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Marc Simmons Accessions

Identifier: UPWC-08131

Scope and Contents

Accession 2008-131

Material includes manuscripts, page proofs, correspondence, and Simmons’ collection of ephemera related to the photographer Craig Varjebedian. Original file titles appear in quotation marks. While the majority of the material is in fair condition, it is gritty and some pages are extremely dry and brittle.

Accession 2009-032

The following donated material pertains to the 400th anniversary of the founding of New Mexico by Juan de Oñate and the subsequent controversy that followed the presentation of the Oñate statue. Material consists of various newspapers, newspaper clippings, manuscript of “Spanish Pathways”, a poster and other information on the Galisto Basin Photography Project, and a collection of index cards with book information on Simmons’ personal library. [note: an individual database on the library books will be completed soon]

Accession 2010-043

Material includes samples of Spanish language newspapers of New Mexico, newspapers and other promotional/advertisement publications dealing with architecture of the region, and other aspects of regional culture such as art, religion, and folk craft; drafts of newspaper columns written by Simmons on John Houser, sculptor of El Paso's Equestrain/Orñate statue, other Houser material, and a DVD The Last Conquistador: An Artist, A Dream, A Nightmare about the Orñate sculptor.

Accession 2012-072

Research and editorial material for Juan Domínguez de Mendoza: Soldier and Frontiersman of the Spanish Southwest, 1627-1693, edited by France V. Scholes, Marc Simmons, and José Antonio Esquibel, and translated by Eleanor B. Adams. Includes the original 1928 photostat made from the Spanish National Archive in Madrid of the Domínguez documents.

Original Accession 2013-110 / was Loan 2014-004.

Gifted by Simmons in 2015/2016. Within this collection is extensive research and historical documents primarily focused on the southwest region. It consists of a variety of materials including correspondence, research documents, memorabilia, figurines, posters, maps, and books. Just some of the many topics covered include: establishing the Santa Fe Trail Association; material related to Simmons work as a historical consultant for El Rancho de las Golondrinas and the “Josefina” American Girl book series; material related to the archeological controversy over the “Los Esteros” site at Santa Rosa; research documents related to Concha Ortiz y Pino; New Mexico statehood; Juan Dominguez de Mendoza; the Columbus Quincentenary Controversy; Lipan Apaches; Los Alamos; the Glorieta Pass Battlefield; and Albuquerque history.

Accessions 2015-172 and 2016-027

The majority of materials consist of subject files covering New Mexico and the US West from colonial period until modern times. Subject files may contain notes and drafts by Simmons and others, correspondence between Simmons and others, photographs, clippings, and articles; though some files are quite small. Several binders labeled “Marc Simmons Collection” have extensive coverage of the person or subject, including biographical information, correspondence, images, writings, and clippings. Well-documented subjects include the Santa Fe Trail and the Santa Fe Trail Association, Kit Carson, and ironwork and farriership. Well-documented people include Jack Schaefer, Lawrence Clark Powell, David J. Weber, Mark Gardner, John Nichols, Elmer Kelton, Fray Angelico Chavez, Jose Cisneros, Max Evans, Ben K. Green, Rudolfo Anaya, Robert M. Utley, Tony Hillerman, Conrad Richter, John Erickson, Charles F. Lummis, Henry Crawford, Nasario Garcia, John A. Truett, V.B. Price, Jim Sagel, Abe Peña, John Ward, Herminia Chacon Gonzales, Gene Peach, S. Omar Barker, Norman Cleaveland, Neil Goodwin, and George C. Baldwin. Materials also include some Santa Fe Trail Association and Western Writers of America business files, and some documentation of Simmons books, particularly Children of the West and Southwestern Colonial Ironwork, as well as New Mexico’s Cuarto Centennial.

Accession 2016-030

This accession includes research interests and projects endeavored by historian Marc Simmons consisting of original drafts by Marc Simmons and other authors, newspaper publications by Marc Simmons and journalist on the Santa Fe Trail and other locations.

Accession 2016-035

The following materials reflect the research interests and projects endeavored by historian and journalist Dr. Marc Simmons. This collection of materials consists of original drafts by Marc Simmons and other authors, newspaper publications by Marc Simmons and journalist Howard Bryan, photocopies of historical documents, historic photographs of New Mexico and Cerrillos, New Mexico, Simmons’ original research notes and sources on the Southwest, information regarding the Oxymin mining operations and community resistance to mining in Cerrillos, New Mexico, correspondence with historians and other authors of the Southwest, award plaques presented to Marc Simmons, and memorabilia from historic sites in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and California. These materials, including photocopied historical documents, are dated between 1805 and 2015; however, the bulk of the contemporary materials are dated between 1949 and 2015.

Accession 2017-015

This collection consists of archival materials relating to the personal life and career of author and historian, Marc Simmons from 1950-2017. Majority of the materials in the collection are research for Simmons’s various works such as Massacre on the Lordsburg Road: A Tragedy of the Apache Wars. The collection also includes research and articles on Native American tribes, correspondence, articles written by Simmons and others, and reviews of Simmons’s works. The folder titles preceding a semicolon reflect Simmons’s original descriptions.

Accession 2018-035

Additions to the Simmons collection which includes 3 books, 1 of which is signed; magazines; and clippings from newspaper articles, 1972-2018.


  • 1750-2018, undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. EXCEPTION: Box 1060 folder 3 RESTRICTED MATERIAL – not be used until thirty years from September 2008 as per letter by Simmons

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

Born in Texas in 1937, historian Marc Simmons began his love for New Mexico when he was just a teenager while vacationing with his family. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, he continued on to graduate school at the University of New Mexico, studying the Spanish colonial period of New Mexico. Simmons began his career as an author in the late 1960s and continued on for decades, concentrating on the colonial southwest and figures such as Kit Carson and Billy the Kid. As the author wrote some 45 books and a weekly newspaper column on history that’s appeared for thirty years, Simmons has become New Mexico’s best-known historian. Among his many honors, Simmons has been knighted by the King of Spain for his writings on Spanish Colonial history in the Southwest.

Simmons lived in a house he built, writing all his books on a manual typewriter because he chose to live without electricity and other modern conveniences. Simmons was internationally recognized as an authority on Spanish Colonial New Mexico, the Santa Fe Trail, the life and times of Kit Carson, and the Spanish documentary records that are the source for so many of his writings. He was known for his determination to write narrative history for general readers rather than speaking strictly to a scholarly audience.

Simmons began donating his papers to the The Wittliff Collections in 2008 and continued so for a decade. He died in September of 2023 at the age of 86.


350 Linear Feet

285 boxes (Also includes artifacts.)

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 Marc Simmons Accessions contain over 300 boxes of material documenting the history of New Mexico. Simmons was an authority on Spanish Colonial New Mexico, the Santa Fe Trail, the life and times of Kit Carson, and Spanish documentary records. Much of his original research can be found in these accessions.

Simmons Research Award - Texas State students who conduct research in the Simmons archive and present a paper on that topic at an academic conference are eligible for a $500 travel award stipend. Contact literary curator Steve Davis ( more details.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Marc Simmons, beginning in 2008.

Related Materials

Additional papers on Marc Simmons are found in the Phyllis S. Morgan Collection. Morgan is the author of the bio-bibliography, Marc Simmons of New Mexico: Maverick Historian.

Guide to the Marc Simmons Accessions
Mary Garcia
September 2008
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 ArchiveSpace by Sherri Turner-Herrmann.
  • 2023: Revised for ArchiveSpace by Alie Dowell.

Repository Details

Part of the The Wittliff Collections Repository

601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA