Border Archives Bazaar will bring past to life

Border archives bazaar

Deep in the crowded corridors of a library on the NMSU campus, Dennis Daily is preserving the past.

“Here we have materials that document the history of the Mesilla Valley, Southern New Mexico and the Borderland,” said Daily, who is in charge of the Archives and Special Collections Department at the NMSU Library.

The archives are a depository of history in the form of handwritten letters, audio tapes or photographs.

“One of the really rewarding things about working in an archive is to have an intimate connection with the people who inhabited this place long before we did,” said Daily.

Combing through the Rio Grande Historical Collection can yield something as innocuous as a land survey or something as remarkable as a photograph of a firing squad taken during the Mexican Revolution.

“So our job as archivists is to collect these kinds of historical materials," said Daily. "To preserve them, to organize them, and then to make them available to the public for study and use.”

To that end, Daily is helping to organize the Border Archives Bazaar. The event on Saturday will bring together an array of historical materials from the archives of 15 cultural heritage organizations from the border region.

“These materials include things like manuscripts, maps, financial records, photographs, audio materials,” said Daily.

The Dona Ana County Clerk's office is also participating in the bazaar.

“Events like this, it’s our opportunity to bring people in and show them what we have,” said Dona Ana County Clerk Scott Krahling. “That’s what’s exciting to me is knowing that we are playing a role in preserving that history and preserving documents that hopefully fill missing pieces to puzzles of our past.”

Organizers of the Border Archives Bazaar say the materials presented this weekend will appeal to anyone who is curious about the origins of the Borderland.

“It’s an opportunity to put people in a hands-on, face-to-face encounter with these historical documents that really tell about the past of this area," said Daily. "And that can be pretty thrilling to see some of those materials.”

The Border Archives Bazaar is happening Saturday, Oct. 14, from 11 am to 4 pm at the NM Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces.

The event is free and open to the public.

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