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Joseph M Montoya Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-386

Scope and Contents

The collection is minimally processed. It includes 35 motion picture films. The 16mm, 35mm, and Quad tape filmstock has been digitally reformatted as AVI, MOV MP4 and WMV files. Subject and events preserved are Senator Montoya at conferences, banquet dinner speeches, and campaign events. Of particular note is a film short of Jacqueline Kennedy speaking in Spanish encouraging voter participation. A complete description and inventory is not currently available.


  • 1960s - 1970s


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Senator Joseph Montoya is arguably one of the most well known political leaders in contemporary New Mexico history. Born September 24, 1915 to Tom O. and Frances Montoya in Peña Blanca, N.M., he graduated from Bernalillo High School. He left New Mexico in 1931 to attend Regis College in Denver, Colorado. Graduating in 1934, he moved to Washington, D.C. to enroll in Georgetown University Law School. During his second year in law school, Montoya (just barely old enough to vote) was elected to the New Mexico State House of Representatives. He was reelected to that position in 1938, just after graduating from Georgetown Law School. By 1939, he was admitted to the New Mexico Bar and began his private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

He was a member of the New Mexico State legislature 1939-1946, 1953-54; served as New Mexico Lt. Governor 1955-1957; and member of the United States House of Representatives 1957-1964.

Following the death of Senator Dennis Chavez in November of 1962, Governor Ed Mecham was appointed to hold New Mexico's vacant Senate seat until November of 1964. Montoya was elected to fill the remaining unexpired term and was sworn in on November 4, 1964. His own first full term as a United States Senator began January 3, 1965. He attained powerful positions on the Appropriations and Public Works Committees, the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, and the Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, notably serving as Watergate Committee member and IRS Hearings chair.

Throughout his career, Senator Montoya authored, co-sponsored, or actively supported legislation in the following areas: civil rights, consumer protection, the elderly, agriculture, environmental protection, economic development, equal opportunity, education, health, and veterans. In 1976 he was defeated for office by Harrison "Jack" Schmitt.

Senator Montoya was married to Della Romero of Santa Fe. They were parents of three children: Lynda, Patrick and Joseph, Jr. Montoya died in Washington, D.C. on June 5, 1978. He is interred in Rosario Cemetery, Santa Fe, New Mexico. See less


35 items (1 box) : 35 digital video files

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


The Joseph M. Montoya Pictorial Collection preserves a set of filmed activities of Senator Montoya's political career.

Separated Materials

Collection was separated from the Joseph M. Montoya Papers.

Processing Information

The original filmstock has been digitally reformatted as AVI, MOV, MP4 and WMV files. The digital files are available on a hard drive at the CSWR.
Finding Aid of the Joseph M. Montoya Pictorial Collection
CSWR Pictorial staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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