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David P. Sullenberger photographs

Identifier: Ms-0196

Scope and Content

The David P. Sullenberger papers contain business records and photographic materials from Sullenberger's career as an architectural photographer in Las Cruces, New Mexico, between 1967 and 1986. The business records include receipts, contracts, modeling release forms, correspondence with clients, and magazine and pamphlet advertisements. The photographic materials include contact sheets, mounted and unmounted prints, negatives and transparencies in black & white and color. The business records are arranged alphabetically by the name of the client, and usually include an assigned client number (in parentheses). Not every client entry has client number assigned to it. The photographic materials are arranged numerically by the client numbers: 1-690. Miscellaneous materials are also listed in the inventory.


  • 1968-1986
  • Majority of material found in Placeholder Unit Date Text

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open. All materials in this collection are available for research under supervised conditions in the Research Room.

Copy Restrictions

Copyrights associated with materials in this collection have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Biography / History

David Paul Sullenberger was born in 1943 in Troy, Ohio. His family moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1950 when his father, Paul S. Sullenberger, took a job at the White Sands Proving Grounds. He apprenticed to Maurice and Pat Eby, Las Cruces commercial photographers, in 1957 and in 1960 earned his Professional Photographers of America journeyman’s certificate and New Mexico photographer license, all before graduating from high school in 1961. While studying at New Mexico State University, between 1961 and 1966, Sullenberger operated a freelance photography business, Sullenberger Commercial Photography. Additionally, to earn money he speculated commodity futures and raised and sold rare finches to pet stores. He earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from NMSU in 1965. In 1966, he obtained a New Mexico secondary teaching certificate.

Between 1967 and 1975, Sullenberger taught in the Las Cruces Public Schools, while also running his photography business, Gray Scale Photography. In 1974, he started Sullenberger Architectural Photography. He left teaching in 1975 to pursue the photography business full time. His clients, mostly based in the Southwest, included architects, engineers, general contractors, insurance companies, and architectural product manufacturers. He was also a majority partner in S3 Architectural Graphics and Advertising, designing and creating brochures, counter sheets, business cards, magazine ads and other print materials for clients.

In late 1986, Sullenberger left his photography business and spent seven years as academic and administrative services coordinator for the NMSU Department of Biology. During this time he also worked as a consulting poultry biologist and was owner, operator and chief scientist for TimeWarrior Farm Conservation Reserve, a free-range research facility and conservatory for four breeds of chicken and one breed of turkey listed as endangered or critical at the time. TimeWarrior Farm provided chickens for the original Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, in 1991. He has continued to work as a consulting poultry biologist to 2018. He has also worked on and off as a professional photographer.

Sullenberger’s photographs have appeared in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, and Better Homes and Gardens, among other publications. Sullenberger has taught photography in the art department at New Mexico State University and at the Doña Ana Community College as well as in private workshops. Sullenberger served four terms on the board of directors of Industrial Photographers of the Southwest, and was the vice president and president of the association. He has been a guest lecturer on large-format view camera photography at the Santa Fe Community College. His "Project 2112: Recording History before it Vanishes" has him back in the field photographing historic or endangered architecture.


43 Linear Feet


Las Cruces architectural and commercial photographer. Contains images of architecture, businesses, individuals, scenes, and activities made for clients primarily in Southwest United States. Includes photographs of the first Whole Enchilada Fiesta held at Las Cruces, October 2-4, 1981. Contains color and black & white negatives, prints and proof sheets made in 2 1/4 x 2 1/4, 4 x 5, and 8 x 10-inch formats.

Related Material

Maurice and Pat Eby photographs, Ms 0056, New Mexico State University Archives and Special Collections

Green Edward Miller photographs, ca. 1900-1920. Ms 0101. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

James M. Flanagan papers. Ms 0259. Archives and Special Collections, New Mexico State University Library.

Processing Information

Initial processing by Austin Hoover, February 1983.

Final processing by Isabel Lopez and Shane Saenz, under direction of Jennifer Chavez, December 2017.
Guide to the David P. Sullenberger photographs, 1968-1986
Edited Full Draft
© 2018
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA