New Mexico Public Media Collection
Welcome to the New Mexico Public Media Collection, which makes available for the first time the archived collections of New Mexico PBS, KRWG-TV (Las Cruces), KENW-TV (Portales), along with KUNM and KANW in collaboration with David Griffin, radio stations (Albuquerque).
For decades, New Mexico public tv and radio stations have produced original programming about the state’s arts, culture, social and political events - creating a one-of-a-kind historical record of the very fabric of life here in the Land of Enchantment. Recorded on a thin piece of plastic coated with oxide particles, the videotape and audiotape containing these programs was stored away in lofts, cabinets and out-of-the-way places. Slowly over time, this fragile history – the magnetic media that contained these programs was in real jeopardy of being lost forever. These tapes exceeded their life expectancy and the technology used to play them was obsolete. A solution arrived just in time.
In 2019, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and GBH in Boston, proposed to New Mexico PBS an innovative idea – to digitize, preserve and make available to the public decades of original programming.
Partnering with AAPB, NMPBS was successful in receiving funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to fund the New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project. Two years later, we are proud to present to the public over 8,000 original programs and archival footage in the New Mexico Public Media Collection, which is a result of our digitization project. The collection ranges from the 1970’s up to 2020 and contains a wealth of programs covering the people, communities and events from across New Mexico. We invite you to view the NMPM collection hosted by AAPB, at no cost.
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and GBH, preserves the most significant public television and radio programs of the past 70+ years and provides a central web portal for public access. More than 150,000 public television and radio programs contributed by more than 150 public media organizations and archives across the United States have been digitized. The entire collection is available on location at GBH and the Library of Congress, and more than 90,000 files are available online at americanarchive.org.
Blast from the Past
NMPM Collection Highlights
We lead off our Blast from the Past series with a 2005 interview by Lorene Mills of KENW’s long running Report from Santa Fe. Featured is Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist, emissary of peace, and author. And, we invite you to search the collection for additional interviews Lorene did with Dr. Goodall.
This 1985 episode of KRWG’s Qué Pasa with Dolores features a documentary about Tony Award winner, playwright, screenwriter, film and theatre director, actor, and Professor Mark Medoff. Medoff lived in Las Cruces and taught at New Mexico State University for more than 50 years.
About the Project
NMPM Collection Blog
“A Look Back at My Time as an Archival Fellow for The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project”
by Rachel Snow
Rachel Snow, New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project Fellow
Cataloging over 3,000 items in about a year and a half takes endurance and focus! Sometimes I felt like the spreadsheet created to describe items in the collection stretched on and on and on . . . into some distant abyss, far in the future. When I finished my last cataloging entry today, it almost seemed like a mirage. Have my eyes deceived me? Scrolling up and down….could this actually, really be . . . THE END?! And yet, it was true, the job was finally done! My efforts represent only a fraction of the 8,291 assets that were also cataloged by colleagues David Saiz, Jessica Cummins, and Angelica Bernaert.
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of this work was viewing thousands of hours of public broadcasting content created in New Mexico by five different stations spanning over a half century. I have learned so much from that experience – about New Mexico’s rich and complicated history, about the incredible diversity of this state, about the political leaders whose policies and actions, for better or worse, left their mark.
I have learned about (and from) community activists and everyday citizens in New Mexico who have stepped up to play key roles in shaping that history, too - by sharing their stories, challenging the status quo, questioning history as it is taught, and by holding power accountable.
One of my favorite examples is Wilhelmina Yazzie’s interview on New Mexico in Focus.
