The Rio Grande Historical Collections

Color image of various formats

Various archival formats found in RGHC

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 fulfilling because I have the opportunity to serve the New Mexico State University and Las Cruces communities with their research needs.

The RGHC was established in 1972 with the purpose to “to acquire, preserve, and make available for research records of organizations, personal papers and other unpublished materials which document the cultural heritage and history of New Mexico and the Southwestern experience.” Since the creation of the RGHC, I am the first Latina archivist and with my cultural background combined with my interest in the history of the Mesilla Valley and borderland region this is my ideal profession!

If you are curious and want to do some research and explore the Mesilla Valley and the borderland region, the RGHC is the place to start. The diverse collections found in the RGHC may be of use to amateur and professional researchers and anyone in-between wanting to explore various disciplines such as the social and physical sciences, genealogy, activism, creative writing and other areas. Some archival collections that are found within the repository include the Elephant Butte Irrigation District records, which document water rights in the region and contain information pertaining to the district’s executive operations, and family papers documenting life in the Mesilla Valley such as the Amador and Armijo family papers. There are many more archival collections to explore, but the two previously mentioned provide an example of the diverse archival holdings.

The focus is to make incoming collections accessible to all. Making collections accessible includes arranging, describing and preserving collections to meet archival standards. The result of processing includes a detailed descriptive guide known as a finding aid. A finding aid provides brief biographical information about the creator(s) of a set of records or manuscripts, an overview of the subjects and dates represented in the records and a list of boxes and folders. Finding aids for most of the RGHC’s collections can be browsed or searched on the Rocky Mountain Online Archive at:

If you would like to know more about the unit or about a specific archival collection, you can reach me via email or telephone:


Telephone: (575) 646-7281


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