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The Cobos Collection

The Rubén Cobos Collection of Spanish New Mexican Folklore is a sound archive (call number R4000) containing over 2000 pieces, including ballads, poems, prayers, nursery rhymes, riddles, proverbs, stories, personal narratives, songs, instrumental music, and descriptions of social customs, ritual practices, and children's games. The recordings were made between 1944 and 1974 in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Rubén Cobos donated the recordings to CC in 1974.

In 2005, Colorado College received a grant from the Colorado Digitization Project to digitize the music (and only the music) in the Cobos Collection. These recordings are available via Digital CC. Pieces 1.1 to 30.18 are individually digitized at the song level; pieces 31.1 to 57.12 are digitized at the cassette level.

Researchers may find it useful to use the published catalog of the music collection, Music in the Rubén Cobos Collection of Spanish New Mexican Folklore, edited by Victoria Lindsay Levine and Amanda Chace, available in the Colorado College library and several other U.S. libraries.

All the recordings, most in Spanish, were originally made on 358 seven-inch reels with a playing time varying from thirty to sixty minutes. These reels are housed in Special Collections. Cassette versions of the recordings are available at the Albert Seay Library of Music and Art at Colorado College. The sound quality is uneven.

This collection is meant to be an educational resource for students and scholars. It is not for commercial use. Anyone who wishes to use material from the collection should be aware that the people recorded did not sign consent forms or waivers. At the time of the recording, it was not common practice to obtain such permissions.

If you quote from the collection, you should note the the Cobos number and performer and cite the Cobos Collection, Tutt Library, Colorado College. Reproduction of the audiorecordings requires written permission from Colorado College -- please print our permission-to-publish form, fill it out, and send it to us.

Did your family participate in the project? If so, please contact us! More information here.

Similar digital collections of Spanish New Mexican folklore are available through the University of New Mexico and the Smithsonian Institution, and the Internet Archive has many audiorecordings in Spanish.

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maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 1-2019, jr.