Tony Hillerman taught generations of UNM students the basics of newswriting, but he was also an accomplished writer of fiction. His best known books are a series of mysteries involving two Navajo Nation police officers, Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. But Hillerman also wrote children’s book and those, including the "Boy Who Made Dragon Fly," which will be featured at a special event at the Tony Hillerman Public Library on Wednesday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m.

This event is meant to draw attention to the Tony Hillerman Portal, a special project for the Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections. Hillerman left his papers to the College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences. His family donated funds to digitize his manuscripts and make them available to the public through the portal. The digitization process offers an amazing glimpse into the mind of a successful writer. The reader can follow the way he shaped his stories into satisfying books. 

Hillerman eportal team (l to r) Kevin Comerford, Diana Filar, Abdelbaset Haridy, Anvesha Palipati, Emily Cammack
Hillerman eportal team (l. to r.) Kevin Comerford, Diana Filar, Abdelbaset Haridy, Anvesha Palapati and Emily Cammack.

Digital Initiatives Librarian Kevin Comerford is directing work on the Hillerman Portal. “We are working on educational resources that teachers will be able to use when they do units on Hillerman’s work," Comerford said. "They will be posted on the portal so they can be downloaded and used as needed.”

The event will feature information about the collection at UNM and a demonstration on ways the portal might be used. It is free and the public is invited to meet Comerford and the graduate fellows who work on the portal and to talk about all things Hillerman.