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New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-994-014

Scope and Content

This collection consists of pictorial works depicting specific places, towns, buildings, people and events of New Mexico (with the exception of any photographs related to Albuquerque or Santa Fe, which are housed in the Albuquerque Photograph Collection and the Santa Fe Photograph collection, respectively.) Many photographs show cityscapes, urban scenes or natural landscapes. However, many of the photographs also document specific events or particular sites of interest.

These works include several images documenting the testing of atomic and nuclear bombs in New Mexico, as well as the effect of radiation and nuclear waste on the landscape (see images filed under Alamogordo, Church Rock, Los Alamos, Roswell and White Sands.) Additionally, a few images reveal the growth of the railroad system in New Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (see images filed under Aztec and Sacramento Mountains). There are several images of mining and drilling in New Mexico, including photographs filed in the Hobbs, Bonanza City, Lordsburg, and Santa Rita folders. Several folders include striking images of traditional pueblo adobe architecture, including Taos, San Ildefonso, and Laguna Pueblo. In addition, one image documents a Nazi prisoner of war internment camp located in Fort Stanton, and the collection also includes photographs related to the raid of Columbus in 1916, Charles Lindbergh’s visit to Hobbs, and the museum and tourism surrounding the legendary Billy the Kid in Fort Sumner. Other items of particular interest are several photographs depicting tuberculosis sanatoriums in Silver City, as well as the gravesite of Padre Martinez in Taos. There are also several press photos of a Broadway theater production titled Kit Carson, filed in the large drawers.


  • 1890s-1980s

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. Some images are stamped with New Mexico State Tourist Bureau. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.

Historical Background

New Mexico culture and history reflect the influence of multiple cultures and nations, namely the indigenous Pueblo tribes, Spanish colonizers, Mexico during the period of Mexican independence, and finally the United States, which accessioned New Mexico as a territory in 1848. As a new United States territory, New Mexico offered opportunities for homesteaders, miners and ranchers. More recently, in the twentieth century, the state has been a key player in the Atomic Age, with the establishment of important laboratories for nuclear and atomic investigations, as well as the occurrence of nuclear testing in the open deserts. The New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection represents various aspects of New Mexico history, including images of Pueblo and Native American sites, peoples, and rituals, mining camps and towns, oil drilling, farming and ranching operations, documentation of the Atomic Age, as well as photographs of local businesses and people, and various small towns.


355 items (8 boxes) : 337 prints, 25 slides

Language of Materials



The New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection is comprised of photographs of buildings, sites, persons and events from New Mexico towns, excluding Albuquerque and Santa Fe.


Because the New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection is an artificial collection housing pictorial works related to New Mexico that come from a wide variety of sources, the order has been imposed. Photographs are grouped into folders by place, with an additional Unidentified folder for items in which the location of the photograph was impossible to ascertain. There is also a Popular arts folder for items of artworks and crafts not associated with a specific place. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number. Large items shelved in Large Drawers by Pictorial Number. Extra-Oversize items shelved in Extra-Oversize Drawers by Pictorial Number.

Alternate Format Available

As of Oct. 2015, the entire New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection is available online via New Mexico's Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials:

Bainbridge Bunting Photograph Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Eduardo Fuss Photograph Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Nancy Tucker Pictorial Collection of Southwest Materials Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Postcard Collection, Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico Libraries. William A. Keleher Pictorial Collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Processing Information

The New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection is an artificial collection first created in 1994 that brought together images from previously existing collections. In 2015, the collection was reprocessed to include a significant number of new additions and was also nearly completely digitized. Reprocessing included renumbering each item in order to reflect the updated arrangement. Because the collection continues to grow, the numbering system includes the names of locations associated with each folder to allow for the addition of new materials in future without necessitating an overhaul of the numbering system.

Collection numbers previously utilized for items in the Albuquerque Photograph Collection are: 994-006, 990-010, 992-021, 2005-010, 996-035, 993-010, 996-030, 994-048, 990-020, 989-015, 991-006, 994-050, 000-010, and unprocessed accession 997-009.
Finding Aid of the New Mexico Locales Photograph Collection, 1890s/1980s
Edited Full Draft
Pictorial Collections Staff
© 2008, 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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