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Special Collections

A guide to using the Special Collections of Eastern New Mexico University

How can I use special collections materials?

In our two genre-collections, Williamson (science fiction) and Southwest (American), we have two categories of materials: Open and Glass. This shelf location is indicated with the call number in the catalog. Materials designated as Open can be checked out for the same circulation periods as other ENMU materials. These may also circulate to other institutions for interlibrary loans. Materials designated as Glass may not be checked out; they must be used within the reading room by appointment for research purposes. Information for using the Glass materials can be found in the "Using the materials in person" tab above.

Would you like to check out a book but are unable to get here during business hours? Place a hold on the item and choose Eastern New Mexico - Golden Library as your pickup location. You will be able to check the book out at the main circulation desk. 

We are happy to help connect people to the information they want if we can. If you need information, please try to provide as much specific information as possible to help us narrow the search. Examples include:

  • Date range
  • First and last name of person or people involved
  • Contextual information: What is your research about and how did you find our materials? How do you intened to use this information?
  • Your contact information in case we need clarification or to send you what we find

It will also help if you can provide a timeline on when you would like the information. If we are already doing searches, we may not be able to immediately get started on your request. 

You may view non-circulating materials in the reading room on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment.

  • If you are planning on conducting research at the archives, we prefer that you make an appointment. You can do so by emailing Regina Bouley Sweeten, Archives and Special Collections Librarian (; 575-562-2679).
  • Pencils (not pens) are allowed to take notes while working with the materials. However, you could instead choose to use a laptop. We do have multiple outlets.
  • We can provide duplicating in the form of scans on site. Please plan ahead and bring a flash drive. We may be able to email scans to you if they are smaller than 20 megabytes, but a file may turn out to be larger than you expect, especially if you find more than you thought!
  • Water with a closed top is allowed but must be kept on a surface separate from materials. Food is not allowed in Special Collections. There are several dining options in town, many within walking distance of campus. We have fast food chains as well as local eateries. There is also an Einstein's Bagels located in the Golden Student Success Center that is open when classes are in session. (Times may vary during breaks and during summer hours.)
  • Parking on campus is free but requires a temporary parking permit to avoid a ticket. More information can be found on the ENMU Parking website.

Travel and the Area

    • Travel: There are airports in Lubbock and Roswell, both of which are just about 2 hours drive from here. There is also a small plane service in Clovis, 30 minutes from Portales, to which you may find flights connecting if you are flying.
    • Accommodations: There are several hotels in Portales that you can find on any standard hotel booking site. There is also a lovely BnB just outside of town that has comparable prices to the hotels.
    • Weather: Our local temperatures are usually in the 80s and 90s outside with low humidity, though it will be about 66 degrees inside Special Collections. Dressing in layers with a warm sweater is recommended since you’ll be sitting for quite a while. You will also want to drink water to deal with the elevation increase if you live closer to sea level. You can view yearly conditions here.

Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library

The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library at Eastern New Mexico University has one of the top science fiction collections in the world. It contains more than 30,000 volumes, including:

  • science fiction books
  • SF pulps dating back to the early 1900s
  • manuscripts
  • correspondence
  • photographs
  • many other items

Many items were donated from the personal collection of science fiction pioneer Jack Williamson, a Grand Master of Science Fiction and winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards. Williamson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from ENMU, taught for 17 years as a faculty member in the English department, endowed scholarships for ENMU students and underwrote the University's literary magazine, El Portal. He died in 2006 at age 98.

In 2006, the collection expanded with the donation of 15,000 volumes of science fiction books and magazines from R. Duane and Kathryn Elms of Silver City. The gift included one-of-a-kind items, first editions, signed editions and thousands of collectible publications.


Southwest Collections

The Southwest Collection is an assortment of rare and unusual works, books by New Mexico authors, and books about New Mexico. Selected authors include: Emerson Hough, Eugene Manlove Rhodes, Paul Horgan, Rudolfo Anaya, Tony Hillerman, Mary Austin, J. Evetts Haley, Father Stanley Crocchioloa and Oliver La Farge. The collection also includes a number of books about individual New Mexico communities and counties.

Eastern New Mexico Oral History Project

The Eastern New Mexico Oral History Project at Golden Library is an ongoing project to preserve the rich history of the diverse cultures inhabiting eastern New Mexico. Starting in the early 1970s, professors at ENMU, working alongside amateur oral historians in the local community began conducting oral history interviews of citizens that had lived in the area for over 50 years. The collection now includes interviews that focus on a wide variety of topics including: women’s rights, homesteading, the Temperance Movement, Native American culture and history, World War I & II. The collection also includes interviews and lectures with the internationally-known pioneering science fiction novelist Jack Williamson.

Over 800 combined hours of interview audio recordings are in the archive, A significant portion of those hours includes interviews that were recorded between 1973 to 1990 on cassette tapes. These analog recordings were digitized by Richard Baysinger and his staff which include student workers and Tom Fine, a professional audio engineer, through his company Tom Fine Audio Services in Brewster, New York. A total of 593 interviews have been digitized.

The digitized oral histories are available in Biblioboard, an online platform. To learn more about the project and see highlights, CLICK HERE

Digitized Newspapers

The scope of our digitized papers is the Eastern New Mexico region. 

