In 1959, the newly adopted Public Records Act created the Commission of Public Records and charged it with establishing a Records Center in Santa Fe and with appointing a State Records Administrator. The facility created to fulfill this statutory requirement is commonly known as the State Records Center and Archives (or SRCA).

The Records Administrator manages the facility, develops and maintains the State's records management program, and advises the Commission on related matters. The agency and its staff protect and preserve New Mexico's public records – records that in turn protect and preserve the rights of its citizens.

The Gift - Michael A. Naranjo

The SRCA also contributes to an efficient and open state government by providing a records management system for the State's public records; by filing, maintaining and publishing the state's administrative laws; and by providing or advocating access to the State's public and historical records.

Access to and preservation of New Mexico's public records.

To preserve, protect, and facilitate the use of records that document the rights and history of New Mexicans.

Archives and Historical Services Division

Archives Main Research Room

The Archives and Historical Services Division maintains, preserves, and makes available to the public the permanent records of New Mexico government. Consultation and research assistance are provided to State agencies, businesses, and the general public. Archival documents are used to support the operations of government agencies, social services, and the judicial system.

Archives help also support scholarly studies, document citizenship and family histories, and resolve land and water issues. The State Archives currently houses public records from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of State government, including documents dating from New Mexico’s Spanish (1621-1821), Mexican (1821-1846), and territorial (1846-1912) periods of history. The Archives also maintains an extensive collection of personal papers which have been donated by families, attorneys, political figures, and benevolent organizations.

Private Collections

The New Mexico State Archives depends on gifts from private individuals and other sources to enhance and develop its current holdings. The State Archives recognizes the importance of family and personal papers as part of New Mexico’s documentary heritage. These unpublished materials are an indispensable resource necessary to understanding our area’s unique history.

What is a Collection Policy?

A collection policy is a standard archival practice for publicly identifying the types of materials an archives will accept, and the conditions or terms which affect their acquisition. A collection policy identifies certain subject areas, geographical areas, languages and physical formats. The SRCA places major emphasis on acquiring archival collections relating to any of the following subjects, geographical areas, and chronological periods:

Administrative Government Documents

1598 – 1959

Military Documents

1598 – 1912

Civil Documents

1598 – 1912

Ecclesiastical Documents

1598 – 1846

County Documents

1850 – 1912

Judicial Documents

1598 – 1912

Personal Papers of New Mexico Legislators and U.S. Congressmen

1850 – 2003


1598 – 1950


1840 – 1950

Motion Picture Film


Limitations and Exclusions

The Commission of Public Records generally will not accept materials which are not pertinent to New Mexico government or history; materials of no historical, informational or evidential value; materials to which the donor does not have legal title; or duplications of original material under other ownership or custody (with the exception of scholarly research material).
No Papers

Donating Your Papers

If you wish to donate your personal or family papers to the New Mexico State Archives, please contact us. The Archives and Historical Services Division Director will make arrangements to meet with you and discuss the possibility of donating your material. During your meeting, the Director will speak to you about restrictions, copyright, and public access. The Archives will not accept collections that are permanently closed to public access by the donor. When a donation is accepted, a Gift Agreement Form is signed by the donor transferring ownership of the documents to the Archives. Formal acceptance of the donation is determined by the New Mexico Commission of Public Records.

Accepted donations shall become, without qualification or restriction, the property of the state of New Mexico. Donors will have access to their donated collections during regularly scheduled hours. A donor’s papers will be kept together and given a title and assigned an accession number. The papers will be cared for and placed in acid-free folders and boxes, and stored in a controlled environment.