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Katherine McMahon Collection

Identifier: PAAC-0097

Scope and Content

The Katherine McMahon Collection contains approximately 700 black and white photograph prints, primarily related to the Pueblo Indians and the Navajo of New Mexico. Isleta Pueblo is especially well-represented and included are portraits, dances, and snapshots of daily life. Other subjects include: landscapes and scenes across New Mexico, such as Albuquerque and Santa Fe; cowboys; regional writers and artists; and the First American Pageant, 1928 – 1931. Photographers include M.E. Hanna, Harry McAvoy, Howard R. Raper, John Dean and probably McMahon, herself. The collection also includes two folders of photographs seemingly related to McMahon’s family, described as the Deans, though little contextual information is available.


  • ca. 1870 - 1940
  • Majority of material found in Placeholder Unit Date Text

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Collection is open to researchers on an appointment basis only, pending approval of application to view original material.

Copy Restrictions

Permission to publish must be obtained from Photo Archives. Online Request Permission form available at: User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical Information

Katherine McMahon (1907 – 1999) became a resident of New Mexico in 1948, after having traveled throughout the United States. As a young woman, she held various jobs including managing a bookstore in Honululu, Hawaii, before and during World War II, and volunteering with the United States Public Health Service. McMahon joined the staff of the Albuquerque Public Library in 1958 and eventually rose to Head of the Southwest Room, where she is cited with significantly growing its collections. She had a special interest in Pueblo Indians and geology. After retiring from the library in 1970, she continued to participate in the local scholarly community, including assisting with indexing the New Mexico Historical Review. “Every worthwhile non-fiction book has an index,” McMahon is quoted as saying in an interview for the Albuquerque Journal, April 22, 1970, “and librarians turn to an index just as a motorist turns to a road map.” McMahon died at the age of 92 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


.5 Linear Feet

Collection Available Online

A selection of Katherine McMahon images are available at New Mexico's Digital Collections


A selection of Katherine McMahon images are available at New Mexico's Digital Collections
Katherine McMahon Collection, ca. 1870 - 1945
Edited Full Draft
© 2015
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 NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA