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Southwest Collection

The Southwest collection is a rich and extensive resource for information on New Mexico state history, geography, culture, ethnology, government, natural history, and economics.  The Southwest collection is complemented by the State and Federal Documents collections of the New Mexico State Library and the New Mexico State Archives, all located within a single facility.  Frequent research topics in the Southwest collection include: the history of New Mexico places and families, railroad history, mines and mining, New Mexican writers, land grants, Santa Fe neighborhoods and buildings, Indian pueblos and reservations, farming and ranching, and Western trails.

To find a book in the SW collection, see the State Library’s online catalog.

For a list of recent Southwest collection acquisitions, see "New in Southwest."

The library research room hours are 1:00 to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Parking is ample; computers are available for researchers; and wireless access is provided in the building.  Email and telephone reference requests are handled daily, Monday through Friday, to serve clients with research needs.   Please contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or call 505-476-9790.

La colección Suroeste es un recurso rico y amplio en información de la historia estatal, de la geografía, cultura, etnografía, economía, y del gobierno de Nuevo México.  La Colección Suroeste está complementada con las colecciones Documentales Estatal y Federal de la Biblioteca del Estado de Nuevo México y del Archivo del Estado de Nuevo México, ambos están localizados en un único edificio.  Temas de investigación de la colección Suroeste con frecuencia incluyen: la historia de los sitios y familias de Nuevo México, la historia del ferrocarril, las minas y la minería, los escritores de Nuevo México, las concesiones de tierras, los barrios y edificios de Santa Fe, los pueblos y las reservas de los Indios Nativos, la agricultura y ganadería y los caminos del oeste.

Para encontrar un libro de la colección Suroeste vea el catálogo de enlace de la Biblioteca del Estado: online catalog.

Para una lista de las materias recibidas recientemente en la colección Suroeste vea “Nuevo en el Suroeste”: "New in Southwest."

La colección Suroeste está abierta desde la 1:00 hasta las 5:00 de la tarde, de lunes a viernes.  El parking es amplio; las computadoras están disponibles para los investigadores y hay acceso de wifi en el edificio.  Diariamente de lunes a viernes se aceptan preguntas através del correo electrónico y por teléfono para servir a los clientes con preguntas de investigación.  Por favor contáctenos por correo electrónico en This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. o llámenos al 505-476-9790.

Resources Available


The Library subscribes to many current New Mexico newspapers.

The Southwest Collection also holds thousands of rolls of microfilm for New Mexico newspapers dating from the territorial period of the 1850’s to the present.  Microfilm reader/printers are available on site. Since we do loan microfilm, not every reel is available for in-library use every day. The State Library will loan another library up to 3 reels of microfilm per request for a period of 45 days with no renewals. Please contact your local library to initiate your request.

The Library also has the New York Times on microfilm from 1851 to mid-September 2008.  The Library also has the Index to the New York Times from 1851 to 2011, and the Personal Names Index from 1851 to 2003.

The Access Newspaper Archive database collection of historic newspaper content is also available in the Library. Explore New Mexico history and genealogy in old newspaper archives from 1849 - 2012.


A research guide outlines the New Mexico specific resources which are available in the Southwest Collection.  The Library reference collection contains the following titles – Who’s Who from 1932-2008; Who’s Who in America from 1908-2009; Who’s Who in the South and Southwest from 1947-1987; and Who’s Who American Women from 1958-2007.

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bureau of Indian Affairs materials are located in the Federal Collection and the Southwest Collection.  The following plus other materials are located in the Southwest Collection:  Indian Census on microfilm from 1885-1940, rolls are organized by tribe; Superintendency Records on microfilm from 1849-1880; and the Santa Fe Indian School Records on microfilm from 1890 to 1918.

Census Records

Census records issued by the U.S. Census Bureau from 1790 to the present are available. The historical Federal decennial census schedules on microfilm for New Mexico are available for the following years:  1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1885 Territorial, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940.  Census data is also searchable on the Ancestry Library database which is available in the Library.

Colonial and Land Grant Resources

In additon to the Parral Papers (see specific description below), the Southwest Collection and the State Archives contain many resources for colonial periods and land grant research, including the following microfilm sets which must be used in the Library:  

Spanish Archives of New Mexico (SANM) Land Grant Records I, Rolls 1-63; Rolls 1-10 index with an English translation, Rolls 11-63 by land grant

Spanish Archives of New Mexico (SANM) Land Grant Records II, Rolls 1-23, 1621-1821

Mexican Archives of New Mexico (MANM), Rolls 1-22, 1821-1836

City & County Histories

The State Library has many New Mexico city and county histories.  They are all listed in the online catalog.

