Researching in Our Collections

One of the Museum's principal missions is to serve as a research facility. Our artifact collections and materials in our research library and archives are available to researchers and the public.

Scroll down to the section applicable to the research inquiry you want to make. Giving credit to the Museum in any publications that result from research conducted in our collections is required.

Finding Out About A Historical Brand
The Museum has the largest (but not complete) collection of cattle, horse, and sheep brand records as published in the state Brand Books going back to about 1899. We can try to help you track down an ancestor's brand or trace the history or current status of a family's brand. Please call or write the Curator of History with as much of the following as you know:

  • the brand name/description (drawings are even better!)
  • who owned or registered the brand
  • the area where the owner resided
  • approximate dates when the brand would have been in use or when the owner resided in that area
  • other notes about the brand, including earmarks or where the animal was branded
  • contact information for you (the person requesting the research).

Leah Tookey, Curator of History, will try to research and respond to your inquiry within three to five days. Please indicate whether photocopies or a written report by mail/e-mail would be of interest.

Research in Oral Histories Collected by the Museum
Abstracts to the oral histories are available. By Museum policy, copies of the actual audio interview tape or the complete transcript are only available through special permission of the Oral History Program Director. (Archives staff can facilitate such requests if you are interested.)

Researching Artifacts in Museum Collections
We have more than 11,000 artifacts in our collections. A majority of our history collection, manuals, and documents tell the story of farming, ranching, and rural life in New Mexico during the time period of the late 1800s to the 1940s. Researchers can visit the Museum to study artifacts in our collections. Interested individuals will need to make an appointment by contacting:

Collections Manager, Holly Radke
(575)522-4100 ext. 120. holly.radke@state.nm.us

Visiting the Museum Library & Archives
We welcome members of the public to visit the Museum Library & Archives. We are available by appointment only. We will try to meet your scheduling needs, but we generally prefer to have you visit weekdays during the Museum's normal business hours. To schedule an appointment, contact Leah Tookey, Curator of History, (575) 522-4100.

Research & Collections