Citations (Library Newsletter) September 1999


Library Helps Build Online Archive of New Mexico


The Rio Grande Historical Collections (RGHC) of the NMSU Library and three other archives in New Mexico have received $328,563 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Preservation and Access to implement the Online Archive of New Mexico (OANM). This 18 month project will provide integrated, consistent, and expanded online access to information about the archival collections held by the four major repositories in New Mexico.In addition to the RGHC, the project partners are the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, the New Mexico State Archives and Records Center in Santa Fe, and the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe. Steve Rollins, Associate Dean of the UNM Library, is the project director.


Taken together, these collections document more than four hundred years of cultural interaction in the Southwest. The Blazer Family Papers, held by the RGHC, is an example of the quality of the research material available. New Mexicoís archives attract researchers in fields such as the history of the American West and the Mexican borderlands, Latin American studies, Native American and Hispanic American/Chicano studies, the history of art and architecture, archaeology, folk art and folklife, religion, law, economics, environmental history, natural resources management, sociology, political history, public administration, and family history.


A web site, consisting of a union catalog database of finding aids for each collection and links to digital facsimiles of a representative sampling of manuscripts, will be created and hosted on the UNM General Library web server. The site will provide students and researchers a central access point for the location of information in New Mexicoís major archival collections. An advisory board consisting of representatives from each institution, the State Librarian of New Mexico, and two historians (to be named) will oversee creation of the database and web site. The OANM will grow as future collections are added to the database.


The project was written by Bonnie Hardwick of the University of California, Berkeley, Bancroft Library, with funding from the New Mexico State Library. The OANM is based on procedures and standards developed by the Bancroft Library which have resulted in the NEH American Heritage Virtual Archive Project and the Online Archive of California Project. For more information, contact Austin Hoover, Director of the Rio Grande Historical Collections, at 646-3839.