City Directories

The following cities/counties for the dates noted are available for on site use only.  Please be aware that the date range noted may not include the directory for each year in the range.  They are all listed in our online catalog

Alamogordo                                        1994-current

Albuquerque                                       1947-current

Artesia/Eddy County                           1974-current

Carlsbad/Eddy County                        1964-current

Clovis –Portales                                  1964, 1998-current

El Paso, Texas                                     1978-1990

Farmington/San Juan County              1964-current

Gallup/McKinley County                     1964, 1976-current

Grants/Valencia County                      1976-1981

Greater Las Cruces                             1940-current

Hobbs/Lea County                               1952-current

Portales/Roosevelt County                 1976-1979

Roswell/Chaves County                      1966-current

Santa Fe                                              1940, 1944-current (paper)         1928-1935 (microfilm)

Tucumcari/Quay County                     1979, 1988, 1991

Telephone Directories

The Library has a large collection of telephone books for major and small towns in New Mexico, as noted below. They are all listed in our online catalog.  They are available for in library use only.

Alamorgordo/Carrizozo/Cloudcroft/Tularosa               1960-2011

Alamosa                                                                      1990-2005

Albuquerque                                                               1950-2012

Anthony/Canutillo/La Mesa                                        1961-1991

Aztec/Farmington                                                       1955-1968*

Artesia                                                                         1955-2011

Belen/ Los Lunas                                                         1961-2010

Carlsbad                                                                      1961-2008

Clovis/Portales                                                            1956-2011

Deming/Lordsburg/Silver City                                      1955-1985+

Espanola                                                                      1964-2007

Estancia/Fort Sumner/Santa Rosa                              1960-1983

Farmington/Aztec                                                       *1969-2011

Gallup/Grants                                                              1954-2011

Hobbs                                                                          1960-2005

Las Cruces                                                                   1955-2011

Las Vegas/Raton                                                         1954-2008

Los Alamos                                                                  1961-1965

Lovington                                                                     1962-2004

Magdelena/Socorro                                                     1955-1968^

Pecos/Glorieta/Terrero                                                 1962-2004

Roswell                                                                        1954-2011

Ruidoso                                                                       1961-2005

Santa Fe                                                                      1926, 1955-2013

Socorro                                                                        1969-2011

Silver City                                                                    +1987-2010

Taos/Penasco                                                              1955-2010

Tatum/Malaheur                                                           1968-1990

Truth or Consequences                                               1961-2004

Tucumcari                                                                   1954-2010

Zuni/Ramah                                                                 1975-2005

Window Rock, AZ                                                        1972-2000

Genealogical Resources

The Southwest Collection contains many genealogical resources including Ancestry Library Edition, Fold3, books, indexes, genealogical society periodicals, church records, census records, DAR indexes, Sanborn Maps for New Mexico (specific information below), and various National Archives records sets many of which are on microfilm and most of which must be used in the Library. For additional information regarding our genealogy resources see our Genealogy Resources research guide. For additional information on Native Amercian genealogy resources see our research guide.

Parral Papers – El Archivo de Hidalgo del Parral 1631-1821

This is a microfilm collection of historical records written in Spanish (official records, directives, treaties, court transcripts, wills letters, and other documents) relating to the Spanish Colonial era of the Southwest.  The collection includes indexes in both English and Spanish.

Sanborn Maps

Dating from 1800's through the 1950's, the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps offer comprehensive information about commercial, industrial, and residential sections of cities and towns throughout New Mexico.  The maps are available on microfilm, on Sanborn map databases, and in color through the Fire Insurance Maps Online (FIMo) database. Both databases are available for in-Library use only and the FIMo maps are available for download. Copyright restrictions prevent librarians from making copies of entire maps.  

Southwest Fiction

The Library holds a small and select collection of historical and current Southwest fiction with an emphasis on New Mexico, including children's picture books and young adult works. To assist you in locating a good read, here is a guide to New Mexico authors and classic books.

Southwest Historical & Genealogical Periodicals

The Southwest Collection contains numerous current and historical magazine and journal titles.  They are available for in Library use only.

Southwest History & Culture

This non-fiction collection contains both current and historical works of interest to scholars and historians.  The majority of this collection is available for circulation.