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Ron Querry Papers

Identifier: SWWC-098

Scope and Contents

The Ron Querry Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, books, literary journals, VHS and audiocassette tapes, photographs, magazines, newsprint, pamphlets, as well as memorabilia.  The Wittliff Collections acquired his papers in 2009 from the author, and it covers the author’s career from his childhood writings, to published works, and his travels related to his career.  His wife Elaine, a photographer with whom he collaborated, is present throughout his papers.  She is in both his personal letters and has contributed photographs.  The papers have a strong southwestern theme, and as a registered member of the Choctaw tribe, include many materials on Native Americans.

The collection is divided into eight series.  The author’s correspondence comprises the first series.  All material associated with Querry’s published works is in the second series, which comprises the bulk of the collection.  The series containing published works is further divided by correspondence, research and notes, drafts, galley proofs, final copies, and publicity, where applicable.  Other writings make up the fourth series, followed by photographs in the fifth series and audiovisual materials in the sixth series. Artifacts are contained in the seventh series and oversized materials in the eighth series. Notable objects in the collection include materials related to fellow authors Larry L. King, N. Scott Momaday, and Leslie Marmon Silko; Querry’s application for admission into the Choctaw Nation, and signed copies of his published works. Querry kept correspondence with several authors, photographers, translators, and presses.  His letters illuminate the life of a professional writer and provide a window into Native American culture and activism.


  • 1951-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from the Wittliff Collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user assumes responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish, and abiding by U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical Notes

Ronald B. Querry (1943- ) is an internationally-acclaimed, American author and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  Querry was in the Marine Corps during the 1960s and, after his term of service, studied English at the University of Oklahoma.   Querry later earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 1975.  His dissertation, titled “The American Prison as Portrayed in Popular Motion Pictures of the 1930’s,” examined myths and realities in twenty-one popular motion pictures. Querry has taught and lectured at colleges and universities across the United States and served as writer-in-residence at the University of Oklahoma and the Amerind Foundation in Arizona.  In addition, he has taught and lectured at the Seminar in Native American Studies at Comune di Spello, Provincia di Prugia, Italy;  Étonnants Voyageurs, Festival International du Livre, Saint-Malo, France; and at a chapter of PEN International in Mexico.  In addition to being an accomplished author and scholar, Querry has also served as the Associate Dean of Education at the Penitentiary of New Mexico, as a rancher, and a racing official for the American Quarter Horse Association.

Of mixed Native American and European American descent, many of Querry’s writings depict the intersection of white and native worlds. He is the author of two novels, The Death of Bernadette Lefthand, winner of the 1993 Border Regional Library Association Southwest Book Award and the 1994 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Association Regional Book Award, and Bad Medicine, both of which have been translated and published in French and German.  Querry is also the author of the juvenile non-fiction work Discrimination: Native Americans Struggle for Equality, a memoir entitled I See by My Get-Up, and a collection of works titled Growing Old at Willie Nelson’s Picnic and Other Sketches of Life in the Southwest.  He has also contributed numerous articles to newspapers and magazines.

Querry lives in northern New Mexico, in a century-old Queen Anne/Victorian house with his wife--fine art photographer Elaine Querry.

(Taken from


13 Linear Feet

26 boxes (Plus oversize.)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

  • The descriptive data created for this finding aid is licensed under the CC0 Creative Commons license and is free for use without restriction.


The papers of Ron Querry document the author’s life from his childhood, through the progression of his writing career, to his travels. Querry’s writings depict the intersection of white and native worlds, and he is the author of Death of Bernadette Lefthand and Bad Medicine as well as his memoir, I See by My Get-Up.  The papers are arranged in eight series: correspondence; published works; other writings; subject files; images; audio-visual materials; artifacts, and oversized materials.

Physical Location

aterials may be stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use:

Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Ron Querry, beginning in 2004.

Guide to the Ron Querry Papers
Amy D. Besa, Ashley Castillo, Katherine L. Koebbe, and Roger Wade
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Revised for ArchivesSpace by Susannah Broyles.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA