The Friends’ Library/Archive/Museum is established as a repository of railroad-related materials and publications. These materials and publications specialize in the general railroad history of New Mexico and Colorado with a major emphasis on the narrow gauge railroads of the two states and narrow gauge elsewhere. Materials and publications include documents, letters, photographs, magazines, books, and other media on those topics.
In 2006, the Library acquired a very significant photo collection from Richard L. Dorman of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In a gift/purchase arrangement with Mr. Dorman, about 16,000 black and white photos and another 6,000 color slides were added to the permanent collection in the Library. Dorman spent 30 years collecting photos of the narrow gauge railroads of Colorado and New Mexico, he published several books out of the collection. A group of dedicated volunteers from the Friends have catalogued, organized, and scanned the originals into a dedicated computer system. The basic scanning is completed and the original photos are in permanent, archival, storage. A searchable database is being compiled which will allow interested parties to retrieve photographs of interest At this moment only one small selection of photos are available for sale on CD-Rom from the Friends office in Albuquerque. These are the photos of “The Chili Line,” the branch line that ran from Antonito, CO. to Santa Fe, N.M.
The library is envisioned as a reference and research institution. This means the collections are open to interested members of the Friends. Non-members might be allowed access under specific and approved conditions. The librarian will respond to written requests for information and, in some cases, will provide copies made from materials in the collection, depending on the condition of the item. The librarian will open the collection to researchers upon request and at the convenience of the librarian and the requesting parties.
The Library is not a circulating library. No materials will be loaned.