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Albuquerque Route 66 Photographic Survey Collection

Identifier: PICT-2013-005

Scope and Content

The Center for Regional Studies funded this project to visually document all existing structures on Route 66 in Albuquerque. From August 2013 to May 2014, Donatella Davanzo photographed each site corresponding to a street address along Central Avenue from Tramway on the east to 66 Casino on the west. The survey documented 731 buildings in 7266 images along 18 miles of the post 1936 east-west alignment. The following year, from August 2014 to May 2015, the second phase of the project followed the historic north-south pre-1937 corridor, entering Albuquerque on Fourth Street and continuing along Isleta Blvd. This path, also 18 miles long, documents 636 buildings in 4013 images.


  • 2013-2015

Access Restrictions

The collection is available for research. 1364 fully described images are available through New Mexico Digital Collections Online at: Albuquerque Route 66 Photographic Survey Collection.

The full set of original digital photographs is available for in person review on a portable external hard drive.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of photographic material is allowed for research purposes. Center for Southwest Research holds copyright. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.


U.S. Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway and colloquially known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original highways within the U.S. Highway System. Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 with road signs erected in 1927. The highway originally ran from Chicago, Illinois through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending at Santa Monica, California, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). US 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime. It was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985, when its final segments were replaced by the Interstate Highway System. The label "Historic Route 66," designating a National Scenic Byway, has been applied to portions of the road passing through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona; and several states use State Route 66 to designate bypassed sections of the former US 66.

In New Mexico, Route 66 covers 380 miles (610km), generally covering an east-west path. From 1926 to 1937, a longer route cobbling together existing roads included a north-south jog through Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Los Lunas. Circa 1936-1937, the current east-west alignment was established. In Albuquerque, the earlier North-South route generally follows Forth Street, part of the historic El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. The east-west realignment follows Central Avenue through the city.


13,326 items (1 box) : hard drive with 13,326 digital images

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of contemporary digital photographs of Route 66 buildings and roadscapes in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Arrangement of the Collection:

The described and processed Albuquerque Route 66 Photographic Survey Collection is available for online browsing.

The unprocessed original digital photographs are arranged into the following categories: artworks, car and bicycle services, motels, private buildings, public buildings, restaurants and cafes, stores and other commercial activities, and miscellaneous. Within each topic, there are further subgroups corresponding to alignment (east-west or north-south) and city quadrant (NE, NW, SW, SE).

Physical Location

1364 processed digital images are available on New Mexico’s Digital Collections, Albuquerque Route 66 Photographic Survey Collection. The complete collection, including all original digital photographs are available on an external hard drive in B2, shelved by Pictorial Number.

Related Archival Material

William J. Lucas Route 66 Photograph Collection, 1967-1986, PICT 986-012, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

New Mexico Route 66 Association Record, 1950-2001 (bulk 1989-1991), MSS 601 BC, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Jane Bernard and Polly P. Brown Route 66 Pictorial Collections, undated, PICT 2014-005, Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.
Finding Aid of the Albuquerque Route 66 Photographic Survey Collection, 2013-2015
Edited Full Draft
Eileen Price
© 2014, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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