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New Mexico History Museum



New Mexico History Museum

Telling New Mexico
Stories from Then and Now

SANTA FE, October, 2008

The New Mexico History Museum, scheduled to open May 24, 2009, will anchor a diverse campus dedicated to New Mexico history, education, and research. The 96,000-square foot facility will include permanent and temporary exhibitions exploring the full range of the state's history, from indigenous peoples to Spanish colonization, the Mexican Period, the Santa Fe Trail, and through World War II and the Manhattan Project, to present-day life in New Mexico. On Memorial Day weekend, 2009, the New Mexico History Museum will officially join the Palace of the Governors, the Native American Artisans Program, The Palace Press, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library, and the Palace Photo Archives in an education and research complex devoted to the rich history of New Mexico.

The Palace of the Governors, the esteemed 400-year-old adobe building bordering the historic Santa Fe Plaza, is New Mexico's most important artifact. Originally constructed as Spain's seat of government in 1609, the Palace is the oldest continuously occupied public building in America, and has served as the State History Museum of New Mexico since 1909. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and an American Treasure in 1999, elevating it to the same status as Monticello, the Liberty Bell, and other great monuments of American history.

The Portal, or porch, of the Palace of the Governors has long been a location where Native Americans have gathered to buy, sell, and trade goods. The Native American Artisans Program, often called 'the Portal Program, expands that tradition, guaranteeing the quality and authenticity of all goods sold there by New Mexico Native artisans, providing great economic and cultural benefits to Native Americans.

Situated in rooms adjoining the courtyard of the Palace lies the Palace Press, a living exhibition where Mew Mexico's printing history is brought to life in a working exhibit of 19th and 20th century letterpress printing techniques and equipment. Visitors can see the press in action, and view original newspapers with headlines chronicling Civil War battles and actual "wanted" posters warning of some of the territory's most notorious desperadoes. Today, the Palace Press remains a vital center in the book arts, publishing award-winning, limited edition books and offering a research library of more than 400 volumes related to the art of the book.

Fray Angelico Chavez History Library is the institutional successor of New Mexico's oldest library. It is a non-circulating, closed stack research facility, preserving rare books, manuscripts, and a vast collection of maps and materials documenting the history of the state. Named for Fr. Angelico Chavez, author, poet, painter, historian, and Franciscan priest from New Mexico, the library offers an eclectic, ongoing lecture series, in keeping with its namesake, and online access to its catalog of rare books and manuscript collections.

The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives contain an estimated 800,000 items, including material of regional and national significance dating from approximately 1850 to the present. The collection focuses on the history and people of New Mexico and the expansion of the West, with smaller collections documenting Europe, Latin America, the Far East, Oceana, and the Middle East. Some of the most important 19th and 20th century photographers of the West are represented in the collection. The Photo Archives also have a searchable, online database of thousands of digitized images, and a knowledgeable staff that can assist or advise.

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum and images, please see the New Mexico History Museum Media Kit:


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