Wilhelmina Yazzie lives in Gallup on the edge of the Navajo Nation, and her son, Xavier, attends a Gallup-McKinley school. She filed a lawsuit against the state of New Mexico claiming the state was not sufficiently funding public education, which lead to poor student outcomes. She asserted that the State of New Mexico fails to provide students from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, those who are Native American, those who are English-as-a-second-language learners (ESL), and students with disabilities, an adequate and equitable education to prepare them for college and careers. The Yazzie case eventually merged with another lawsuit brought forward by Louise Martinez who also claims inadequacy in New Mexico’s funding for education, thus becoming the “Yazzie/Martinez” lawsuit. The case was decided in her favor and is a landmark ruling in the state of New Mexico and has been an important impetus for change and progress to this day. Source: What is “Yazzie vs. The State of New Mexico” and Why You Should Know (billtrack50.com). Wilhelmina Yazzie, New Mexico in Focus, episode 1204; “Plaintiff and Attorney in Education Lawsuit” (2018)
The New Mexico Public Media Collection is truly a treasure trove of programing. I like to think of it as a kind of map from the past, revealing many twisting and intersecting paths that have brought us to the future we now inhabit. From this bird’s eye perspective, looking at materials spanning over 50 years, we can see how much and how little has changed.
Sometimes that experience was disheartening and frustrating, to see that New Mexicans are still struggling with so many of the same systemic problems over decades. Other times, it was inspiring to see how far we had come, and steps taken in the direction of progress and growth.
I was amazed by the strength of the journalism and in-depth public policy reporting in this collection. I have a whole new respect for the importance of public broadcasting and for the people who created the content in this collection through the years. Stellar examples of high-quality journalism in the archive abound, but for me this is best represented in several long-running series: New Mexico in Focus, At Week’s End, On Assignment, Illustrated Daily and Public Square.
I think a particularly fun aspect of collection are the handful of programs that offer a glimpse into the culture and history of public media in New Mexico, and the personalities who helped create it. Here are a few examples from a variety of stations to explore:
I started working on this project in early 2021, in a time shaped by uncertainty and change, by the COVID pandemic, protests demanding reckoning with racism in all forms, and an attempted coup following a contentious election. Most of my work was done remotely from home in relative isolation. I found it especially enlightening and riveting to be transported back in time through the programs in this archive to moments from the past half-century where reporters and the public were also experiencing momentous – seeing programs addressing 9-11, police brutality in Los Angles and subsequent riots and protests across the nation, the early days of the Aids epidemic, protests against Vietnam, and struggles for racial justice in the 1960s and 1970s. This collection teaches many lessons. For me, those include the notion that endurance is possible, collaboration in the pursuit of justice is necessary, and that change is still needed.
A sizable portion of the collection is raw, unedited footage that is available for the first time ever for public viewing. Some of it offers a chance to take an unprecedented deep-dive into topics and themes. Among my favorite examples are the full-length interviews with writer Sabine Ulibarri, including footage of him teaching at UNM, and the extensive interviews of the friends, family, and colleagues of artist T.C. Cannon.
Other bodies of raw footage that are equally important, though far more difficult to experience, include footage of the Penitentiary of New Mexico Riot, audio files documenting the American Indian Movement’s takeover of the Fairchild Electronics Plant near Shiprock, New Mexico, and student-created audio recording of protests Vietnam in 1970s.
Penitentiary of New Mexico Riot American Archive of Public Broadcasting Search Results
UNM Student audio recordings of Vietnam Protests: American Archive of Public Broadcasting Search Results
Many times, I encountered difficult content that was hard to watch and describe in words. While this footage may be challenging viewing, it offers a rare and important look at lived realities often hidden from view or edited and polished for easy consumption in mainstream commercial media.
One of the most challenging aspects this project from my perspective was navigating questions around privacy, cultural sensitivity, violent content, and trying to avoid harm, while also valuing transparency, accuracy, and making content open and accessible.
Standards, terminology, and public opinion about making and consuming media change significantly over time. One of the key responsibilities of archivists today is balancing access to materials with the responsibility of providing appropriate contextualization. It is also critical to consider the many possible impacts of new technological modes of viewing and sharing archival content online.
Throughout the cataloging process we tried to be diligent and careful about respecting individual privacy and cultural protocols. One way we did this is by providing content warnings and notes in descriptions to help people make informed choices about viewing. We kept, but acknowledged, outdated terminology and offered the preferred terms as identified by certain groups and communities as contemporary alternatives in an effort not to normalize harmful language.
I would like to close by highlighting the countless programs and series in the archive that feature the vibrant creativity that is a defining feature of life in New Mexico. Of these, the ¡Colores! series, is my favorite because of its variety and pacing: American Archive of Public Broadcasting Search Results.
From the many episodes I watched, I can’t stop thinking about Anne Noggle’s amazing life and bravery as a pilot, her fierce ownership of her ideas and creative process, and her countering of societal norms about beauty, aging, and sensuality. ¡Colores! Anne Noggle: Capturing the Character of Aging.
Art everywhere is inseparable from the production of culture, history, and identity. But, somehow, I think artists from New Mexico, and those who were drawn to live and create in this place, connect with that understanding of art very intensely. It is a lifeline to the past and a path to the future. It is a means of not only surviving but thriving in New Mexico.
It would be hard to think of a better example of this than artist than Michael Naranjo, who is featured in the episode of ¡Colores! Michael Naranjo: A New Vision.
Along with my other project collaborators, we invite you explore the collection on the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website at:
Also watch for the online exhibition celebrating this collection titled: “Witnessing New Mexico: The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project 1960-2022.” When it launches in early October of 2022, you will find it at Exhibits (americanarchive.org).
I hope you find this newly digitized archive inspires you to participate in your own creative endeavors, to learn about this state and its history, to teach and learn from the collection, and to amplify the array of views it represents, to listen to the stories of people that are different from yourself, and to continue to enjoy and support the work of public broadcasting in New Mexico and beyond.
Those interested in a more in-depth history and analysis of this project, including all aspects of cataloging, and preparing the online exhibition, please download the following two pdfs of my master’s thesis that was completed in May of 2022 at the University of New Mexico in the Museum Studies Department.
I would like thank Michael Kamins for always supporting creativity and for envisioning the importance of preserving this archive and for authoring the grant that made this project possible. His contributes to the collection as a creator and producer are nothing short of astounding and is a testament to his love for New Mexico. I would also like to thank archivist Megan Rose Kilidjian. Her dedication, vision, organization, and collaborative energy inspired everyone with confidence. Finally, my deepest gratitude to David Saiz. David possesses a rare brilliance and impressive work ethic. He advanced this project through some of its most critical challenges, while holding our work to high professional and ethical standards. It has been a privilege and a joy to work with him.
Voices of Espejos de Aztlán: Listening to Chicana/o Culture, History, and Political Mobilization in New Mexico
by David Saiz
At the age of four, my family moved away from the city. Instead of growing up in the urban South Broadway barrio of San José, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, my family settled in the rural eastside of Los Lunas. From asphalt to dirt, my childhood was spent in a fairly undeveloped landscape. Living in this area of New Mexico, I never realized how different my childhood experience was in comparison to my grandparents, parents, and brothers who lived for ten years or more in the neighborhood of San José. Today, Albuquerque’s South Broadway area still clings to its past as gentrification slowly sweeps through its streets. Denied access to adequate schools, medical treatment, and housing, with the addition of discriminatory policing, I realized this barrio was, and still is, plagued by inequities fought against in El Movimiento (i.e. the Chicano Movement).¹ This is not to say Chicana/o activist efforts went unfelt in the state; rather, I bring up this personal history to express the work done during civil rights movements is still incomplete.
As a continuation of my own growing knowledge of New Mexico, I joined the NMPBS Public Media Digitization Project to continue learning about the state’s late-twentieth century history. Working with recorded visual and audio media, the material I have viewed and listened to since January will unquestionably open up new research pathways for scholars of New Mexico art, culture, history, politics, and economics. One particular series I am thrilled to share with researchers and general audiences is Espejos de Aztlán.
Project Fellow, David P. Saiz
Master of Art in Art History with Minor in Museum Studies, University of New Mexico, 2021 Graduate.
Espejos de Aztlán
As KUNM’s longest-running program, Espejos de Aztlán (Spanish for “Mirrors of Aztlán”) was, and still is, a continuation of Chicana/o and Latina/o resistance and visibility. Created by longtime host Cecilio García-Camarillo (born Laredo, Texas 1943–2002 Albuquerque, New Mexico), the inception of Espejos de Aztlán was directly responsive to social inequities experienced in the United States.² Beginning in the midst of the Chicano Movement, Espejos contributed to the fight against racist and classist injustices in the ways it made critical information and discussions accessible to people across the state of New Mexico. Adding to this, Espejos became one of very few bilingual resources available to Spanish-speaking communities in the state.
Recorded in Albuquerque, Espejos celebrates Chicana/o and Latina/o communities and experiences on a local and international level. Originally from Laredo, Texas, García-Camarillo came to New Mexico in 1977 bringing with him a need to make visible the people, art, literature, and voices of “la raza.” Understanding the complexity and interconnectedness of Latina/o/x communities, García-Camarillo envisioned this radio show to be a nexus for social, cultural, and civil rights issues. It encompasses a large swath of Latina/o/x experience in the Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, Caribbean, and South America. My initial interest in the show developed out of my curiosity of its title. Its reference to “Aztlán” and use of Spanish indicated to me an overtly political position. The concept of Aztlán became a reclamation of indigenous roots, a challenge to (U.S.) imperialism and nativism, a source of cultural nationalism, and a claim for an equal social existence.³ Although Aztlán was typically focused on the Mexican-American experience in the United States, García-Camarillo knew that this historical and cultural declaration went beyond geographic and ethnic lines.
Espejos brought into conversation various guests like art historian Shifra Goldman, New Mexican authors Rudolfo Anaya and Enrique Lamadrid, Chicano activist Raymundo "Tigre" Pérez, and various members of La Compañía De Teatro de Albuquerque. Other guests included emerging scholars and researchers from the University of New Mexico, local school children, emerging authors and poets, and refugees from places like Central America and Chile. Espejos became an opportunity to reflect on the issues that make Latina/o/x communities similar and, most importantly, different.
This radio series carves out a greater understanding of where New Mexico fits in U.S. culture and history. Often rendered peripheral, New Mexican Chicana/o mobilization, social justice work, and creative expression is often overlooked or minimized in broader discussions in the U.S. García-Camarillo did amazing work finding guests that contextualized New Mexico both inside and outside of its own borders. Considering the various levels of marginalization at play during U.S. civil rights movements, I wanted to highlight guests on Espejos who are women.
Espejos de Aztlán - Raices (KUNM)
Pamphlet, 2001, MSS 755 BC, Box 7, Folder 20, Cecilio García-Camarillo Papers, 1970–2002, Center for Southwest Research, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Chicana/o Art In New Mexico
As an art historian, I was thrilled to see Dr. Shifra Goldman incorporated into the voices of Espejos. Aware of the still present absence of Chicano (and Chicana) art made in New Mexico from the broader art-historical discourse, it was refreshing to hear Goldman, as early as 1983, talk about the art being produced in the state. In fact, the very first retrospective exhibition of artists working during the Chicano Movement in New Mexico is currently in the works. This exhibition comes decades after other major exhibitions in Los Angeles and Texas (i.e. Dále Gas: An Exhibition of Contemporary Chicano Art, 1977, and Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1990–1993 among many others).
At the time of this interview, Goldman was one of the leading art historians in the nascent field of Chicano art. Goldman discusses her gradual transition into Chicano art, or what she called “Popular Art,” from her early studies and work with Latin American Modernism, specifically in Mexico. Living and working in Los Angeles, Goldman was one of the first scholars to take notice of Chicano art production in the wake of the civil rights movement and talks about her early interest and documentation. Discussing major motifs and themes in Chicano art in the southwest, Goldman reveals the extent of marginalization that Chicano artists endured nationally. She even mentions the difficulties of professionally publishing scholarship about Chicano art in the field of American art. As part of a brief visit to Albuquerque, Goldman and Chicano studies scholar Tomás Ybarra-Frausto were in the state conducting research for an upcoming project. This trip was Goldman’s first thorough study of artists in New Mexico. She immediately recognized New Mexico’s strong connection to visual idioms seen throughout the southwest.
