President William H. Taft signs the document on Jan. 6, 1912 admitting New Mexico as the 47th state in the union.


One hundred years ago, U.S. President William H. Taft signed the document that made New Mexico the 47th state of the union.  UNM is celebrating with a new digital archive that throws open the photo collections of museums throughout the state.  The archive is available at the Center for Southwest Research.

In 2007, the UNM Center for Regional Studies funded the Center for Southwest Research to build a searchable collaborative digital archive for the public.  Images from the collections of The Albuquerque Museum, Farmington Museum, Hubbard Museum of the West, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the National Hispanic Cultural Center, New Mexico History Museum Chávez History Library Photo Archives, New Mexico State University Library, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Silver City Museum, and University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research and Special Collections, Center for Regional Studies and University Art Museum have been digitized and added to the archives over the past several years.

The Web site has a special section for teachers, and links to allow scholars and history buffs to blog about their particular interests and share information.  The Web site has links to terrific historic maps dating back to 1562.  An 1807 map drawn by explorer Zebulon Pike mentions immense herds of wild horses on the plains east of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. Huge swaths of eastern and western New Mexico are noted simply as "Indian Country."  There are maps of the old Spanish and Mexican land grants, photos of life in the earliest days of statehood, and enough documents and references to keep a browser busy for the rest of the winter.

"The opportunity to host resources from institutions throughout New Mexico in one place is something we've wanted to do for a long time and is a great example of UNM's leadership in providing access to our state historical resources to everyone," said Associate Dean for Scholarly Resources and Director of the CWSR Mike Kelly.  "The funds from the Center for Regional Studies allowed us to put together this gift to the public in time for the Centennial.  The website is the perfect place to explore and learn about New Mexico's history and culture."

University Libraries will host the Web site indefinitely Kelly says.  They will become part of the permanent digital archives and additional unique digital resources will continue to be added.

Media contact: Karen Wentworth (505) 277-5627; e-mail: