17 January 2009

Historical Society of New Mexico Annual Meeting 2009

The following is from David Caffe, through Nancy Brown, via Nancy Anderson

2009 New Mexico History Conference
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
April 30-May 3, 2009

Conference program and registration information are now available on the Historical Society of New Mexico website, www.hsnm.org. The (online) program materials include information concerning hotel accommodations in Santa Fe. We do encourage you to make arrangements soon in order to ensure availability.There will be a pre-conference "150/100 Symposium" and an advance peek at the new and long anticipated New Mexico History Museum.

David L. Caffey, Program Committee Chair
Historical Society of New Mexico

Former Special Collection's Librarian Gives Talk at NMGS Meeting

Joe Sabatini

Librarians and rioters: two types of people that you wouldn’t think would mix well together. And actually, they don’t. However, Joe Sabatini was able to discuss both types of people in his presentation “Genealogical Ramblings and Cross Cultural Adventures”. The program was put on by the New Mexico Genealogical Society on Saturday, January 17, 2009 at the Albuquerque Special Collections Library.

Sabatini is the former branch manager of the Albuquerque Special Collections Library. We invited him to speak to our organization about his experiences in the library system. He has had plenty of experience, too. He had worked in New Mexican libraries for 41 years, many of those years in Albuquerque. He was a librarian at the University of New Mexico Law Library from 1968 – 1973, and then was the head of reference and then head of the main Albuquerque city library until June, 2000. From 2000 – 2008 he worked at the Special Collections Library.

Joe began his presentation by giving his own genealogy. He admitted that it was very limited, going back only a couple of generations. His father’s family was Italian. His mother was a Sephardic Jew. Her ancestors were exiled from Spain after 1492 and lived in the Ottoman Empire. Joe explained that his mother spoke a different type of Spanish: one that could be easily understood by Northern New Mexicans, but not well understood by others. As we know, Northern New Mexicans were isolated from Spain and Mexico for hundreds of years and tend to retain 16th Century Spanish words and phrases. Apparently Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire had the same type of isolation from mainstream Spanish and therefore also kept the old language.

Joe also talked about the building that houses the Special Collections Library. When he began working there in 1973, it was the main library. At the time, it was too small to serve the city’s main library. In 1975, a new Main Library was built that five times the size of the old. The city shut down the old library to the chagrin of the heirs of the couple that donated the building. According to the will of the family that donated the building to the city it was supposed to be used in perpetuity as a library, or else revert back to the estate. The heirs threatened to tear down the building unless it was used as a library again. The city agreed and reopened it, eventually turning it into a genealogy library.

In 2001, the city celebrated the centennial of its library system. Joe was given the task of researching the history of one of the library’s enigmatic librarians: Stella Dixon. Mrs. Dixon was the librarian from 1918 – 1935. At the end of her career, she was forced out as librarian by a group of angry female activists. They believed that she was responsible for the poor condition of the library’s collection. At the time the library had only 200 children’s books. However, Joe believes that it wasn't her fault for the condition of the library. The library had been under budget constraits, mostly due to uncollectible overdue book fines.

Joe Sabatini displaying photos of Stella Dixon
Joe received these photos from Dixon's granddaughters just two months before doing his display.

Joe shared some of the displays that he put on for the library. These included presentations on Route 66, Ernie Pyle’s papers, and local postcards. For the postcard presentation, Joe was able make copies of over 2,000 postcards that had been donated by very enthusiastic local postacard collector’s club. He ended up using only 700 postcards in his display.

Joe ended his presentation by discussing what he described as the “John Houser Riot”. John Houser is an artist who created a sculpture of conquistador don Juan de Oñate. Native American groups found this sculpture in bad taste because of Juan de Oñate’s alleged and actual abuses of conquered Indians. Houser had allowed protesters to stand behind him while he was giving a presentation at the library. Joe Sabatini tried to keep the crowd under control, disbuting the library's code of conduct to the protestors. However, Joe said that once the discussion turned to the conquistador's legacy, the protesters became unruly and he had to throw them out. For our presentation today, Joe displayed a few of the protestors' signs that he had collected for the library’s archives.

Joe Sabatini displaying protestor sign from the "John Houser Riot"

Joe Sabatini’s talk was very informative and entertaining. He gave a good history of the library under his care. The New Mexico Genealogical Society is very appreciative of Joe's tenure with the library and we were glad to see him once again within its doors. Thank you, Joe.

16 January 2009

One More Post About Senator Salazar

In previous posts, I discussed the claim by United States Senator Ken Salazar that he could trace his roots back to 1598 Santa Fe, New Mexico. Senator Salazar was recently nominated by President-elect Obama to the position of Interior Secretary. I pointed out in my posts that Salazar could not have had ancestors who founded Santa Fe in 1598, since the town was not founded, or even settled, until a decade later. Also, I pointed out that the first Salazars to arrive in New Mexico did not come to the area until many decades later.

