Minge, Ward Alan

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Ward Alan Minge (Box 11, Folder 4)

Ward Alan Minge was born in Marshall County, Kansas on March 20, 1924. He received his BA from the University of Denver in 1950 and an MA from the University of the Americas in 1952. In 1955, he became the Chief Historian for Kirtland Air Force Base, retaining the position for several decades while working on numerous other historical endeavors. Many of these involved New Mexico’s nineteen native-American Pueblos. In the last half of the twentieth century, many of the Pueblos asserted claims involving water rights, boundary disputes, and aboriginal land before federal and state tribunals. Dr. Minge was involved in many of these claims, providing written work and testimony for numerous Pueblos.

Dr. Minge’s associations with the Pueblos began in the 1950s. In 1956, he was hired as a research historian for the Jemez, Santa Ana and Zia Pueblos, who were jointly initiating a land claim before the Indian Claims Commission. The following year, he began his long association with Acoma Pueblo. In 1965, he received his Ph.D in history from the University of New Mexico. By the end of the 1960s, he had served as an expert witness in the State v. Aamodt case. This involved the water rights of Nambé, Tesuque, San Ildefonso, and Pojoaque Pueblos. He published Acoma: Pueblo in the Sky in 1976 and revised it in 1991. The Pueblo commissioned this work, which remains the standard text on Acoma. In the 1980s, he worked with Sandia and Santo Domingo Pueblos as they attempted to resolve boundary disputes. In Zuñi’s Indian Claims Commission case, Minge served as an expert witness on the history of the Pueblo. He also worked for San Juan and Laguna as a research historian.

Dr. Minge’s expertise includes the Spanish and Mexican periods of New Mexico, particularly as it relates to the history of the southern New Mexico Pueblos. He translated and transcribed various documents from this era. He travelled to the Archive of the Audiencia of Guadalajara to search for documents related to New Mexico’s Pueblos. He also compiled an extensive array of sources from the National Archives and Records Administration that pertained to the Pueblos. His reports and expert testimony are based, in part, on these documents.

In addition to his work with the Pueblos, he published numerous articles as Historian of the Air Force Special Weapons Center and Weapons Laboratory. He co-authored New Mexico’s Public Record’s Act, which established the State Records Center and Archives. He served as Chairman of the New Mexico Commission of Public Records and was a member of the Architectural Review Board for the City of Albuquerque. Additionally, he consulted on assorted conservation/preservation projects and historical endeavors. Dr. Minge is currently retired and living in Kansas.

From the guide to the Ward Alan Minge Papers, 1689-1991, (University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Ward Alan Minge Collection of Historical Documents, 1697-1954 New Mexico State Records Center and Archives
creatorOf Ward Alan Minge Papers, 1689-1991 University of New Mexico. Center for Southwest Research
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aberle, Sophie D., 1899- person
associatedWith Catholic Church corporateBody
associatedWith Cutter, Donald C. person
associatedWith Ellis, Florence Hawley person
associatedWith Gonzales family family
associatedWith Gonzales, Francisco person
associatedWith Jenkins, Myra Ellen person
associatedWith Lamy, John Baptist, 1814-1888 person
associatedWith Martinez, Antonio Jose, 1793-1867 person
associatedWith Martinez, Antonio Severino person
associatedWith Martinez family family
associatedWith New Mexico Commission of Public Records corporateBody
associatedWith New Mexico State Records Center and Archives corporateBody
associatedWith New Spain. Real Audiencia (Guadalajara) corporateBody
associatedWith Papa, Emilio person
associatedWith Tyler, Lyman S. person
associatedWith United States. Indian Claims Commission corporateBody
associatedWith United States. national Archives and Records Administration corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New Mexico
Taos (N.M.)
Zuni (N.M.)
San Felipe Pueblo (N.M.)
Taos County (N.M.)
Kirtland Air Force Base (N.M.)
Santa Ana Pueblo (N.M.)
Santo Domingo Pueblo (N.M.)
Acoma (N.M.)
Zia Pueblo (N.M.)
Jemez Pueblo (N.M.)
Sandia Pueblo (N.M.)
Acoma Indians--Land tenure
Land titles--Registration and transfer--New Mexico--Taos County



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