Chicana Activism In New Mexico
As a movement and fight against racism and classism, leaders of the Chicano Movement were guilty of creating their own ideological barriers. Riddled with masculinist politics and hetero-patriarchal frameworks, the Chicano Movement was overtly sexist and anti-LGBTQ. In fact, it was this gender exclusion, coupled with the racism of the Women’s Liberation Movement that spurred the development of Chicana Feminism. I was pleasantly surprised to come across an Espejos episode that features a leading Chicana activist working in New Mexico during El Movimiento. New Mexico’s mobilization of course is typically centralized around the court battles fought by Reies López Tijerina and the Alianza Federal de Mercedes Libres (a group of local men and women primarily focused on the restoration of stolen land), but this episode evidences that Chicana activists were also a major force in the state.
In a 1986 episode, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez was interviewed. Martinez was a critical Chicana feminist voice and leader in northern New Mexico, and worked in collaboration with López Tijerina and Alianza members. Her greatest contribution was the co-development and editing of the periodical, El Grito del Norte. This paper heavily focused on the land and water struggles in the state but also looked deeper at inequities occurring in cities like Albuquerque. Most interesting about El Grito was its desire to interweave international and national issues through oppressions of non-white communities. This episode provides fantastic insight into Martinez’s recollections of working on El Grito and takes a look at her political/activist work in California.
The Struggles In Central America
The global context that Espejos often incorporated was most surprising to me. While studying at the University of New Mexico, I took various classes with Dr. Kency Cornejo, a specialist on art of Central America. With this background, I am aware that there are limited resources available for U.S. scholars of Central America. Therefore, the frequent focus on Central America in Espejos is extremely valuable. García-Camarillo adamantly conducted interviews with U.S. citizens traveling to the Northern Triangle (i.e. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) during times of civil war, assassinations, social cleanings, and brutal policing. Through Espejos, these special episodes provide firsthand accounts of the atrocities inflicting this region and is discussed through the experiences of activists and refugees living in Albuquerque.
In a 1981 interview with Deb Preusch, a member of the Coalition of Human Rights in Latin America, she reveals dire information regarding the status of two Central American countries. Preusch discusses her recent visit to Central America, specifically Nicaragua and El Salvador. In Nicaragua, the country recently assassinated its oppressive dictator Somoza and brings into focus various reform programs taking root in the country. The main part of Preusch’s trip was to communicate with Salvadoreans about the still raging civil war. Entering the country, Preusch discusses the high level of anxiety and fear present in the emptied streets that were heavily guarded by military forces—clothed in both uniform and everyday clothes. Talking to local Salvadoreans was a challenge because many were fearful Preusch would turn them in or reveal them as a member or sympathizer of the guerilla. The people that did talk to her were convinced that then U.S. President Ronald Reagan and U.S. Congress were directly responsible for the war through their backing of military forces. In this interview, Preusch expands upon the actions of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), agrarian reform, and refugees fleeing the country.
Additional Featured Items
In this episode of Espejos de Aztlan, Cecilo García-Camarillo interviews Angela Delli-Santi who just returned from a trip to Nicaragua where the Sandinistas where overtaken. Delli-Santi has done a lot of work for Latin American communities, including being a translator for other parties visiting these countries. Delli Santi is currently working on a project focused on the military in Central America and Guatemalan refugees in Mexico. During this episode, Delli-Santi discusses U.S. participation in the oppression and murder of Guatemalens by supporting the Ríos Montt Regime.
In this episode of Espejos de Aztlan, Cecilo García-Camarillo interviews Irene Oliver Lewis, Angie Torres, Mark Kilburn, Mark Martínez, Jose Garcia, and Cristina Garcia from La Compañía de Teatro de Albuquerque about their new play titled, "Plaza"--written by Denise Chávez from Las Cruces (New Mexico). La Compañía went international with this play and performed in New York and Scotland.