This, of course, did not preclude the possibility that Senator Salazar may have had ancestors who came to New Mexico in 1598 who were not part of his Salazar line. Many of us who have Hispanic New Mexican roots can find an ancestor or two who arrived in New Mexico at that time. For instance, the first Baca to arrive in New Mexico came here in 1600, yet I also have ancestors who were here in 1598.

An article in the Santa Fe New Mexican addresses this controversy. In the article Interior Secretary-designate traces roots to Santa Fe , a brother of Senator Salazar, LeRoy Salazar, states that family lore says that the Salazar family arrived in the late 1500s or early 1600s, and that a cousin traced their lineage back to 1400s Spain. He also states that their 3rd great-grandfather Julian Salazar lived in Chamita, New Mexico in the 1800s, and that his son Francisco Esteban Salazar, their 2nd great-grandfather, moved the the San LuisValley, Colorado in the mid 1800s.

The article also discusses some of the controversies that I brought up in my posts. It cites both Place Names of New Mexico and Origins of New Mexico Families for those arguments.

I would like to thank Vicente Martinez for letting me know about the Santa Fe New Mexican article. He has been sending me e-mails about this family since I first brought up the subject. He tells me that this family can be found on HGRC's Great New Mexico Pedigree Database, and that the database traces the family a few more generations past Julian Salazar.

Other NMGS posts about the Senator Salazar controversy:

* Obama Pick Claims New Mexico Ties

* Explanation: Blog Post About Senator Salazar

10 January 2009

Center for Southwest Research - Newly Processed Collections

From Nancy Brown at Center of Southwest Research, UNM Library

Center for Southwest Research
Manuscript Collections Processed in 2008
CSWR, University Libraries, UNM, Albuquerque

The inventories for these newly processed collections and hundreds more are available on the Rocky Mountain Online Archive at http://rmoa.unm.edu/

The CSWR - or special collections department - is located inside Zimmerman Library on UNM Main Campus. Besides manuscripts we also have photographs, oral history and music recordings,architecture plans, maps, Southwest and rare books, and more.

Everyone is welcome at the CSWR.

Visit our homepage for more information today at

CSWR Manuscript collections processed in 2008

Cecilio García Camarillo Papers, 1970-2002
García-Camarillo was one of the founding poets of the Chicano cultural renaissance of the 1970s, an editor and publisher of three Chicano literary magazines (Caracol, Magazin, and RAYAS), a playwright, an artist, and an activist.

Gloria Montoya Chavez Papers, 1967-1981
Gloria Montoya Chavez was a student, administrator, writer, and advocate for Chicano/a and other minority issues. These papers deal with professional, personal, and political struggle within the University of New Mexico’s Chicano Studies and Chicano Student Services, also known as Hispanic Student Services, and in the surrounding community.

Nina Perera Collier Papers, 1950-1972
The Nina Perera Collier collection contains materials pertaining to the various performing arts organizations and educational publications developed by Collier.

Forest Guardians (Santa Fe, N.M.) records, 1988-2003
The collection details research, politics, and advocacy pertaining to various environmental topics involving Forest Guardians, an environmental organization based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. .

Dolores Goddard Collection of Elfego Baca Papers, 1884-1961
This is a collection of correspondence, photos, newspaper clippings and articles about Elfego Baca as retained by his family after his death and collected in subsequent years. They provide a view of Baca’s political, business and family life beyond the well-known 1884 gunfight in Socorro County.

Herzstein and Lord Families Films, 1928-1969
The collection is composed of 37 films. Nineteen are of the family and events in Clayton, New Mexico from 1928-1960s. Other films were taken in locations such as California, Colorado, Texas and Mexico. There are also commercial films, primarily of the World's Fair in Chicago.

League of United Latin American Citizens, Council #8026/206, Carlsbad,
N.M. Records, 1966-2001
Materials relate to local, regional and national LULAC activities and policies. This collection documents LULAC's involvement with immigrant rights, education, and issues concerning the elderly. The collection was amassed by Ursulo Castillo.

Roberto Martínez Festival Performances with Los Reyes de Albuquerque,

Recordings of live performances by Los Reyes de Albuquerque at important regional festivals in the Southwest, recorded 1991-1995. Contains a wide repertoire of popular and traditional New Mexico music including corridos and songs interspersed with comments by group leader and song writer, Roberto Martínez.

D. W. Meinig Correspondence with John Brinckerhoff Jackson, 1963-1995
The collection consists primarily of professional correspondence from J. B. Jackson to Donald W. Meinig, Maxwell Research Professor of Geography at Syracuse University. Correspondence relates to scholarly pursuits of both men.

