Henry Trost’s Design for a Fledgling Agricultural School

New Mexico State University began as Las Cruces College in a two-room adobe building near downtown Las Cruces in 1888. It became New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1890 when it received 100-acres of land from Jacob Schaublin, becoming the territory’s land-grant agricultural school. The first building constructed on the campus was…
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Keith Wilson: A Desert Voice

I write down the words I hear, but I know it is the Dead who speak them.             Keith Wilson (1927-2009) from “The Voices of My Desert”             While Dancing Feet Shatter the Earth             (Utah State University Press, 1978) [In recognition of National Poetry Month, we have a guest…
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Nelson’s Funeral Home: Telling the Stories of the Departed

The month of March is a time for spring cleaning and reflecting on items that are no longer needed. As a shameless plug for our research collections, I would like to encourage readers to think about historical documents’ value before discarding them. The following post is about a collection of funeral home records that came…
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The Open Stacks: One-Year Anniversary

Last year, due to the global pandemic, the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) had to adapt to the new normal of relying on technology to continue to serve our users. Before the pandemic, we provided in-person reference assistance and class instructional sessions in the Caroline E. Stras Research Room. These served as great opportunities to…
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An Archivist’s COVID-19 Journal, Part V: Year 1

Today marks the one-year anniversary of receiving my work-from-home mandate.  The uncertainty over the rapidly spreading coronavirus prompted NMSU leadership to order nearly all university employees to begin teleworking.  I wrote about the COVID-19 pandemic in four previous posts, but have not provided an update since last July.  As I have been working back on…
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Guest Post: Larry Creider, former special collections librarian and ASC Department Head

ASC staff occasionally publishes guest posts from former New Mexico State University Library employees.  These guest posts help capture the history of the library and department, as well as document the work of librarians and archivists in southern New Mexico.  Our first guest post comes from Larry Creider, emeritus professor, who spent 16 years at…
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Kathleen Kelly, WASP

  In the collections of the Hobson-Huntsinger University Archives in Archives and Special Collections (ASC), are hundreds of letters written to and from former students turned soldiers of World War II. Dean of Engineering Daniel B. Jett, fondly referred to as “Dad” Jett, would create class newsletters and write to his former students to check…
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RamĂłn OrtĂ­z and Mesilla’s Beginnings

You know how sometimes you’re looking for one thing, but you end up finding something else? It’s usually that way when I’m looking for batteries around my house. When I’m looking for the AAs, I find the 9 volts. When I need a 9 volt, I only find the AAAs. But on some rare occasions you find…
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Albert N. Johnson, Public Servant

As the NMSU campus celebrates Black History Month, the Open Stacks is highlighting the achievements of black students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members who have made important contributions throughout New Mexico and the Borderlands. One noteworthy New Mexican is former Las Cruces Mayor Albert Norris Johnson. Johnson was 49 years old when he passed away, with little warning, from Leukemia….
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Clara Belle Williams: The Desire to Aspire

As the NMSU campus celebrates Black History Month, the Open Stacks hopes to highlight the achievements of Black students, faculty, and staff, as well as those throughout New Mexico and the Borderlands. Clara Belle Drisdale Williams made history in 1937 when she became the first African American to graduate from the New Mexico College of…
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