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Second annual Border Archives Bazaar to showcase regional history and artifacts


It’s no secret that the borderland is rich with history, but with all of today’s distractions, it’s easy to forget how accessible this history really is. On Saturday, Oct. 13, The Border Regional Archives group will host the second annual Border Archives Bazaar, which is a free event for the community to interact with fascinating historical collections from the border region.

The Border Archives Bazaar is a collaboration between archivists, preservationists, museum curators and librarians from the El Paso, Juarez and Southern New Mexican regions. Many of the institutions will bring all kinds of archives to UTEP, including space-related archives, biology-related archives and art-related archives.

“This year we have over 20 institutions that are participating, including two from Ciudad Juarez, so we’re very excited that this year our event is going to be binational and bilingual,” said Abbie Weiser, assistant head of Special Collections and organizer of the event. 

Institutions participating at the Border Archives Bazaar include the Archives of the Big Bend from Sul Ross University, Casa de Adobe Museum from Ciudad Juárez, New Mexico Space Museum and the White Sands Missile Range Archives. 

The event will also include the Mini-Digie wall, which is a vast collection of images and videos (more than 12,000 to-date) exploring El Paso’s past and present including an interactive 3-D CityScape.

Participants of the event will also curate short presentations in English and Spanish about regional history, archives, genealogy, preservation and researching historic buildings and neighborhoods. There will also be a chance for the attendees to ask the institutions questions, which Weiser says is a great opportunity for the community to learn about themselves and their own family history.

“We have such a rich and fascinating history, it’s a great opportunity for the public to learn about some of the resources that we have on campus, as well as resources that other institutions have,” Weiser said. 

Weiser says that UTEP’s Special Collections department is planning to showcase some World War One scrapbooks, early twentieth century cameras, historic maps, old county books and Spanish colonial documents. And, because of the local cultural heritage institutions participating, it’s a chance for the community to see a good sample of historical materials all in one place.

“Archives are really the building blocks of history and archivists make history accessible,” Weiser said. “Our culture is binational and transnational and the collections and archives reflect that.”

Here’s the full list of participating institutions:

  1.       Archives of the Big Bend, Sul Ross University
  2.       U.S. Border Patrol Museum
  3.       Casa de Adobe Museum, Ciudad Juárez
  4.       Casa Camino Real
  5.       Centennial Museum, UTEP
  6.       Dona Ana County Clerk and Recorder
  7.       El Paso Fire Department archives
  8.       El Paso Museum of History
  9.       El Paso Public Library Border Heritage Center
  10.   El Paso County Historical Society
  11.   New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum
  12.   Institute of Historical Survey
  13.   Magoffin Home
  14.   New Mexico Space Museum
  15.   New Mexico State University Library’s Special Collections and Archives
  16.   Folk Art Museum
  17.   El Paso Railroad and Transportation Museum
  18.   Tularosa Basin Historical Society
  19.   UTEP Biodiversity Collections
  20.   UTEP Library Special Collections
  21.   White Sands Missile Range Archives
  22.   UACJ Special Collections

Jake Deven may be reached at [email protected]

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Second annual Border Archives Bazaar to showcase regional history and artifacts