Watering the Land:
The Turbulent History of the Carlsbad Irrigation District
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Bibliographic Essay of Archival Sources

Records located in the National Archives, Washington, D.C.: The National Archives is the principal repository for documents and records generated by the Bureau of Reclamation and its predecessor, the Reclamation Service. Documents found here are generally from files in the Washington offices of these agencies; relatively few materials from local or regional offices exist in this collection.

All documents at the National Archives are classified into one of over four hundred "Record Groups" (abbreviated as "RG" in endnote citations). Each Record Group contains documents from the files of a single governmental department or agency. By far the largest grouping of material relating to the Carlsbad Project is found in Record Group 115, "Records of the Bureau of Reclamation," which also includes earlier Reclamation Service material.

Record Groups are subdivided into subgroupings called "entries," which generally contain files originally maintained in a single, unified collection at the source agency. Easily the largest amount of Carlsbad material is found in Entry 3 of RG 115, "General Administrative and Project Records, 1902-19." Later general material is in Entry 7, "General Administrative and Project Records, 1919-45." An additional source is Entry 4, "Oversize Records, 1902-19." Entries 1, 2, 5, and 6 contain various indexes of the material contained in Entries 3, 4, and 7.

Records located in the Denver Branch, National Archives, Denver, Colorado: The Denver Branch of the National Archives contains a smaller collection of Carlsbad Project material, generally dating from the pre-World War II era. Of special interest are the General Correspondence files of the Chief Engineer and the engineering drawings of the Reclamation Service's reconstruction of Avalon and McMillan Dams. The Denver Branch also holds an almost complete set of Project Histories. This material is also categorized as being a part of Record Group 115 (see above), but it is arranged differently from the Washington, D.C. material, and generally originates from local or regional Bureau of Reclamation offices. Most of the material retains the classification system originally imposed on it by the Bureau of Reclamation.

Records Located in the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe: The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives holds a variety of material relating to the Carlsbad Project. Of specific interest are the correspondence files of the Territorial Governor, Engineer, and Office of Immigration (which promoted settlement). The Records Center also holds the articles of incorporation for all of the incorporated companies which did business in the Pecos Valley and a WPA history of the project written by Francis G. Tracy.

Records located in the History Museum, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe: The History Museum holds an extensive collection of regional and local histories. The "Irrigation" vertical file contains several promotional pamphlets published by the private irrigation companies and the Territorial Office of Immigration.

Records located in the Office of the New Mexico State Engineer, Santa Fe: The relevant holdings here are fairly limited, and are generally duplicated by holdings in the New Mexico State Records Center. There are, however, some miscellaneous pieces of correspondence that are not available elsewhere, including the transcript of the United States vs. the Hope Community Ditch trial.

Records Located in the New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces: New Mexico State University's library is home for a variety of relevant source materials, both primary and secondary. Of special note in the former category is a collection of manuscript material relating to James John Hagerman.

Records located in the Special Collections of the University of New Mexico Library, Albuquerque: The collections held by the University of New Mexico Library of interest to this project are limited mainly to regional and local histories.

Records located in the Pecos Valley Projects Office, Bureau of Reclamation, Carlsbad, New Mexico: The records held by the Pecos Valley Projects Office are in uncatalogued boxes as they arrived when the Amarillo Office of the Bureau of Reclamation was closed. There are several boxes of original survey note books and the general background research undertaken by a previous cultural resource consultant. Of particular interest to this project are the abstracts of title to some of the properties within the Carlsbad Irrigation District boundaries.

Records located in the Carlsbad Irrigation District Office, Carlsbad, New Mexico: The Carlsbad Irrigation District Office holds a complete set of annual Project Histories. The Office also has a limited number of engineering drawings which are duplicated at the Denver Branch of the National Archives and/or the regional office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Salt Lake City. Of special interest, however, is the extensive historic photograph collection.

Records held by the Bureau of Reclamation Office, Denver, Colorado: All of the historic records held by the Bureau of Reclamation have been transferred to the Denver Branch of the National Archives. The Library does hold copies of Reclamation Era, a popular magazine, which includes some articles on the Carlsbad Irrigation District.

Records held by the Regional Office, Bureau of Reclamation, Salt Lake City: The Regional Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Salt Lake City holds an extensive collection of engineering drawings on aperture cards. The only other items of particular interest are reports and studies dating from the post-World War II era.

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Last Updated: 01-Feb-2008