University Libraries & Learning Sciences Faculty and Staff Publications

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In early 2016, an elderly couple came into UNM’s Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections determined to donate six hide-covered books to the archives. They confessed they did not know their contents and that even though the books were in the care of the family for many years, they thought UNM would be a suitable place for them to be preserved and studied. I immediately realized that these antique books were the long lost baptismal, marriage and burial registers (1777-1861) from the Mission Church of Santo Tomás Apóstol de Abiquiú and that the rightful repository for them was the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. This article describes the archival and discovery processes and community involvement of what became an extensive and beneficial recovery project.

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Manitos Digital Resolana, Manitos Community Memory Project

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


Colonial Art; Religious Studies; Roman Catholic Studies, Archive Studies; Archival Science, Archival practices and procedures; Collection development and management, Genealogy, Abiquiú, New Mexico; Burial practices; Sacramental registers; New Mexican Catholics



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