Laboratory of Anthropology Library

Welcome to the LOA Library!



More than 49,000 records indexinging 38,000+ physical and 4,900+ full-text digital resources.





Allison Colborne (MA, MLIS, DAIS) - Library, Director, Systems Administrator, Booksales Manager

Laboratory of Anthropology Building      (adjacent to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture)
710 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87505

 (505) 476.1264 [direct line] -

All LOA Library operations and services are carried out by the Librarian with the support of dedicated volunteers.



Researchers are strongly encouraged to pre-arrange their research visit to consult materials from the Laboratory of Anthropology Library collections.

The LOA Library is staffed by one FTE Librarian. The LOA Library is closed during meetings and the Librarian's vacation.

Monday-Friday    8:30-12:00 and 1:00-5:00 pm

  • Materials are available for consultation in the LOA Library Reading Room. Special collections materials access / consultation is by appointment only.
  • Seating in the LOA Library Reading Room is reserved for researchers consulting LOA Library or LOA Archives resources.
  • Items will be paged from the closed stack of the LOA Library up until 4:40 pm.
  • Without an appintment, there is a maximum of 10 items that may be requested per day.



The Laboratory of Anthropology Library (LOA Library) is a research-level special collections library established when the Laboratory of Anthropology, Incorporated was established in 1927 and the Laboratory of Anthropology Building opened in 1930.

The LOA Library is a research-level library devoted to collecting and preserving print and electronic resources devoted to the precontact and historical archaeological record and the cultural anthropology of the indigenous cultures of New Mexico, the greater American Southwest, Mexico and Central America. The Library collects and preserves materials devoted to the origin and migration, social and political organization, as well as the historical and contemporary expression, including oral and written narratives, and linguistic and language texts of the cultures of the American Southwest.

The LOA Library has a particular focus on collecting and preserving resources within the geographic region of the Four Corner States (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah), with additional holdings supporting research on the indigenous cultures of the Great Basin, California, Nevada and panhandle region of Oklahoma and Texas. The geographic scope of the collections is informed by trade and migration, and by culture contact. 

The LOALibrary is devoted to collecting and preserving the historical and contemporary artistic expression of the cultures of the greater Southwest.

The LOA Library wishes to welcome researchers from each of the nineteen Pueblos of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and the Jicarilla and Mescalero Apache nations.



The Laboratory of Anthropology Library (LOA Library) contributes to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture's mission of inspiring appreciation for the knowledge of the diverse native arts, histories, languages, and cultures of the greater Southwest by supporting the increase in and diffusion of knowledge, research, exhibitions, educational programs, publishing, and the administration of the Institution through its programs and services.

The LOA Library supports the scholarly, interpretive and educational activities of the employees of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology, including the Museum and Laboratry research associates, docents, and volunteers, the Indian Advisory Panel, the Archaeological Research Collections, the Office of Archaeological Studies, New Mexico Historic Sites, Historic Preservation Division and the Archaeological Records Management Section.

The LOA Library serves Native, scholarly and professional communities, historians, and the general public.

 In addition to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the LOA Library collections are utlized to support the programs and operatioins of the following State of New Mexico entities:

  • Archaeological Research Collections
  • Archaeological Research Management Section
  • Department of Transportation
  • Historic Preservation Division
  • Historic Sites
  • Office of Archaeological Studies
  • State Land Office



The Laboratory of Anthropology Library has approximately 37,000 items in its collections of which approximately 70 percent of its holdings are serial in nature. To date, the LOA Librarian has cataloged 459 serial titles.

The collections reflect the history of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology:

      • Laboratory of Anthropology, Incorporated (1929-1947)
      • Museum of New Mexico Laboratory of Anthropology (1951-1981)
      • Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology (1987-present)

The Laboratory of Anthropology Library collects materials suporting the missions of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; Laboratory of Anthropology; Archaeological Research Collections; Office of Archaeological Studies; New Mexico Historic Sites and the Historic Preservation Division, and the Historic Preservation Divison Archaeological Records Management Section.

The Library collections are particularly strong in the areas of greater Southwest Indian arts and culture (precontact through present); greater Southwest, Northern Mexico and Central America anthropology, archaeology, history; and, New Mexico and Four Corners region historic sites and monuments. The LOA Library actively collects Museums and Cultural Resources Management history, methodology, and theory publications; greater Southwest books, theses and dissertations, conference proceedings, archaeological reports, government documents, gray literature, and ephemera within the scope and mission of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology and the Laboratory of Anthropology Library. The Library has active subscriptions to over fifty periodicals in the foregoing subject areas.

The Library is renowned for the strength and breadth of its historical collections supporting research on the origin and history of peoples of the New World, particularly Central America, Mexico, New Spain, and the American Southwest. Of note is the Sylvanus Griswold Morley Collection which is comprised of the personal library of one of the founders of the Laboratory of Anthropology, Inc. who was an archaeologist renowned for his scholarship on the Maya.



The LOA Librarian is actively developing the LOA Library digital resources collections.

These cataloged Internet-based resources (research databases, journals, books, dissertations, journal articles, etc.) open as full-text books or documents directly from the LOA Library cataloging record. As of August 2019, there are nearly 5,000 resources. The stable sites the LOA Librarian is pointing to include the Hathi Trust Digital Library, the Internet Archive, Academic Institutions and University Libraries Digital Repositories and United States federal agencies. The LOA Librarian is also collecting and cataloging digitally born materials.

MIAC-LOA Library on

The LOA Librarian has been systematically recataloging the Laboratory of Anthropology note series of approximately 503 archaeology reports and uploading these 'redacted' reports to She has developed the metadata for each report from the subject terms assigned during the recataloging. The uploaded reports open directly from the LOA Library record to which an documents corresponds. The record points to the LOA Library cataloging record, and vice versa.