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Virtual growth: New Mexico History Museum has vastly expanded online offerings

Johnson’s California, Territories of New Mexico and Utah. New York: Johnson & Ward, 1862. Color, 15 x 23 (78.9 1862) (Courtesy of Historic Maps as Teaching Tools)

Museums are still closed, and online programming continues to drive information out to the public.

Staffers at the New Mexico History Museum have been putting up content for the past four months for engagement.

Kathleen Dull, librarian and archivist for the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library at the New Mexico History Museum, says Facebook pages have had the largest audience for the Department of Cultural Affairs entities.

The photo archives have their own page, which remains popular.

“While we can’t gather in person, the goal is to provide the same quality of experience to the visitor, although it’s all done virtually,” she says. “The history museum itself has a Facebook page that has seen a large increase over the past couple months.”

The museum also started “The Quarantine Diaries Collection.” This effort invites anyone to submit a narrative or poems to the music.

It started in April.

“We’ve gotten a lot of interest in this project,” Dull says. “We’ve also given those who submit for this project the opportunity to record themselves reading their words.”

Visitors to can also download the 31-page “Historic Maps as Teaching Tools: A Curriculum Guide for Grades 5-8.”

The guide was created by staffers after the library was awarded a grant of just over $175,000 to catalog its map collection.

The effort took three years to complete.

The guide is divided into:

• Part 1: “Introduction to Learning about Maps and Mapping.”

• Part 2: “Learning about New Mexico’s Historical Periods Through Maps.”

• Part 3: “Teacher Resources.”

The timeline runs through the Spanish, Mexican, territorial and statehood periods.

The museum said that cataloging the maps makes the collection easy to use for students as well as scholars.

Also available online is a link to watch the New Mexico PBS piece “Moments in Time.”

From Billy the Kid’s letters to a governor’s wife facing the Inquisition or being on board the USS New Mexico during a World War II kamikaze attack, the series of 15 short history videos offers a glimpse into some fascinating people, events and artifacts.

The link can be found at or

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