Category Archives: Rio Grande Historical Collections

Notable New Mexico Women

By Teddie Moreno and Jennifer Olguin  The New Mexico history that is most familiar to people is one of the shoot-outs, outlaws, and battles for land. What might have been missing from history books can be found within the New Mexico State University (NMSU) Archives and Special Collections.  Without many of the strong and resilient women, New Mexico would not be…
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Extraordinary Women: Advocacy, Activism, and Sisterhood

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Various events were in the making to honor such a monumental time in American history, but due to the current pandemic, many events have been put on hold or canceled due to limits on social gatherings. At the local…
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History of Blackdom

Have you heard of Blackdom, New Mexico? Chances are slim, I myself never heard of the all-black settlement that was founded in 1901 in territorial New Mexico. Blackdom was literally located in the backyard of Dexter, a small farming community in Chaves County where I was raised. It was about two years ago or so…
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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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Latimer Wilson: An Astronomical Being

To describe amateur astronomer Latimer James Wilson at a glance is uncomplicated. He was an observer, a photographer, a writer, and an illustrator. To describe him as an individual will take a deeper look into the history of his complicated life. How did this Tennessean’s life work come into the possession of the NMSU Library…
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Pioneer Jewish Family: Louis E. and Carmen K. Freudenthal

May is Jewish American Heritage Month and the Rio Grande Historical Collections Unit (RGHC) would like to highlight the Louis E. and Carmen K. Freudenthal family papers. The Freudenthal family settled in the Mesilla Valley long before New Mexico became a state. The papers primarily document Louis and Carmen Freudenthal and the bulk of the…
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Dr. Thomas K. Todsen: New Mexico’s Pictorial Collector

Archives and Special Collections (ASC) holds the collection of Dr. Thomas K. Todsen, a prolific collector of material relating to New Mexico and the Southwest, especially photographs and postcards. His collection contains over 2,300 images and hundreds of documents. Subjects include territorial New Mexico, the Mexican Revolution, state parks, US post offices across the state,…
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Herbert Bartlett Holt: Prominent Southwest Lawyer

The Archives and Special Collections (ASC), recently acquired additional letters to add to the existing Herbert B. Holt papers (Ms0061). These papers provide a glimpse of life in the Mesilla Valley during late 1890s into the early 1900s. Herbert Holt was a prominent lawyer in the Mesilla Valley and practiced law in the early 1900s…
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Luke Lyon’s Drawings of New Mexico Ceremonial Dance

  One of the great pleasures of working in an archive is discovering hidden treasures buried deep within the collections and bringing them to light for the education and enjoyment of our users. The resources in the Archives and Special Collections (ASC) are vast and contain millions of such treasures. They are like so many trapped genies, waiting for the…
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The Rio Grande Historical Collections

Hi, I am Jennifer Olguin, the archivist for the Rio Grande Historical Collections (RGHC). I joined the Archives and Special Collections department in 2010 as a library specialist and in 2018 I obtained my Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas. Being the archivist in the RGHC unit is rewarding and…
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