A view of the Chávez Library facade and museum entrance on Washington Ave.

Fray Angélico Chávez History Library

Note:  Researchers are now welcome back to the Chávez History Library by appointment.  To make your appointment, email us or call (505)476-5090.

The Fray Angélico Chávez History Library at the New Mexico History Museum is an institutional successor of New Mexico’s oldest library, which was established in the Palace of the Governors in 1851.

As a whole, the library’s holdings provide insights into the history and culture of New Mexico and the American Southwest, from pre-European contact to the present. Named after historian Fray Angélico Chávez, library materials include important information from the Spanish colonial and Mexican periods. However, the library’s strength lies in the American period from the territorial period through the present. 

Using the library 

The library's holdings are a non-circulating special collection. In other words, library and archival materials are available for use by the public in the library’s reading room during appointments. Frequent users include scholars, lawyers, professional and amateur historians, teachers and students, and people investigating special topics that our collections can address.

Guidance on how best to use the library can be found under Research. You may also want to review information about our on-site Library Collections that include books,  manuscripts, maps, periodicals, microfilm, and clipping files. Online resources are viewable in our Digital Collections

The Fray Angélico Chavez History Library is open by appointment only, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. To make an appointment, please contact our reference desk at (505) 476–5090 or email 

Access to the library is through the main entry of the New Mexico History Museum at 113 Lincoln Avenue. For additional information, see Getting Here.

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