Research Corner: New Mexico Photo Archives
(“Research Corner” submitted by SABR member Jeffrey Laing)
Baseball has been a significant aspect of life in New Mexico for over one hundred and fifty years. This legacy is preserved photographically in two Santa Fe state agencies that are readily accessible to the general public: The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives with an estimated 800,000 items (120 Washington Avenue) and the New Mexico State Records and Archives (1205 Camino Carlos Rey). Whether one is a casual fan or a serious baseball researcher, these agencies offer treasured glimpses into the national pastime in New Mexico from the territorial period to the present day.
Both agencies may be visited in person weekday afternoons. There are card catalogues that are open to visitors with experienced and helpful archivists who will pull the materials and allow one to view the photographs and maps directly. (Visitors must handle the materials with white gloves that are provided on-site.) One may make photocopies of the materials unless there is a deed of gift that expressly forbids such reproductions. People who wish to own a digitized scan or glossy print of an individual; work may purchase it on a sliding payment scale that is based on the type and level of reproduction desired and its future personal or publication usage. There is a certain indefinable excitement in holding history in one’s hands and viewing such primary sources so intimately.
The Palace off the Governors Photo Archives has a series of collections on-line for viewing and purchase. Some time spent previewing these collections before a visit may make one’s personal visit more productive, especially in light of the limited hours available to view the collections. The State Records and Archives is currently has 5,000 photographs on-line through its on-line catalogue, Heritage There is also a photo card catalogue organized by subject and collections. These collections are frequently deeded family albums and files that reflect a wide range of materials that are fascinating personal looks at New Mexican history. However, many of these files could benefit from more precise identification and cataloguing.
The contact information of the agencies mentioned in this piece is as follows:
Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
P.O. Box 2087
120 Washington Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87504-2987
Hours: TU-F 1-5 P.M.
Daniel Korsharek (Senior Archivist)
State Records Center and Archives
1205 Camino Carlos Rey
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Hours: M-F 1-4:30 P.M.