From the Microform #4: A Post Office Drama

In July of 1901, the post master of Clayton, NM resigned unexpectedly. Many people had opinions about who should be filling the position, and many wrote to then-Govenor Otero about it, as did Albert W. in whose letter we can see below: Continue reading

Cataloging Fridays: “Las Conchas Fire” edition

The Las Conchas fire is now officially the biggest wildfire in recorded New Mexico history, and it is not fully extinguished yet (although at least nowadays I can actually see the Jemez range on my way to work – this is a vast improvement). The following record is for the fire as of July 20, 2011. The fire is currently 75% contained, which is good since the state is so dry right now that there are places where the cacti are starting to shrivel. The photo to the left was taken around July 4th and shows the smoke from the main fire as well as a smaller new fire started from a lightning strike by Cochiti Lake.

As our Great Outdoors smells like a pit smoker, I’ve also had a lot of BBQ cravings lately.

041 0 eng
043 n-us-nm
044 nmu
090 SD421.23|b.C6634 2011
245 0 0 Las Conchas fire
246 2 3 Los Alamos fire
260 |cJune 26, 2011-?
300 1 fire :|bflame, ash ;|c156,590 acres (as of July 20, 2011)
500 Fire location at approximately 35.812 latitude, -106.544 longitude (as of July 20, 2011).
500 Fire began at approximately 1:00pm on June 26, 2011 when an anonymous tree fell on a power line.
500 Title created by cataloger.
650 0 Wildfires |zNew Mexico.
650 0 Charcoal.
650 0 Cancer |xEnvironmental aspects |zNew Mexico.
650 0 Animals |xEffects of fires on.
650 0 Barbecuing |xNew Mexico.
700 3 Anonymous (tree).
856 4 2 |u
856 4 2 |u
856 4 2 |u

Things I learned while writing this entry:

1. “Bears on postage stamps” is an authorized Library of Congress subject heading:

2. There is an authority record, complete with scope note, for the topic “Bears (Gay culture.)” I actually kind of love this, and any LOC record containing the word “burly” is pretty fantastic. Also, I did not know that Bears may also be referred to as Otters, which makes me wonder if that term is obsolete. Bears of teh internets: How do you feel about being called Otters?

*Disclaimer: This record, in all its hypothetical greatness, was not actually entered into any existing catalogs. Any mis-appropriations of MARC fields are not intended to offend any catalogers that have more experience than myself in cataloging wildfires.

**For more about Cataloging Fridays, click here.

My desk is crowded.

Here is the pile o’ stuff that I am cataloging into the Special Collection today:

Lots of old law books, covering 1937 to 1973 (thankfully, most of these will be complex copies from OCLC). Also, in the foreground, is one of 3 maps that I will be cataloging from scratch about New Deal sites in New Mexico. Regions 1 and 2 are pictured, covering the northern third of the state.

If you ever wonder what your librarian is doing when s/he is sequestered in his or her office, the desk probably looks similar to mine.

From the Microform #1

My library has a pretty impressive collection of microform, most of it relating to New Mexico history and genealogy. Every once in a while, I go through a roll just for fun, and sometimes I find gems like this:


Requesting information as to the cause of the lack of food and the existense of great misery among the people of New Mexico – the supposed cause being the monopoly of lands by a few persons and the mismanagement of the Ayuntamientos.

Ayuntamientos were “ethnically blind municipal governments”¹, or something akin to today’s city councils. I’m guessing by this document that the ayuntamientos may not have always acted very “ethnically blind,” or fairly in general.

As this is from the first roll in the “Spanish Archives” collection, I don’t really know why this is in English, but it was hard to pass up a line like “the existense of GREAT MISERY.”

¹Ducey, Michael T. “Indian Communities and Ayuntamientos in the Mexican Huasteca: Sujeto Revolts, Pronunciamientos and Caste War.” The Americas. Academy of American Franciscan History 57.4 (2001): 525-550. Web. 2 May 2011. Article Stable URL: