The Special Collections Library of the Public Library houses research collections on Albuquerque history and New Mexico history and culture. The 1925 Pueblo/Spanish Revival-style building is a registered Albuquerque landmark in the historic Huning Highlands neighborhood. The research collections are available for in house use only. Researchers must have a library card in good standing to access some materials.
Route #66 Central Ave. Plan your trip here.
Rapid Ride 766/Red Line and 777/Green Line buses stop near Special Collections Library by request.
Take Interstate 25 to the Martin Luther King Jr Drive exit. Go west on MLK towards downtown. The first traffic signal west of the Albuquerque Regional Medical Center (formerly St Joseph's Hospital) is Edith Blvd. Turn left onto Edith and go south two blocks.
Surface Street Directions:
Take Central Avenue to Edith Blvd NE. There is a traffic signal at the intersection.
Parking along the west side of Edith is metered. Meters can be paid with coins or credit cards. The fee is $1.00 per hour, with a two-hour limit, enforced from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is no charge for vehicles with disability permits. The appropriate placard must be displayed. Free parking is available for green vehicles registered with the City of Albuquerque's Parking Registration.
On-street parking in the neighborhood is by permit only between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Library customers are advised to pay close attention to parking signs and curb markings. See here for a map showing parking locations around the Special Collections library.
Special Collections has three meeting rooms available for use by the public when not in use by the Library System. Botts Hall is an auditorium that seats over 100 people. The Center for the Book can seat up to 30 people. The New Mexicana Room has a capacity of 15.
To inquire about the rooms please stop by the information desk or call 848-1376. Policy, rules and required forms for using the meeting room may be found at Meeting and Study Rooms as well as a list of meeting rooms at other branches.
To view availability and begin the booking process, see our online booking form.
6 Public Computers (Windows 10 with Microsoft Office 2019 and Internet access)
Free Wireless Internet Access
Printing Services - 15¢ per page
Copy Machine - 20¢ per page
Meeting & Study Rooms Available for Public Reservation
The Center for the Book is located in the Special Collections Library, part of the Public Library. Volunteer docents lead field trips to teach about the history of writing and books.
Our research collections include everything from popular treatments of ghosts and aliens to scholarly publications on history, anthropology, archaeology, religion, language and art in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Although the primary focus is on the greater Albuquerque and Bernalillo County area, excellent resources for researching the Territorial and Statehood eras of New Mexico and the greater southwest are readily available.
Do you have memories of coming to Special Collections when it was the Main Library? Have you ever worked at Special Collections/“Old Main”? Do you have any pictures or materials related to Special Collections/“Old Main”? If so, we would love to hear about them! We have a History Harvest coming up in October where staff will be on hand to listen to stories and digitize any images or materials brought in. If you can't make the event, you can find a form you can fill out and return to us here.
The web-pages at this link provide access to many of the digitized resources of the Public Library, research tools from Special Collections, and overviews of many of the items that can be found at Special Collections.