In this episode of Espejos de Aztlan, Cecilo García-Camarillo interviews Mauricio Duarte who left El Salvador due to the civil war. Durarte is a member of Asociación General de Estudiantes Universitarios Salvadoreños (AGEUS) and was studying medicine for five years before leaving his country in exile. Duarte discusses El Frente Democrático Revolucionario (FDR) and Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FLMN).
In this episode of Espejos de Aztlan, Cecilo García-Camarillo interviews Chicano visual artist, César Augusto Martínez. Martínez's art will be part of a travelling exhibition called, "Ancient Roots, New Visions," and an important exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston entitled, "Dále Gas: An Exhibition of Contemporary Chicano Art." Martínez gives us insight into his life and work.
In this episode of Espejos de Aztlan, Cecilo García-Camarillo interviews Juan Antonio, a young refugee from El Salvador, and Judy, a Quaker who helps refugees from other countries in the Unites States. Juan Antonio discusses his experience in El Salvador and his seven-month journey to the U.S.
¹ “In the mid-1960s, a federal program analyst, starting with and extrapolating from census data, estimated that about ’65,000 people, including 30,000 children, live with the ‘bleak circle of poverty’ in Bernalillo County, and another 30,000 people hover about its edge.’ [The] areas of acute deprivation, barrios such as Martineztown, Barelas, and South Broadway. Such communities received the least satisfactory education and showed the highest dropout rates, high percentages of children from broken homes, and the like… Albuquerque barrios in fact contained the highest percentage of substandard housing, with Martineztown at 56.6. percent, North Barelas at 56 percent, South Barelas at 69.2 percent, and the San Jose area of South Broadway at about 64 percent. Many Valley Hispanics could not seriously consider the idea of buying a new home in the boom construction areas of the Heights.” See, Joseph Metzgar, “Guns and Butter: Albuquerque Hispanics, 1940–1975,” New Mexico Historical Review 56, no. 2 (1981): 127.
² “Activist, poet, publisher, editor, literary journalist, textual artist, script writer, radio personality, and cultural attaché, Cecilio García-Camarillo was a complete Chicano renaissance man, a gentle warrior whose cultural activism over the past quarter-century has transfigured Chicano literary culture. Cecilio has seventeen bilingual chapbooks to his credit and has created over five hundred "poemas visuales"—poster-sized frames of text swirled into rivers and patterns that graphically recall the forces that created them. He founded and edited two influential reviews, Magazín (1971–1972) and Caracol (1974–1977), which provided a forum for scores of new Chicano writers. His newsletter RAYAS (1978–1979) evolved into a weekly public radio show, "Espejos de Aztlán" (1979–present). To thousands of listeners of radio station KUNM (Albuquerque, New Mexico), Cecilio was the gentle and persuasive voice of "Espejos de Aztlán," the longest running cultural program in the station’s history. But the poem was always García-Camarillo's favorite venue for the private voice of dream, nightmare, and transformation. His long-term association as a dramaturgy with "La Compañia Teatro de Alburquerque," has also earned him a place in the history of bilingual community theatre. With the enigmatic stage name of "Xilo," one of his major artistic collaborations was with "Mezcla," a group of artists and activists. Cecilio García-Camarillo was born near Laredo, Texas in 1943. He graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, and, by the 1970s, established himself as one of the premier Chicano publishers of South Texas. In 1981 he received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.” Source: Biography courtesy of Enrique R. Lamadrid. For more information, see the “Cecilio García Camarillo Papers” at the University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research.
³ “…Chicano poet Alurista, envisioned a homeland in the United States for Mexican Americans. Alurista … is acknowledged as the poet and scholar who first put forth the idea of Aztlán and tied it into the Chicano civil rights struggle. Aztlán is said to be the original homeland of the Aztecs, the place whence they began their migration in search of an eagle perched atop a cactus, devouring a snake (which, legend said, would be the sign showing them where to build their capital). Generally, Chicanos interpreted Aztlán to represent the southwestern states annexed by the United States after the Mexican War. The idea of Aztlán gave ‘Mexican Americans a source of pride in their indigenous heritage … and transform[ed] that racial heritage into a legacy of pride. It was also Alurista’s attempt to dispute the myth that Mexican Americans were solely a recent immigrant group in the United States and therefore had not contributed to the growth of the nation.’” See, Carlos Francisco Jackson, Chicana and Chicano Art: ProtestArte. The Mexican American Experience (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2009): 17.
