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Karl Kernberger Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-2000-008

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs by Karl Kernberger spanning many subjects, geographical areas and times. It is grouped as political photographs, book projects, miscellaneous photography, audio and moving images, and images from the Trailway Tour exhibition.

The Political Photographis series contains photographs by Kernberger documenting political movements, meetings, and demonstrations between 1965-1976. These include a convention of La Alianza Federal de las Mercedes (later named La Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres) in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1967), and the Poor People's Campaign march on the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. in 1968. There are also a few photos from the Subway Demonstration in New York City in 1970. The collection includes many photos of Reies Lopez Tijerina: in meetings, giving speeches, and marching in demonstrations. Other people featured include Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Hank Adams, Frey Jaramillo, Jerry Knoll, Mad Bear, and members of the Brown Berets. The collection also contains 49 pages of contact sheets by Karl Kernberger from the Alianza, Poor People's Campaign, NYC Subway Demonstration, among other photos.

Also included in the collection is a photo album containing snapshots taken and collected by Monica Kernberger (Karl Kernberger's mother). Subjects include the United Farm Workers Health Center in Salinas, CA; United Farm Workers farmwork in California, Arizona, and New Mexico; a United Farm Workers protest in Sacramento in 1976; the Campesino Center in Calexico; and the Mine Worker's Monument in Ludlow, Colorado.

The Book Project Photographic Series contains photographs of places and people associated with rafting, southwestern scenery, and ghost towns located in New Mexico. The Wild Rivers of North America by Michael Jenkinson with photos by Karl Kernberger, book project contains images of numerous rivers and lakes in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Some of these locations include the Little Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, the Rio Grande, the Stanislaus River, the middle fork of the Salmon river, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, and the Rogue River. The Land of Clear Light also written by Michael Jenkinson with photos by Karl Kernberger, contains scenic images of the southwestern United States and Mexico, including notable images from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the Pecos wilderness in New Mexico, the Escalante Region of Utah, and the Kofa mountains in Arizona. The Ghost Towns of New Mexico also written by Michael Jenkinson with photos by Karl Kernberger, contains photos of ghost town located in New Mexico, including Mogollon, Cabezon, Elizabethtown, Madrid, and White Oaks.

The Miscellaneous Photographic Series contains images of Albuquerque’s Old Town, University of New Mexico campus, early photographs by Karl Kernberger (circa 1960), and photos for publication in the Albuquerque Review from 1961 to 1962.

Also included with the collection are 10 boxes of slides relating to Kernberger’s book projects and the city of Albuquerque. Some slides are duplicated in the prints. One box contains newspapers that have photographs by Karl Kernberger as well as newspaper clippings related to his work.

Also contains 13 audio CD’s converted from audio tapes of Native American songs, chants, dances, and a meeting (at the Hopi Pueblo village of Shungopavi, AZ on September 12, 1970). One DVD is included of a Jeep trip through the area surrounding the Rainbow Bridge National Monument, UT.

The February 2011 addition contains prints and slides from the Mexico Trailway Tour that Kernberger photographed in 1971. Images in the addition include river rafting, scenery of the riverine areas in North America, and documentary photos of ghost towns in New Mexico. The bulk of the images are from 1971, but include other dates ranging from 1959 to 1969. These images include subjects such as the Tarahumara people, the historic Rarajipara Race, San Luis Festivals, and other subjects. Additionally, the collection contains prints and slides of scenes along the Barranca del Cobre in Mexico, which the Trailway Tour followed. Many of these images were used for Whitewater magazine. This series is arranged by subject following Kernberger’s labels. The 2022 addition of over 1200 labeled slides preserve Kernberger's original 1965 to 1975 chronologic arrangement, with a few items from 1979 - 1982. Locations include primarily New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Mexico, and subjects range across the west, from Bandelier and other national parks and monuments, to landscapes such as the Chama Valley or aspen in Colorado. Also included are motorcycle trips and events like Evel Kneivel's 1974 rocket motorcycle jump across the Snake River in Idaho, and some museum exhibit photography. Additional information about Kernberger's oeuvre is found at the website:


  • 1912-1990
  • Majority of material found within 1957-1977


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


8,350 items (43 boxes) : 1,496 photoprints, 1 album, 9000+ slides, 1 large print


This collection contains photographs by Karl Kernberger spanning many subjects, geographical areas and times. It is grouped as political photographs, book projects, miscellaneous photography, audio and moving images, and images from the Trailway Tour exhibition. The 2022 addition focuses on photographs of the southwest.


The collection is divided into six series: Political Photographs, Book Project Related Photographs, Miscellaneous Photography, Audio/Moving Images, Exhibit of Framed Images, and 2022 addition.

The series Book Project Related Photographs is divided into three subseries: Wild Rivers of North America, Land of Clear Light and, Ghost Towns of New Mexico.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Oversize boxes shelved in Big Box location by Pictorial Number. 1 print filed in large drawers by Pictorial Number.

Kernberger Collection Online

A selection of the Kernberger Collection is available online via New Mexico's Digital Collections. Browse the Karl Kernberger Pictorial Collection, part of the Center for Southwest Research's digital Pictorial Collections for a complete list of images.

Related Archival Material

Reies Tijerina Photograph Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries.

Separated Material

Original reel to reels and film stored on B3.

Processing Information

Additions processed November 2008, February 2011, and February 2022.
Finding Aid of the Karl Kernberger Pictorial Collection, 1912-1990
Laura York, Kari Schleher; CSWR Pictorial Staff
© 2007, 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Funding provided by: Dr. Tobias Duran, Center for Regional Studies

Revision Statements

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

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131