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Photo Archives

PLEASE NOTE: The Photo Archives will be open limited hours BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Contact the archives at (505) 476-5092 or (505) 476-5107 or by email.

A searchable online database of digitized images from the Photo Archives is available at UNM's New Mexico Digital Collections.

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Hours: By appointment only, M to F, 8 to 5 MST. Closed major holidays.

Phone: (505) 476-5092


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The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives contains an estimated 1,000,000 items including historic photographic prints, cased photographs, glass plate negatives, film negatives, stereographs, photo postcards, panoramas, color transparencies, and lantern slides. This important 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; anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology of Hispanic and Native American cultures; and smaller collections documenting Europe, Latin America, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

Some of the most important 19th and 20th century photographers of the West are represented in the collection including: Adolph Bandelier, George C. Bennett, Wesley Bradfield, Nicholas Brown, W. C. Brown, W. H. Brown, Joseph Burge, John Candelario, D.B. Chase, W. H. Cobb, Edward S. Curtis, Nathaniel Frucht, Carter Harrison, F. Jay Haynes, John K. Hillers, William Henry Jackson, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Lummis, Karl Moon, Jesse Nusbaum, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, T. Harmon Parkhurst, H. F. Robinson, Adam Clark Vroman and Ben Wittick among others.

With the launch of the Photo Legacy Project the Photo Archives is actively seeking materials from contemporary photographers documenting the past 50 years of visual history in New Mexico. Recent acquisitions include works by Sam Adams, Ann Bromberg, Guy Cross, Cary Herz, Herbert A. Lotz, Tony OBrien, Jack Parsons, and Donald Woodman. Please contact the Photo Archives to discuss gifts, bequests, and purchases.

A searchable online database of images in the Photo Archives is available at UNM's New Mexico Digital Collections. Additionally, Photo Archives staff will provide approximately 1 hour of research on succinct questions for patrons. Otherwise, staff encourages patrons to visit the Photo Archives or contact the Photo Archives for a list of researchers in the Santa Fe vicinity.

Most material is available for reproduction as high-quality digital scans and digital prints, for publication and use in advertising, scholarly works, multimedia projects, and TV news media stories for reasonable imaging and copyright fees. It is the responsibility of the archives to present images as they are. Fine art and large format custom printing of images is available upon request. The Photo Archives does not allow patrons to scan or digitally photograph material onsite. Please see above links for current fee schedule and other policy guidelines.

Donations: The collection continues to expand with long range preservation and conservation projects underway. To inquire about donating photographs to the Photo Archives, please send a letter or e-mail with details.

Located at: 120 Washington Avenue, Santa Fe, NM (around the corner from the Palace of the Governors)

Mailing Address:
Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
New Mexico History Museum
113 Lincoln Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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Negative number HP.2015.11.001

Dick Wootton, Ceran St. Vrain, and Jose Maria Valdez, circa 1865.

Negative number HP.2015.5.009

Dixie Ann Dickenson and other Harvey girls, Santa Fe, circa 1946.

Negative number HP.2015.9.002

Pinhole photograph by Jackie and Courtenay Mathey. Palace of the Governors courtyard, looking west, Santa Fe, 2015.

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