what some voters interpreted as a racial motivation in his politics. A precipitous drop in his popularity at home resulted, and toward the end of his tenure in office he received the lowest approval rating for a New Mexico governor in recent history. Undaunted, he stated in a 1985 magazine interview that he hoped history would show his efforts led to long-term, systemic institutional change.

Since January 1987, Anaya has served on numerous boards, commissions, and with non-profit organizations primarily focusing on Hispanic issues, education, and politics. His most significant national activities have been with the Democratic National Committee and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


59 boxes (57 cu. ft.) plus oversize folder

Related Material

Governor's Records New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, N.M. Attorney General's Records, New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, N.M. Vertical file: Anaya, Toney, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping Records Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Jerry Apodaca Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Frank I. Sanchez Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Myron Carson Papers Pertaining to Workers' Compensation and Employment of the Handicapped in New Mexico Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

Photographs have been transferred to the Toney Anaya Pictorial Collection.

Publications have been transferred to the University Libraries for cataloguing.

13 videos of lectures to Political Sociology class at UNM have been catalogued: ZIM CSWR F801.2 A55 A56 1989, no. 1-13

Other audio and video recordings have been transferred to the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.

Processing Information

An unprocessed addition of twelve boxes was added to the collection in May 2024. This addition is shelved on B3-11A.

Addition processed: November 2011. Some of this material was incorporated into the original accession, such as oversized items and memorabilia.

Box 36, containing audio and video recordings has been removed. Recordings have been transferred to the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.
Finding Aid of the Toney Anaya Papers, 1965-2005
For Approval
Processed by Rose Diaz
©2000, 2011
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 575 BC::Toney Anaya Papers)//EN" "nmu1mss575bc.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