New Mexico Association of Museums Presents Award for Excellence, Nov. 4 | - November 3, 2011

“Photo Archives Wins the Edgar L. Hewett Award for Excellence…”

Citing its many resources and online accessibility, the New Mexico Association of Museums (NMAM) will bestow its Edgar L. Hewett Award for Excellence on the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives at its annual business meeting in Farmington on Friday, Nov. 4. The award is named for the first director of the Museum of New Mexico, Edgar Lee Hewett, who led the agency from 1909 until his death in 1946

“The staff of the Photo Archives has worked diligently to make the state’s visual record readily available to people in any part of the state and even the world,” said Dr. Frances Levine, director of the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors. “These resources will prove especially valuable as we prepare to enter our Centennial year as a state. We’re honored by this award.”

“The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives is a rich resource in our state, that promotes preservation and scholarship through a unique collection of historic photographs, films, glass plate negatives, photo postcards and other visual imagery,” said Laurie Rufe, president of NMAM and director of the Roswell Museum and Art Center. “Recipients of this award illustrate exemplary leadership in the field, and the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, with its multitude of resources and online presence, serves a community of scholars, authors, researchers and the general public on an international level.”

The archives hold an estimated 800,000 items dating from 1843 to 2011. Included among them are historic photographic prints, cased photographs, glass plate negatives, film negatives, stereographs, photo postcards, panoramas, color transparencies, lantern slides and more than 1,500 books on photography. More than 16,000 images have been digitized and can be searched by keyword and other images can be searched in person. Some of the most important 19th-  and 20th-century photographers of the West are represented in the Photo Archives’ collections, and the subject matter spans the history and people of New Mexico, anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology of Hispanic and Native American cultures.

Photos: Left – "Hispanic family, New Mexico," 1949, by Anacleto (Tito) G. Apodaca Manca and right – photograph of famed Navajo war chief Manuelito, circa. 1870s.