Author Archives: Dennis Daily

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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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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Picacho Oil and Gas: The Story behind a Picture

One of the great photograph collections in our archives is the Rives Studio photographs. The studio was started by Harold L. Rives in 1935 primarily as a portrait studio, but Rives did a lot of contract work as well. Harold Rives was originally from Kentucky and his wife, Helen, was from Pennsylvania. They were married in 1920 and moved to…
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When Planets Align

Like many people around the world, last night I took my family out to view the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, affectionately being called the Christmas Star. Even though it wasn’t a spectacular visual display (as one member of my family said, “All I see is two little dots of light”), we all felt that we were in the presence of something…
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Lee Myers’ Hurley Scrolls

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls. And you may know that scrolls of papyrus, parchment or paper were the standard method of storing texts for many early civilizations. The famous library at Alexandria is said to have held as many as 400,000 scrolls in its collection. Well, as a writing format, scrolls aren’t as popular…
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Maude McFie Bloom Manuscripts Added to ASC

One of the treasured and often-cited sources on the early history of our region is the thesis written by Maude Elizabeth McFie to obtain her bachelor of science degree, in 1903, from the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now NMSU). In writing her thesis, “A History of the Mesilla Valley,” Maude McFie…
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Durango Microfilm Collections

As we conduct our virtual reference services in Archives and Special Collections (ASC), under the restrictions the COVID-19 virus has placed upon us, we’ve been receiving a large number of requests for scans from our Durango Microfilming Project resources. With Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) geting underway, it seems like a good time to…
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Early College Scrapbook Donated to Archives

The treasures in the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) nearly all have come to the NMSU Library through generous donations from residents of southern New Mexico. We are always seeking relevant research collections – manuscripts, family papers, records, photographs, films, audio materials and other primary source documentation – that fill in details of our region’s history. We want to collect records that…
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NMSU Student Radio in the 1970s

Time machines, you might say, are the stuff of science fiction. Physically traveling to the past or the future may be debated by scientists and philosophers, but any archivist will tell you that if you want to visit the past, “Well, step right this way.” We can take you as near or as far back…
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Carl Schuchard’s 1854 Views of the Mesilla Valley

The Mexican-American War was a mere six years in the past, and the international boundary line between the United States and Mexico was still being debated, when in early 1854 Carl Schuchard passed through the Mesilla Valley as artist with the A.B. Gray survey for the Texas Western Railroad Company. Schuchard’s drawings of scenes in…
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