Preserving a Fragile History: The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project
An unparalleled record of New Mexico’s unique history was in jeopardy of being lost forever.
Hidden away in lofts, closets and even a men’s room were hidden treasure. For decades, New Mexico public media stations stored in out-of-the-way places an amazing body of work containing unique stories of New Mexico’s diverse communities. Unfortunately, many of these programs were recorded onto fragile magnetic media well past its lifespan, deteriorating more and more every year. Irreplaceable, this treasure trove of New Mexican TV and radio programs was in real danger, and stations were at a loss as to what to do. Fortunately, the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and the Council on Library and Information Resources joined with New Mexico Public Media stations to help save our fragile history!
We are incredibly excited to announce the New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project: an innovative statewide collaboration that will digitize, preserve and provide access to the collections of five leading public media stations in New Mexico: NMPBS/KNME in Albuquerque; KRWG (PBS) in southwestern New Mexico; KENW (PBS) in eastern New Mexico; KUNM (FM) at the University of New Mexico; and KANW (FM) in Albuquerque, in collaboration with David G. Griffin, Griffin and Associates.
New Mexico Public Media Stations have years of original programming that is a unique and in-depth, fascinating portrait of New Mexico’s social, political, artistic and cultural life. Well represented are communities that are often underrepresented, under-resourced, and marginalized, like New Mexico’s large Indigenous and Hispanic communities. This collection contains in-depth coverage of New Mexico news, elections, science, health, medicine, arts and humanities television and radio programming from 1970-2020. These programs include KUNM’s Spanish language radio program “Espejos de Aztlan”, award winning and long running series like NMPBS’ “¡COLORES!” and “New Mexico in Focus”, KENW’s “Report from Santa Fe”, and KRWG’s “Aggie Almanac”, groundbreaking documentaries like NMPBS’ “Monuments to Failure”, “Above and Beyond”, and the original one-inch master reels of “Surviving Columbus”- which won the 1992 George Foster Peabody. Also included are the original field interviews recorded during the production of “Surviving Columbus”, which are an extraordinary archive of Pueblo voices.
Sample clips of the NMPBS collection
For decades, NM Public media stations recorded programs onto broadcast formats that have fallen by the wayside as technology advanced. These programs exist on obsolete and deteriorating video and audio formats that are no longer produced, like one-inch video reels, U-matics, Betacam, MiniDVs, ¼ inch audio reels, and audiocassettes. Making it even more challenging is to find a working machine to play them, let alone having the technical know-how to maintain them.
Fortunately, in 2018 New Mexico PBS (NMPBS) was introduced to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) and their incredible work collecting and preserving public television and radio programs from across the country, making them available in one place, free online. We were delighted when they offered to partner with us on a statewide digitization project, one of the first of its kind. With a ground swell of statewide and national support, in 2019 we applied and received a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to preserve these materials and give them a new life in the public domain.
In July 2020, the project began in earnest with the hiring of the NMPBS Archivist, Megan Rose Kilidjian. The next seven months were spent inventorying, organizing, and packing video and audio tapes from public radio and television stations across New Mexico. All of the stations’ tapes were brought to NMPBS in Albuquerque (the base of operations for the project) and on March 1st, 2021, eight pallets of NMPBS materials were shipped out for digitization!
NMPBS Digitization Project team
New Mexico PBS General Manager and CEO Franz Joachim along with NMPBS Executive Producer for Arts and Cultural Affairs Michael Kamins formed the partnership with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, New Mexico Public Media partners and secured the funding for the project. Each has over 30 years of PBS experience.
