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7th annual Border Archives Bazaar coming


The seventh annual Border Archives Bazaar “is a free, fun and educational event that showcases unique and historic archival materials from the border region,” the Border Regional Archives Group (BRAG) said in a news release.

The event will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road.

Organized by BRAG, the bazaar will include “rare documents, photographs, maps, publications and more that highlight the unique history and cultural heritage of our region,” the news release said.

The theme of this year’s bazaar, Re:Collections / Re:Colecciones, highlights the role archives play in preserving collections, memorializing the past and preserving and promoting the area’s cultural heritage, BRAG said.

The event brings together resources from more than a dozen libraries, archives and museums in southern New Mexico, west Texas and the borderlands, BRAG said. Participating institutions include New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections, El Paso Public Library Border Heritage Center, Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office, the University of Texas at El Paso Centennial Museum, UTEP Library’s C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections, Chamizal National Memorial, Museo de la Gente, Sul Ross State University Archives of the Big Bend and Eastern New Mexico University Special Collections, among others.

“The UTEP Special Collections Department has a lot of materials that document the history of our area, and we will probably be taking examples of tools that people can use to do research about their homes or families,” said Department Head Claudia Rivers. “I always enjoy talking to people who come to the Border Archives Bazaar and hearing about what they are interested in.  We usually bring some older El Paso city directories with us as well as some Sanborns Fire Insurance maps. Visitors like to look up names of friends and relatives in the city directories—or even ancestors—and then see where the addresses are on the historical maps. Since our collections are especially rich in photographic materials, I often bring photos or real photo postcards for people to look at.  It’s fun to see what materials other repositories bring with them, too. There may be railroad records, county records from Doña Ana County, books and manuscripts from local authors, or science-related papers or artifacts.”

Occasionally, visitors to the fair will bring in items from their personal collections to get our opinions about them. We are not an “Antiques Roadshow,” but we are happy to give advice about how to care for old or fragile family treasures. 

Archivists, librarians, and museum curators will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about archives, regional history and preservation of original documents.

The bazaar also will include short presentations about regional history by noted borderlands scholars, including Yolanda Leyva, Ph.D., of the UTEP Institute of Oral History; Jonna Perrillo, Ph.D., UTEP professor of English and author of Educating the Enemy; Christian Valle, KRWG filmmaker and director of the documentary “Clara Belle Williams: New Mexico Pioneer in Education”; and Las Cruces national best-selling author, activist and bookstore owner Denise Chávez.

For more information, contact Claudia Rivers, Special Collections, Texas UTEP Library, at 915-747-6725 and crivers@utep.edu; and NMSU Archives and Special Collections Department Head Dennis Daily at  575-646-4756 and ddaily@nmsu.edu.

Visit Facebook.com/BRarchives.