It’s called the e-Museum. The city has a couple thousand photos for you to comb through to see what Albuquerque looked like more than a century ago.
“They show you a lot of the growth of the town. They show you Old Town vs new town and how they both co-existed at the beginning,” says Jill Hartke.
Hartke is the Digital Archivist at the Albuquerque Museum.
Last year, she helped put together the e-Museum. It houses almost 2,000 photos from Albuquerque’s past.
“A lot of our photographs start around the late 19th century, and we’re really strong until the late 1960s,” she says.
One of the photos gives an idea of what Second Street and Copper, in Downtown, looked like in 1915. It’s now a parking lot.
“I remember staying at the Alvarado Hotel when we came over on the train,” says Roger Zimmerman. “I remember Nob Hill being built,” he continued.
Zimmerman is the President of the Albuquerque Historical Society. He’s a New Mexico native and says these photos take him back to his younger years.
“All of a sudden, the reality of what was there comes alive and this is part of the joys of being a history lover,” he says.
A majority of the museum’s photos are donated. Hartke says the most noticeable pictures are of the landmarks that are no longer standing.
“Western Skies Motel. That was out towards the east mesa. That was Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Elvis. All of them stayed there. That’s gone, we lost that,” she says.
Even though many iconic buildings may be gone now, Hartke says you don’t have to go far to re-live that part of Albuquerque’s history.
“The photographs tell a story by themselves,” she says.
The Albuquerque Museum has almost 130,000 photos it still needs to upload to the site. There’s no timeline on when that’ll be done.
The Albuquerque Museum also purchases photo collections.