New Mexico, the "Shining Land", the Land of Enchantment, has always been noted as picturesque. Painters come from around the world to try to put its unique light onto canvas. Photographers strive to capture the unique qualities of its people and places. One of Edison's first movies, "Indian Day School", was produced in New Mexico in 1898, while New Mexico was still a territory.
There are numerous resources available to help you find historical images -- photos and illustrations -- from around New Mexico. This guide will help you find those resources.
The New Mexico images tab will take you to books featuring images from New Mexico statewide.
The alphabet tabs will take you to books featuring images where the village, town, city or region begins with that letter.
The Images of America series tab takes you to the New Mexico titles in that series.
On this page, find links to image resources around the state. These resources represent many thousands of hours by historians and volunteers to collect, catalog, digitize and preserve these images from New Mexico's history. Many of the collections are now browsable online, and some of the images are available for use.
Ours is a wide and wonderful state, with a rich and varied history. Whether you are doing research or "merely" exploring, these resources will lead you to many indelible images from times long ago.
Note: If you have historical images you wish to share and have preserved for the future, many of these collections accept donations of materials from individuals.
The Museum of New Mexico Palace of the Governor Photo Archives are the premiere source of historical photographs involving New Mexico as a whole. The 800,000-item collection includes "material of regional and national significance, dating from approximately 1850 to the present, covering subject matter that focuses on the history and people of New Mexico and the expansion of the West."
Most material is available, as high quality digital scans and digital prints, for editorial reproduction and use in advertising, publishing, media projects, and TV news media stories for reasonable imaging and use fees.
The Museum of New Mexico also maintains digitized collections that are browsable online.
The Special Collections of the ABC Library contain many historical items involving New Mexico and especially Albuquerque's businesses, buildings, homes, neighborhood associations, and lifestyle. While these items are not available for general circulation, they are available for use in-house. Besides photographs, the Special Collections files include historic maps, City of Albuquerque documents, pamphlets, postcards, and biographical information.
The University of New Mexico University Libraries hosts New Mexico's Digital Collections. The collections originate from the University of New Mexico and from other New Mexico cultural heritage institutions. These collections contain documents, photographs, maps, posters, art and music. Topics include New Mexico history, water and land issues. Other subjects are Latin American art and politics. The collections are browsable online.
The City of Albuquerque Photo Archives hosts the Old Town Photo Archives collection, with links to other collections.
The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) provides access to over 7,600 historical photographs from New Mexico.
The black-and-white photographs of the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection show Americans at home, at work, and at play, with an emphasis on rural and small-town life and the adverse effects of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and increasing farm mechanization. Some of the most famous images portray people who were displaced from farms and migrated West or to industrial cities in search of work. In its latter years, the project documented America's mobilization for World War II. The collection includes about 164,000 black-and-white negatives; this release provides access to over 160,000 of these images. Over 3,200 images were from New Mexico were taken during the period 1935-45.
Related topics in the library catalog: