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Albert E. Utton Papers

Identifier: MSS Utton

Scope and Content

This collection traces the Utton and Wood families’ arrival in Aztec in the early 20th Century with some early historical material about Aztec and personal journals of family members. An extensive collection of letters written by Al Utton to his family dating from 1949 when he left Aztec for UNM until the 1980’s describe his life at the University of New Mexico, Oxford University and in England prior to his return to the US. Additional documents include scrapbooks, yearbooks, University publications and files. As a member of the UNM School of Law faculty, handwritten class notes show the breadth of his teaching, and there is much to support his extensive list of publications, including some handwritten drafts. He founded CIRT and expanded the Natural Resources Law program at the Law School. International activity ranged from an intense interest and knowledge of US-Mexico border issues to the Committee on Foreign Relations, and to issues facing rivers and watersheds around the globe addressed by his membership on the International Law Association Water Resources Committee. Family scrapbooks and the UNMSOL scrapbooks contain many clippings describing his work for New Mexico, the University of New Mexico, the Law School, and his long time Chairmanship of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission.


  • 1877-2009
  • Majority of material found within 1960-1998

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Limited duplication allowed for research purposes. User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biography / History

Albert E. Utton was born in 1931 in Aztec, NM. He received his undergraduate degree from UNM in1953 in Geology and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study law at Oxford University. He received law degrees from the University of London and Yale University. Utton was a Barrister at Law of the Inner Temple of the English Bar and served with the Judge Advocate General in England before returning to New Mexico to join the UNM School of Law faculty in 1962, the first native born New Mexican hired by the Law School. He served a term as Interim Dean of the Law School. Immediately after arriving at UNMSOL he took over the fledgling Natural Resources Journal and guided it to national and international prominence. A recognized authority on water rights and natural resources law he authored many books on these subjects. Within the Law School he organized the International Transboundary Resources Center which was renamed the Utton Transboundary Resources Center after his death in 1998. He served on the NM Interstate Stream Commission for nearly 20 years, many as Chairman. In 1997, in recognition of his friendship, knowledge and work on cross-border natural resource issues, Mexico awarded him the Aguila Azteca Award, its highest honor for non-citizens. He died in Albuquerque in October 1998.


24 boxes (24 cu. ft.)

Inventory of the Albert E. Utton Papers, 1877-2009
Edited Full Draft
Ruth Singer
© 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM School of Law Library Repository

1117 Stanford NE, MSC11 6080
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
(505) 277-0935