Library and Archives

The New Mexico Museum of Art library dates back to the founding of the museum in 1917. Since that time, the library has continued to grow and expand guided by the mission to collect, preserve, and make available research materials that meet the information needs of the museum’s staff and visitors.  The library is a special, non-circulating  collection that includes monographs, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, catalogue raisonnes, artist biographical files, slides, videos, and other reference material available to students and the general public, and utilized by researchers around the state and beyond.

The focus of the library collection is American art of the 20th and 21st centuries with an emphasis on artists who have lived or worked in New Mexico, as well as the connection between art of this region and the art of Europe, Latin America, Asia, and other international styles that have influenced the art of New Mexico.

Search the Library Catalog

To further support the research needs of our community and preserve the unique history of the arts in New Mexico, the archives of the New Mexico Museum of Art  contain organizational records and manuscript collections that document how the museum came to be, what it has done, and how it has impacted the community. These materials provide information about the museum’s history of exhibitions, architecture, and community engagement since the establishment of the Museum of New Mexico in 1909. It includes the non-current records of the museum preserved because of their continuing institutional value as well as materials about professionals who worked with the museum such as artists, gallery owners, critics and scholars.

The archival collections consist of primary source material including correspondence, audiovisual recordings, typescripts, reports, photographs, financial records, scrapbooks, diaries, sketches, press clippings, architectural drawings and printed ephemera.

Currently, the bulk of the materials are in English and are from the United States.

The archives do not contain the museum’s personnel or financial records that are property of the State Records Center and Archives or Museum of New Mexico Foundation.




The Library & Archives Are Open:

Monday- Friday 9 AM - 4 PM By Appointment
Wednesday 1:30 - 4 PM Open Drop-In Hours
Phone 505-231-5065

Records documenting the registration and tracking of objects in a curated museum exhibit or display are kept with the Registrar’s exhibition files and available to the public by appointment only. This may include loan agreements, insurance documents, shipping documents, copies of contracts, courier information, object values, correspondence with conservators, and acquisition forms concerning artwork in the permanent collection. Contact Ruth Lanore, Head of Collections at for more information.


Archives Finding Aids

Finding aids can be used to find information in specific record groups or series of archival materials and contain inventories and container lists associated with each collection. These documents are invaluable for discovering and connecting with the records held in the New Mexico Museum of Art archives.

Paper finding aids for most collections are available in the museum library.

A limited number of finding aids can be found at New Mexico Archives Online.

The following finding aids can also be downloaded and searched for keywords using control F:


The library subscribes to the following periodicals:

  • Aperture
  • Archives of American Art Journal
  • Art in America
  • Artforum International
  • El Palacio
  • Flash Art International
  • Journal of Museum Education
  • Photobook Review
  • Sculpture
  • Southwest Art

Digital Resources

New Mexico State Library Digital Collections

Search a complete digitized collection of El Palacio magazine, an excellent source of information on the arts and culture of New Mexico and the Southwest in print since 1913.

New Mexico Archives Online

Access to finding aids for archival collections from 19 repositories across the state of New Mexico. The finding aids include information on the contents, historical context, creation, and organization of materials in the collections. Use the NMAO site to browse, explore and discover the exceptional collections of primary resources available in the state. A full list of participating repositories can be found in the Repositories tab at the top of the page.

SALSA Library Consortium

SALSA is a consortium of libraries that allows you to search the catalogs of 7 Department of Cultural Affairs institutions. Choose the library you wish to search or use the search bar at the top of the page to search all the SALSA libraries.