New Mexico State Library

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Parral Papers Now Available at State Library

Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico State Library Southwest Collection has acquired El Archivo de Hidalgo del Parral: a collection of more than 360,000 pages of handwritten documents from the 1631-1821 Municipal Archives of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. The microfilm collection is considered the most definitive historical record of the Spanish Colonial Era in the Southwestern United States and Mexico.

The Southwest Collection is located on the first floor of the Garrey Carruthers State Library (1209 Camino Carlos Rey in Santa Fe) and shares a building with the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives.

“Scholars come to Santa Fe to research the Spanish Colonial period, and now they will also have access to this collection here without having to travel to Albuquerque to do additional research,” said Lori Thornton, Public Services Bureau Chief at the New Mexico State Library.

Significant to New Mexico in the collection are many legajos (files) that shed light on New Mexican history in the period prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, since most documents from that period were destroyed in that event. The documents of this collection reveal how connected New Mexico was to many points south – politically, religiously, economically, and socially.

“Having this collection housed in our facility will increase access to these documents, and aid in increasing awareness of New Mexico’s role during the Spanish Colonial period in the greater northern frontier of New Spain,” Assistant State Historian Rob Martinez said. “Genealogists will no doubt want to research ancestors who were traders, colonists, and movers and shakers on the Camino Real, especially the segment that stretched from Parral to Santa Fe.”

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