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Jerry L. Williams Papers

Identifier: MSS-1124-BC

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 2 series: Southwest Institute and Homestead Land Survey. The Southwest Institute was a field study program integrating physical, social, ecological, and cultural processes. Southwest Institute materials include readers and field guides for the various programs around the southwest. Geographic areas include the Rio Arriba-Rio Abajo, Rio Grande, Colorado Plateau, Chaco-Mesa Verde, Santa Fe Trail, Four Corners, Navajoland, Borderlands, Continental Divide, Camino Real, and the Mogollon Rim.

Williams’ Homestead Land Survey Project consists of research materials, maps, notes, land ownership information and oral history interviews. Audio of interviews and additional related materials are available via University of New Mexico’s Digital Repository.


  • 1909-2004
  • Majority of material found in 1980-2004


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

Jerry L. Williams was born on September 24, 1940 in Frederick, Maryland. He played in the marching band and graduated from Frederick High school in 1958. Williams developed his love of history and geography at Bridgewater College in Virginia.

Williams joined the Peace Corps in 1964, teaching at Zomba Catholic Secondary School in Malawi for three years. While there, he started one of the first youth marching bands in Africa with the help of his Frederick High School friends who supplied the instruments and uniforms. He met his wife, Shirley Snyder in Malawi.

Williams completed his M.A. at Indiana University in 1971, after which they moved back to Africa for several years. After completing his PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon in 1977, he and his family moved to Albuquerque. Williams taught at the University of New Mexico for 30 years, retiring in 2007. He created and directed the Southwest Institute, a travel-education program, for 20 years.

Williams died on December 12, 2022.

Source: Legacy Obituary


3 boxes : (3 cu. ft.)

Language of Materials



The collection documents Jerry Williams’ curriculum for the Southwest Institute and research for his homestead land survey in eastern New Mexico.

Existence and Location of Originals

Master cassette tapes are stored on B3.
Finding Aid of the Jerry L. Williams Papers
B. Silbergleit
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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