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Press Release

Conducting Research Using the First National Bank of Santa Fe Collection with Dr. Leslie Oakes and Dr. Teresa Neely

November 5, 2015

Conducting Research Using the First National Bank of Santa Fe Collection
Thursday, November 19th, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Waters Room
Zimmerman Library


Teresa Y. Neely, PhD, Associate Professor, Space and Assessment Librarian College of the University Libraries and Learning Sciences

Leslie Oakes, PhD, Associate Professor, Department Chair, Anderson School of Management

The records of the First National Bank of Santa Fe cover the period from 1870 through the mid-20th century, a period that covers the 42 years before New Mexico became a state, through early statehood, and the Great Depression. This was the first national bank west of Kansas City, south of Denver, and east of San Francisco. It is the oldest bank in the Southwest currently in continuous operation. The Bank was founded during a time of dramatic change in the Southwest defined by colonial expansion; Native American disruption, and occupation; and significant displacement of Hispanic land owners. Only 20 years had passed since New Mexico became a US territory, Spanish was the predominant language, and the railroad had yet to arrive. Economic and social history of the region is embedded in the Bank's records. Land transactions, labor history, mining, the railroad, construction, individual accumulation and loss of wealth, the success and failure of businesses from New Mexico and across the country are documented in the collection, which also locates New Mexico within the growth of international commerce. The records also document the role the Bank played in the lives of men, women, and families, as well the involvement of the Federal and State government in wars, conflicts, and the growth of bureaucracies, such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Indian School. The history of the First National Bank of Santa Fe is a lens into the history of banking policies and legislation. Much interesting and insightful historic, economic, geographic, biographic, genealogic, and demographic data can be gleaned from analyzing the data contained in the Bank records, extensive correspondence, and other documents. In many ways, this collection documents the economic history of New Mexico, the Southwest and beyond.


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