Hugh Milton Miller Film Collection, 1940-1964
Three films are of tourist sights in the American Southwest including New Mexico and Arizona. The other eight films are of Pueblo dances.

Joseph M. Montoya Papers, 1913-1977
These papers document Montoya's career in politics, primarily in the U. S. House of Representatives and U. S. Senate. The collection contains administrative files, correspondence, legislation, reports, speeches, press releases, campaign materials, and news clippings.

Ward Alan Minge Papers, 1689-1991
These papers contain legal and historical documents (depositions, reports, exhibits, legal opinions, translations and transcriptions of Spanish and Mexican era sources, documents from the territorial and modern era) concerning New Mexico’s Pueblo Indians. Correspondences, reports, maps, and articles pertaining to the Pueblos and to various New Mexico historical associations and commissions are also included.

Oral history interview with John Gaw Meem, Will Shuster, and Karl
Larsson, 1965 August 27
John Gaw Meem, Will Shuster, and Karl Larrson discuss Santa Fe and the development of Santa Fe's art colony, as well as the Depression, Los Alamos/World War II, art and artists in general, homogenization and globalization particularly regarding art and architecture.

Donald Lee Parman Papers, 1883-1994
This collection contains correspondence and research materials used by Donald L. Parman for his book The Navajos and the New Deal. The collection offers a grounded perspective about Navajo life during the New Deal era along with in-depth discussions about how tribal council
leaders and the United States federal government worked within respectful yet contentious relationships in terms of reservation life, education and health issues, and land rights.

Tom Rutherford Papers, 1823-2006
The collection contain material relating to Rutherford's involvement with ballooning, community activism, legal career, political career in the New Mexico Senate (1972-1996) and Bernalillo County Commission (1997-2004).

Alfonso Sanchez papers, 1856-2004
Alfonso Sanchez was the District Attorney for Rio Arriba County during the land struggle of Reies Lopez Tijerina and the Alianza Federal de las Mercedes. The collection consists of biographical materials pertaining to Alfonso Sanchez, as well as materials pertaining to the Tierra Amarillo land grant and Reies Lopez Tijerina.

Steven Schiff Papers, 1977-1998
Steve Schiff was the US Representative from the First Congressional District of New Mexico from 1989-1998. A member of the Republican Party, he worked to toughen criminal penalties, supported the interests of capital, and advocated for public investment in New Mexico's national
laboratories and military installations. The collection consists of legislation, memoranda, correspondence, press clippings, and audio and video derived from the work of Schiff's congressional office.

James R. Toulouse and Charlotte J. Toulouse Papers, 1939-2001
These papers contain local, state and national campaign literature from the1970s-2001 including materials from Democratic National Conventions in 1988, 1992 and 1996. The personal papers cover James R. Toulouse's legal career and Charlotte J. Toulouse's interest in children's rights,
rights of the disabled and the elderly as well as environmental issues.

United States. Marshal (New Mexico) Records, 1888-1950
This collection consists of general and subject oriented correspondence and documentation, 1890 to 1950. Included are legal documents, correspondence, procedure manuals, affidavits, prisoner commitment and release cards, fingerprints, and financial records.

University of New Mexico Navajo Reading Study Records, 1940-1979
The Navajo Reading Study was conducted by the University of New Mexico and supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and contracts with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Office of Education. The purpose of the study was to investigate the feasibility and effect of teaching Navajo children to read their own language before learning to read English.

Robert R. White Papers,

The collection contains journals, articles and research files of author and scholar Robert Rankin White. The bulk of the collection consists of White's personal journals and materials pertaining to New Mexico artists.

Zapatismo Collection, 1991-2001
This collection contains the papers of Zapatismo, formerly known as The Chiapas Committee of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The papers document the human rights alliance between this U.S. committee and the on-going struggles of the indigenous people in Chiapas, Mexico.

04 January 2009

January 2009 NMGS Program

Saturday, January 17, 2009, 10:30 AM
Botts Hall, Albuquerque Special Collections Library
423 Central NE, Albuquerque NM
(NW Corner of Edith and Central)

The New Mexico Genealogical Society presents

Joe Sabatini
former Albuquerque Special Collections Librarian


Genealogical Ramblings
Cross Cultural Adventures

During his tenure as Special Collections librarian, Joe Sabatini has interacted with historians and genealogists from around the world, researched the genealogy the library’s founding librarian, and even had to deal with the “John Houser Sculpture Riot”. Joe will muse about these experiences and others during his presentation.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information about our programs, please visit the New Mexico Genealogical Society website at http://www.nmgs.org/workshop.htm