Research & Collections

Museum collections are a cultural resource that represent our national heritage. All museums are charged with both ethical and legal obligations to maintain and manage the objects entrusted to them. Learn more about the collections we have.

The Museum is always looking for new additions to the collections. We'd be delighted to speak with you about potential donations of objects of all kinds as well as books, farm implement manuals, or old photographs and papers. Learn how to Donate to Our Collections.

One of the Museum's major collecting initiatives is the preservation of the stories and traditions of New Mexico's farming, ranching, and rural heritage. This task is overseen by the Museum's Oral History Program. Staff go into the field to interview people and then process a finding aid and transcript. Learn more about the Oral History Program and our interview categories.

The Museum features a research library that is open to the public by appointment. It also includes an institutional archive and the state's largest single collection of Brand Books. (The archive does not include historical manuscript collections or photographs; see the Research page for more information on where to find that material.) More details about the Museum Library & Archives.

One of the Museum's central functions is to be a place for research. Whether you are an anthropologist interested in our historic Native American pottery or a native New Mexican who wants to learn more about their family and their cattle or sheep brand, the Museum is a great resource for your historical research. On our Research page you can learn how to make an appointment or submit an inquiry about your question or interest.