New Mexico History Museum
The New Mexico History Museum, opened in May 2009, will change the way that New Mexicans and visitors understand state history and the history of the nation. The new museum includes permanent and temporary exhibitions that span the early history of indigenous people, Spanish colonization, the Mexican Period, and travel and commerce on the legendary Santa Fe Trail.
The museum serves as the anchor of a campus that encompasses the Palace of the Governors, the Palace Press, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library and Photo Archives.
Palace of the Governors
Originally constructed in the early 17th century as Spain's seat of government for what is today the American Southwest, the Palace of the Governors chronicles the history of Santa Fe, as well as New Mexico and the region. This adobe structure, currently the state's history museum, was designated a Registered National Historic Landmark in 1960 and an American Treasure in 1999.
The Palace of the Governors' four-foot thick walls, long galleries, small rooms and secure courtyard mirror its original purpose as a seat of government on a remote frontier. Period rooms and exhibitions at the Palace tell tales of nearly 400 years of New Mexico history starting with Francisco VÃ¡squez de Coronado's 1540 expedition. Through Palace doors have passed Spanish soldiers, Pueblo peoples, Mexican governors, U.S. military personnel, an army of the Confederate States of America, New Mexico territorial governors, and merchants who came by way of the Santa Fe Trail. Visit the Palace of the Governors web site.
Portal Native American Artisans Program
As you approach the Palace of the Governors, you encounter what may be its most well-known public program. Dozens of New Mexico Native American artists display and sell their handmade arts and crafts under the portal of the building every day. This is a regulated market in which artisans must be members of New Mexico tribes and pueblos and must follow stringent rules designed to ensure the authenticity of their goods.
Situated in rooms adjoining the courtyard is the Palace Press. New Mexico's first printing press arrived at the Palace via the Santa Fe Trail in 1834. The current Press is a working exhibit of 19th and 20th century letterpress printing techniques and equipment. Founded as a "living history" exhibit in 1970, it has expanded its role to become a hub of book arts activity, and is also a highly regarded publishing concern in its own right. Read more about the Palace Press.
The Fray Angelico Chavez History Library
A non-circulating, closed stack research facility, it preserves historical materials documenting the history of the state, the greater Southwest, the American West, and Meso-America from pre-European contact to the present. The library holds approximately 40,000 book and serials titles, 6,000 maps, 2,000 microfilms, and 600 linear feet of archival material. The library features a marvelous Works Progress Administration wall mural by Olive Rush. Holdings can be searched online here. The History Library is open Monday through Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and Wednesdays until 8:00 p.m.
The Photo Archives
This spectacular assemblage of photographic works contains more than 750,000 images from covering many subjects, styles and eras since the early 1850s. The archives has been the recipient of many large and small collections covering subjects emphasizing the history of New Mexico, the American West, indigenous peoples, anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, mining, railroads, agriculture, as well as images from many areas of the world. Images can be searched online here. The Photo Archives is open Monday through Friday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.