Sonja Sonnenburg de Chavez’s recent history projects:


Sonja, January 2016

Linealist.  Sonja creates free digital access to archival records of the Indigenous and Spanish people of North America, writes about archival materials and archival collections, analyzes and curates historical records, deconstructs systems of archive hoarding, digitally repatriates records, circulates historical records via online platforms and cloud-computing, promotes hybrid-archiving, assists the public with research on the early families of the the U.S. Southwest and Mexicano North, and supports projects to digitize and distribute historical records.

The Doña Ana Sphere Project.  This is a comprehensive research project on the mostly indigenous and mestizo communities in southern New Mexico, from the 1820s to the 1850s. It is a study of civilians during natural disaster, wars and military occupation. It examines whether an unequal or unfair allocation of resources increased the risk for civilians to floods, poverty and violence. It examines intra-community migration and conflict due to floods. The project also examines the Juez de Paz (Justice of the Peace) system in the region, and the strategies of civilians during the occupation of their villages by the U.S. military at the time of the U.S Mexican War. A summary of preliminary research is available at

Sonja, October 2018

The De La O Sisters Project.  This research project addresses New Mexican history from about the 1770s to the early 1800s.  It examines the interconnection between Nuevo Mexico and Nueva Viscaya, through the lives of the De La O sisters.

In 2014, Sonja was awarded a research grant for the De La O Sisters Project by the New Mexico Office of the State Historian.

Public Lecture Available Online:

On The Move: Military Citizenry, Indigenous Spaces and the De La O Sisters of Nueva Viscaya and Nuevo Mexico (New Mexico State University, May 2014).  Click here.