NMPBS General Manager & CEO: Franz Joachim
"Public television station video archives are an essential record for our communities. Reaching beyond the headlines into the heart of communities, this video record touches on the essential nature of our towns and the people we serve. But the cost of converting these archives to formats that will last over time is beyond the reach of many of us. I’m thrilled that CLIR saw fit to make this possible."
NMPBS Executive Producer for Arts and Cultural Affairs: Michael Kamins
“What a relief! New Mexico truly is an extraordinary place. I am thrilled to be able to preserve and share the amazing voices and stories found in our respective archives. They will not be lost to time.”
AAPB Project Manager: Casey Davis
Prior to this project, the AAPB lacked any public television or radio content documenting the unique histories, cultures and landscapes of New Mexico, and Casey Davis (she/they), Associate Director of the GBH Archives and Project Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, is thrilled that the NMPM Digitization Project will fill these critical gaps in the archive. As Project Manager for the AAPB since 2013, Casey has managed the digitization of more than 150,000 historic public broadcasting programs from stations and communities across the U.S. She is actively involved in the Association of Moving Image Archivists, having served on its Board of Directors from 2017-2019 and currently serving as the Co-Chair of AMIA's Accessibility Committee.
AAPB Technical Manager (GBH): Miranda Villesvik
Miranda Villesvik is a Senior Archivist at GBH in Boston, Massachusetts, where she has worked since 2017. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Miranda enjoys learning more about other states' histories through her work with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) and is a strong believer in making history and historical sources available to all. So far her favorite items from the New Mexico digitization project are the public service announcements from the National Indian Council on Aging - it's really fascinating to hear languages like Navajo, Zuni, and Lakota being spoken!
AAPB Technical Manager (Library of Congress): Rachel Curtis
“It’s very rewarding to work with the AAPB project and the stations, producers, libraries, and universities that have been storing this content on analog media since it was made. Due to its age, most of this material is in danger of being lost and it’s exciting to be part of the effort to save it and make it available for the public to view through digitization projects.” Rachel received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a Digital Project Specialist at the Library of Congress and the Library’s AAPB Project Coordinator. She’s been with the project since 2015 and is responsible for reviewing the preservation files received through the AAPB and ensuring they are ingested into the Library’s archive. She’s involved with FADGI (Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative) working groups to develop and test audio-visual preservation standards and formats. She’s also the project manager for the Library’s in-house project to digitize their vast NET/PBS Collection.
Archivist and Project Manager: Megan Rose Kilidjian
“Moving to Albuquerque in the middle of a pandemic was well worth it for the opportunity to contribute to this exciting project, help give new life to programs that may otherwise be forgotten, and highlight the value these audiovisual materials can add to our communities.” Megan Rose received her Master of Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives Management from Simmons University before working as an Audiovisual Preservation Project Manager. She has a passion for all things moving image, having studied film at the University of Memphis and Massey University of New Zealand, and found a way to combine that with her love of preservation while studying moving image archives at Simmons.
Project Fellow: David Saiz
"As someone who studies U.S. art and visual culture through media that is printed, painted, sculpted, or photographed, I saw this project as an opportunity to expand the scope of my visual cultural interests with magnetic and recorded media formats becoming new territory to better understand New Mexico and, more broadly, the 'American' experience." David is a graduate student in The University of New Mexico’s Department of Art History pursuing a Master’s in Art History and Minor in Museum Studies, focusing on U.S. art from the nineteenth century to the present, Latina/o/x art, and New Mexican art and history. He is also working as research assistant with the UNM Art Museum and is planning to pursue a PhD in Art History, working toward a career as an art museum curator.
Project Fellow: Rachel Snow
“Working on this project means preserving vulnerable historical materials and greatly enhancing their use and accessibility. I believe this digitization effort will enhance our understanding of New Mexico and beyond.” Rachel holds a doctoral degree in Art History from the City University of New York Graduate Center with a research specialization in the History of Photography. She is currently a graduate student in the Museum Studies Program at The University of New Mexico and is also working as a Research Fellow at the Center for Southwest Research digitizing and cataloging hundreds of negatives in the University of New Mexico's Photographic Services Collection.