An adobe chapel in Los Ranchos, New Mexico, 1938.

A Pictorial History of New Mexico

curated from public archives
and personal collections

The historic pictures in this archive chronicle life in 19th and early 20th-century New Mexico. Old photographs, vintage documents and ephemera, and other materials form a narrative of the people, places, and events that have shaped New Mexico's cultural identity.

May 1, 2016

Old photo of variety storefront in Albuquerque, with a horse-drawn buggy in front and people standing on the wooden sidewalk.

Interesting old photo of storefronts with fantastic examples of 19th-century signage, at 216 1/2 South Second Street in Albuquerque. The shops sharing the space are Smith & Prieston Machinists & Electricians, New Mexico Novelty Works, and W.J. Tway Signs, Wallpaper, Painting, Decorating & Paper Hanging. Several men stand on the wooden sidwalk, some dressed in overalls, some in suits, and one man wearing a shopkeep’s apron and sleeve stockings. A large dog sits in a horse-drawn buggy that bears more advertising for Tway the Painter.

Apr 11, 2016

Vintage map from 1927 showing Route 66’s original path through New Mexico.

Route 66 was created in 1926 as part of the American Highway System. Running from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 became known as the Mother Road, the Main Street of America, and the National Old Trails Highway. In New Mexico, Route 66 originally followed the Santa Fe Trail north from Santa Rosa, through the southern Santa Fe Mountains to the city of Santa Fe. From there it ran south toward Albuquerque before finally turning west again at Los Lunas.

Apr 10, 2016

Antique illustration of an Isleta Pueblo house interior, and Pueblo woman in traditional dress holding a bowl.

This illustration of a Pueblo Indian home comes from The Land of Poco Tiempo (New Mexico) by Charles F. Lummis, published in 1893. It shows the interior of an adobe house at the Pueblo of Isleta. The wall benches are covered with blankets, and a cradle is suspended from the ceiling vigas. A Pueblo woman in traditional dress holds a bowl. Lummis lived at Isleta Pueblo from 1888 to 1893.

Apr 6, 2016

Old photo of New Mexico village, showing a stagecoach, wagons and carriages, and residents in Victorian clothing in front of adobe church and buildings.

A stagecoach of the City Omnibus Line stops in front of an adobe church in the village of Los Griegos, New Mexico, in 1883. Founded in 1708 by a land grant to Juan Griego, Los Griegos grew to be a thriving farming community by the late 1800s. It was annexed by Albuquerque in the 1940s, and exists today as the Los Griegos Historic District in the North Valley area of the city. It has retained much of its 19th-century architectural and cultural character.