1. Clovis News Journal (May 25, 2017)

2. Mach Meter (September 3, 1993-December 17, 1999)

3. Portales Daily News (August 26, 1935-December 31, 1956)

4. Portales Herald News (1904, 1907, 1912-1916)

5. Portales Journal (June 22, 1917-December 3, 1920)

6. Portales News Tribune (1916, January 1,1958-April 30, 2016)

7. Portales Times (1903-1909, 1912)

8. Portales Tribune (September 29, 1936-February 8, 1957)

9. Portales Valley News (January 7, 1915-October 19, 1936)

10. Roosevelt County Herald (1908-1911, 1926-1930)

11. The Progressive (February 14-October 16, 1936)

Our newspapers are held within Laserfiche, a non-public-access platform The newspapers cannot be made public for copyright purposes. You have two options for access. You can either make a specific request for an Archives or Special Collections staff member to make a search or you can make an appointment to search yourself. All of our newspapers can be browsed or searched. They have been scanned with optical character recognition (OCR) to allow full-text searching. If you would like to make a request, see below for more specific information.

New Mexico Reads Database

This ebook and audiobook collection provided by the New Mexico State Library includes Southwest history and culture titles and fiction by New Mexico authors or set in the Southwest. New Mexico Reads also includes some books on racism in America, library and information science, national topics such as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and a selection of audiobooks. There is a small collection of books for children and tweens and teens. ENMU users create a free account using your ENMU ID# as your library ID.  Users can also download an app for reading on a mobile device. Visit your app store and search for the Axis 360 app. Once you have downloaded the app, search for New Mexico State Library and login.

Special Collections Archival Materials

There are three primary content sections in Archives: University Archives (see tab above for more information), speculative fiction archival materials, and regional history collections.  

Speculative Fiction Archival Materials

These archival collections are unprocessed unless otherwise noted. 

  1. Leigh Brackett Papers (11 boxes): Brackett was an American writer, known for her science fiction as well as screenwriting on popular films. This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, and awards. Includes the first screenplay draft of what later became The Empire Strikes Back. An inventory of the collection is available below, and cross-reference section that is not up-to-date after reboxing is available digitally on request.
    • Novel and short stories rights remain with the Leigh Brackett estate. If you wish to obtain a copy of these manuscripts and drafts, you must first obtain permission from her estate's agent: 
    • Film and television rights are the property of the studios which filmed them. Therefore, permission to use the manuscripts would have to be obtained from the studio.
  2. Edmond Hamilton Papers (2.5 boxes): Hamilton was an American science fiction author. A folder-level inventory of the papers is available below.
  3. Forrest Ackerman Papers (31 boxes): Ackerman was an editor, writer, and agent. The collection is predominantly correspondence. 
  4. C.J. Cherryh Papers (approximately 48 boxes): Cherryh is a speculative fiction author. The collection is predominantly manuscripts for her works.
  5. Janet Kagan Papers (18 boxes): Kagan was a science fiction author. The collection contains manuscripts, including drafts of her Star Trek novel Uhura's Song, and correspondence. For a folder-level inventory, please see the document at the bottom of this box.
  6. Harold Lee Prosser Papers( 4 document boxes): Prosser predominantly wrote essays and reviews. This collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, artifacts (including Mayan?), cassette tapes (mostly mass market).
  7. Jack Speer Collection(47 large boxes): Speer was a politician and science fiction historian. He distributed a set of songs at a 1940 convention that are now known as filk. He was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1995. This collection contains fanzines, comics, manuscripts, and notes.
  8. Melinda Snodgrass (5 boxes): Snodgrass is a science fiction author, fantasy author, and screenwriter. The collection is predominantly manuscripts for her works.
  9. Jack Williamson Papers (over a hundred boxes and 10 filing cabinets): Williamson was an influential and prolific science fiction author and a professor at Eastern New Mexico University. For more information, see the Jack Williamson tab above. This collection contains correspondence, notes, manuscripts, personal papers, and other materials.

Regional History Archival Materials

See below for Local History Collection Box-Level Inventory

  • New Mexico history collection

  • Local and regional history collection

  • Harold Runnels Papers (1971-1980). To see an inventory of contents, download the Word document below.

  • Scrapbooks from local organizations, including:

    • Altrusa Club

    • Portales Garden Club

    • Portales Women's Club

    • United Daughters of the Confederacy

    • Elida Women's Club

    • Manuscripts of works about New Mexico, New Mexico Newspapers by Pearce Grove and others

    • Father Stanley's histories of New Mexico towns

    • selected papers of Colonel Jack Potter

Special Collections Mural

Mural outside of special collections

This mural is to the right of the Special Collections entrance in the Golden Student Success Center. Science fiction grandmaster Jack Williamson is the center of attention in this colorful montage, about a 49 foot wide by 10 feet high work of art, which shows Williamson in the center conversing with one of his own literary creations, a humanoid, a term Williamson coined in 1947 when his book “With Folded Hands” was published. The mural represents the three areas of Special Collections: the Southwest collection, the Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library, and the University Archives.

Teddy Draper, who was a major in fine arts at Eastern, said he and his partner in paint, Michael Guastaferro, spent most of the summer of 2004 working on the project that was commissioned by a library committee at Golden Library in August of 2003 when the Special Collections Library was undergoing remodeling and expansion.

Collection Development Policy

We collect materials relating to the science fiction genre and the American Southwest. A more complete collection development statement is forthcoming. If you have any questions about our holdings, please contact Regina Bouley Sweeten, the Special Collections Librarian (contact information above).