1st Weds Lecture – Royal A. Prentice: Pioneering Archaeologist in Eastern New Mexico

Photographer and former Rough Rider, Royal A. Prentice, 1950? 
Neg. 006017. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New Mexico History Museum
Photographer and former Rough Rider, Royal A. Prentice was also an early volunteer who contributed valuable archeological information to the Museum of New Mexico.

The live presentation can be seen on YouTube and via Zoom.

Richard Ford, Allison Colborne, and Gary Hein have undertaken a study of Royal A. Prentice,  an early  volunteer who contributed valuable archaeological information to the Museum of New Mexico in the first three decades of the 20th century.  Although he published several useful research papers during those years in El Palaciothe quarterly magazine of the Museum of New Mexico, Prentice remains generally unknown today. The presentation will provide an overview of his life focusing on his archaeological research, stressing that the value of this work has earned him a well-deserved place in the history of New Mexico archaeology.  

Our speakers for this event are:

Richard I. Ford
 Arthur F. Thurnau, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and Botany, 
 University of Michigan
Research Associate, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture 

Allison Colborne
Librarian, Laboratory of Anthropology
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

Gary Hein
 Volunteer, Office of Archaeological Studies and Rock Art 
Rock Art Council Member, Archaeological Society of New Mexico

This is the latest in the Friends of History monthly lecture series and is presented in collaboration with the Friends of Archaeology.


Several of Royal A. Prentice’s photographs are currently on exhibit in our Working on the Railroad Exhibition which remains open until October of 2021.

You can also visit the exhibition from home via the Virtual Version .

You can view all of Prentice’s photographs in our digital collections portal.


Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org


Upcoming 1st Weds Lecture, Feb 3, 2021

Colin G Colloway will be speaking on the impacts of the 1779 smallpox pandemic on Native American tribes throughout western North America.

Colin G. Calloway John Kimball Jr. 1943 Professor of History Professor of Native American Studies Dartmouth College.

The talk will trace the spread of the great smallpox epidemic that broke out in Mexico in 1779, traveled north to New Mexico, was transmitted from tribe to tribe across the American West, and reached eastern Canada by 1784. We will discuss its impact on Indian country and the multiple Native American communities it struck, and consider its significance for understanding the subsequent history of the United States.

Colin Calloway grew up in England and received his Ph.D. from the University of Leeds. In the US, he has worked at the Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and taught at the University of Wyoming and Dartmouth College. He has published more than a dozen books, including One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West Before Lewis and Clark, which won six best book awards, and most recently The Indian World of George Washington, which was a National Book Award finalist and won the George Washington Prize. He has been President of the American Society for Ethnohistory and received the Western History Association’s American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award.

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friendsofhistorynm.org

Dec 2, 2020, the next Friends of History 1st Weds Lecture: Cathleen Cahill presents Recasting the Vote.

Graphic with details of Dr. Cathleen Cahill’s lecture.

Join us December 2nd at 12pm (MST) on our Youtube channel for December’s 1st Wednesday Lecture.

Will be joined by Dr. Cathleen Cahill, Associate Professor of History at Penn State University. Professor Cahill will tell the powerful stories of a multiracial group of activists who propelled the national suffrage movement toward a more inclusive vision of equal rights. Most suffrage stories are centered in the East and the Southwest as an afterthought at best. But Cahill asks what happens when we refocus the lens to center the stories in NM and the wider region? This talk reveals that suddenly our suffrage history is more diverse and more complicated than we anticipated. She will especially focus on New Mexico by exploring the important role of Spanish-speaking suffragists, the activism of African American women, and the debate over the Native American right to vote.  With suffragists of color in the foreground, Cahill will recast the suffrage movement as an unfinished struggle that extended beyond the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Cathleen D. Cahill, PHD is associate professor of history at Penn State University and the author of Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869–1933, winner of the 2011 Labriola Center American Indian National Book Award and finalist for the 2012 David J. Weber-Clements Prize, Western History Association.

The bookcover for Recasting the Vote by Cathleen D. Cahill

Friends of History is a volunteer support group for the New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Its mission is to raise funds and public awareness for the Museum’s exhibitions and programs. Friends of History fulfills its mission by offering high quality public history programs, including the First Wednesday Lecture Series. For more information, or to join the Friends of History, go to friends-of-history.org

You can find a playlist of previous 1st Wednesday Lectures on our youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/nmmuseum and also on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoHistoryMuseum