New Mexico is a rich land full of diverse cultures, history, and traditions. The New Mexico History Museum is a must for history buffs and those interested in learning more about this beautiful state. The stories this museum has to tell will change your perspective of the Southwest and create a new appreciation for the traditions of New Mexican life.
Mission for the New Mexico History Museum
The museum serves as a history center for lifelong learning through quality programs that encourage learning, understanding, and appreciation for New Mexican culture. To reach their goal of spreading this regard for authentic Southwest society, they present exhibitions and public programs that interpret historical events and experiences. They are always acquiring new collections that tell many tales of New Mexico’s fascinating heritage.
Things to See Today at the New Mexico History Museum
Palace of the Governors
In the early 17th century, Spain controlled what is now the American Southwest. During these times, the Spanish government was housed in an adobe structure that became known as the Palace of Governors. The New Mexico History Museum is now built into this palace and recalls the stories dating back 400 years. The palace became a registered National Historic Landmark in 1960 and later an American Treasure in 1999. As you walk through the doors of the palace, you’ll learn the accounts of many others who have stood right where you tread including Spanish soldiers, Confederate armies, Mexican governors, interesting merchants, and more.
The Photo Archives
This collection of more than 750,000 photographs is sure to delight! You’ll see prints dating all the way back to the 1850’s, the time that photography was introduced to New Mexico. These dazzling snapshots have captured important parts of New Mexico’s history and display images of its indigenous people, archeology, railroads, mining, anthropology, and agriculture.
In 1834, the first printing press in New Mexico arrived at the Palace of Governors. This press is still used today as a working exhibit, specializing in 19th and 20th-century printing techniques. It is amazing to see such a relevant piece of literary history at work and experience a piece of what life was like many years ago.
Portal Native American Artisans Program
Want an authentic New Mexican souvenir? We highly recommend browsing the goods you’ll find outside the New Mexico History Museum. This well-known public program supports native New Mexican tribes by allowing only members of these tribes and pueblos to sell their handmade crafts directly to you. You’ll find beautiful pieces from dozens of artists, and you can be sure that every last one is truly authentic and unique.
Fray Angelico Chavez History Library
Holding more than 40,000 books, 6,000 maps, and 2,000 microfilms, the Fray Angelico Chavez History Library is a spectacle on its own! This research facility preserves historical materials that document important pieces of the past. You will discover tales of the greater Southwest, American west, and even pre-European contact. It is also the home of a gorgeous mural by Olive Rush.
Experience Even More of Santa Fe During Your Stay at Casa Escondida
The American Southwest is a mecca of history, and the cities of Santa Fe and Chimayo hold some of the region’s most captivating tales. Experience the best of both these worlds at Casa Escondida, a beautiful bed and breakfast inn in Chimayo. Our environment-friendly rooms exeunt traditional New Mexican charm while the daily breakfast boasts flavors of the Southwest. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience New Mexico the way it was created to be.
Photo Credit: Mypurgatoryyears/Thinkstock