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Albuquerque Museum Photo Archives

Albuquerque Museum's rich archive of historic photographs document Albuquerque, its people, architecture, businesses, urban landscape, and depictions of daily life and important events

Albuquerque Museum's Photo Archives include approximately 125,000 objects documenting the history of the central Rio Grande and the City of Albuquerque from 1867 to the present. They include photographic prints, slides, and negatives; oral history recordings; maps; ephemera; postcards; film; and digitized media.

The archives contain the holdings of several early photographic studios including the Cobb Collection (early glass plate negatives), Milner and Bandel Collections (early business and cultural history), Brooks Collection (portraiture), and the Ward Hicks Collection (20th century advertising); together these collections document almost every aspect of Albuquerque’s development from the arrival of the railroad (1880) to the present, including both Old and New Town development. Other major collections include the Coddington-Stamm Collection (early business history, ballooning and aviation), the Hubbell Collection (the Gutiérrez-Hubbell Family of Pajarito), Albuquerque Public Schools Collection, and the Albuquerque State Fair Collection.

Significant donations include materials documenting Albuquerque’s founding families and their homes and businesses; railroad-era businesses and industries near New Town, and the Alvarado Hotel and other historic downtown buildings demolished in the 20th century. The collection is augmented by major gifts of prints and negatives provided by the Albuquerque Public Library Special Collections and UNM Center for Southwestern Research.

If you have old photographs of Albuquerque and wish to donate them to Albuquerque Museum's Photo Archive, please call 505.243.7255.

Photo Archive produces exhibitions for the Museum and community. 

  • Images in Silver: Selections from the 50th Anniversary Collections Guide (2017)
  • Faithful Albuquerque: Twenty-five Churches (2016)
  • Chasing the Cure: Tuberculosis Came to Albuquerque (2015)
  • Vernacular Architecture of New Mexico: Photographs by Robert Christensen (2013)
  • A Passionate Light: Polaroids by H. Joe Waldrum (2011)
  • Brought to Light: A Great Depression Era Photographer’s Study of Albuquerque Business (2008)
  • The Milner Studio Collection: Five Decades of Albuquerque History (2007)
  • Community Waters: The Birth and Rebirth of Albuquerque’s Tingley Beach (2006, at Tingley Beach)
  • A Legend Runs Through It: Route 66 in Albuquerque (2005)
  • King of its Kind: The KiMo Theater (2002)
  • The Albuquerque Indian School (2002)

Photo Archives are open by appointment only. Please call Albuquerque Museum at (505) 243-7255 for an appointment.

Bernalillo County Jail, C. 1910Rio Grande Boulevard and Central1980.070.002Gift of Phyliss Kirk

Bernalillo County Jail, C. 1910
Rio Grande Boulevard and Central
Gift of Phyllis Kirk

 Santiago Street (Romero), C. 18801982.180.843Ward Hicks CollectionGift of John Airy

Santiago Street (Romero), C. 1880
Ward Hicks Collection
Gift of John Airy

Guardhouse, Center of Plaza, C. 18801990.013.043Cobb Studio CollectionMuseum Purchase, 1989 General Obligation Bonds

Guardhouse, Center of Plaza, C. 1880
Cobb Studio Collection
Museum Purchase, 1989 General Obligation Bonds

Romero Street, C. 18901890.031.001Gift of Denis Cummings

Romero Street, C. 1890
Gift of Dennis Cummings

Centennial Hotel, C. 1890Rio Grande Boulevard1981.160.001Gift of Roy Farmer

Centennial Hotel, C. 1890
Rio Grande Boulevard
Gift of Roy Farmer