The Museum Library is a small research facility primarily for staff and volunteers, though it is open to the public by appointment.
The Library's holdings of approximately 6,000 cataloged items support every aspect of the Museum's interpretive subject areas--agriculture, anthropology/archaeology, arts & crafts, farming, history, material culture, museology, ranching, and rural life.
The Rare Books Collection is made up of less common publications in the same subject areas as the regular library holdings. Featured among these are the New Mexico Brand Books of the state Cattle Sanitary Board, Sheep Sanitary Board, and the N.M. Livestock Board, as well as some of the regional cattle growers associations that pre-date the Territorial branding laws of the 1890s. We have the largest and most complete brand book collection of any institution in New Mexico. Click here to learn how to make a research inquiry in the Brand Book collection.
The Museum Library also hosts the lending library for the New Mexico Association of Museums. The NMAM Collection consists of museum-related titles selected specifically to assist the state's small, and mostly rural and volunteer-run museums. Interested NMAM members can contact the Museum Librarian and request these titles be loaned to them; they only have to pay mailing costs.
Part of the Museum Library includes a small Institutional Archive. The Museum keeps materials related to the history of the Museum and our collections, including previous newsletters, photographs, and the minutes of the Museum's Board of Directors. Generally, the Museum does not acquire historic manuscript collections or old photographs. However, Library and archive staff work cooperatively with the New Mexico State University Library Archives & Special Collections Department to collect and maintain such materials and help with research inquiries.