Tag Archives: Archives month

Halloween Part Two!

31 Oct


Every year, the archivists pick a costume that incorporates archives’ signature white gloves. This year we picked Minnie Mouse! We even have a Minnie Mouse connection in the archives – The Fox Theater hosted the Tucson chapter of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1930s. Check out the adorable photo of some Tucson Mouseketeers at an event at the Fox below.



Fox Theater Photograph Collection – PC 173. Circa 1931-1932. According to the back of the photo, the mouse dolls were won in a drawing at a Mickey Mouse Club event at the Fox Theater.


Día de Los Muertos – Come celebrate with us!

9 Oct

The Library & Archives at the Arizona Historical Society in Tucson, Arizona is proud to announce that we have decorated for Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with an archives-theme altar!

We invite members of the community to add mementos, copies of photographs, or anything that reminds them of their loved ones, to our altar to celebrate the history of those who have passed in your life with our own history. We have created an altar with some of our own mementos and decorated the reading room with papel picado and sugar skulls.

In Mexican culture it is customary to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on November 1st & 2nd. November 1st is for the children who have passed and November 2nd is for everyone.

Day of the Dead

Come see our reading room from now until November 8th, we are open Monday-Friday from 9am – 4pm, and always free to use.

Make your own altar at home — things you will need: 



-Photographs/Mementos of those you love that have passed.

-The favorite things that your loved ones like to eat. (For example, sweet breads, favorite meals, soda, hot chocolate, beer, tequila)



-Papel Picado

Also, if you’re thinking about donating your families’ personal papers, please contact us at the Arizona Historical Society, Library and Archives in Tucson, Arizona: ahsref@azhs.gov 

Check out what the Society of American Archivist states about donating personal records:  http://www2.archivists.org/publications/brochures/donating-familyrecs

Photo Friday = Phantom Photo Friday

3 Oct

To celebrate the month of October, we are turning Photo Fridays into Phantom Photo Fridays, so we can share with you some of our eerie photos! Today’s eerie yet beautiful photo is an interior shot of the baptistery at San Xavier Mission. The photo is from our Buehman Photo Collection and was taken as part of a detailed study of the site for restoration efforts. The quietness of this behind-the-scenes shot stands in contrast to the vibrant and bustling scenes usually found at San Xavier.

BN201843, San Xavier Baptistery.

BN201843, San Xavier Baptistery.

Family History Month: A True Story of Finding Family in the Archives

28 Oct

As Family History Month in October 2013 closes out, another family history holiday begins: Dias De Los Muertos/Days of the Dead, November 1 and 2.  Family and friends gather to remember departed loved ones during this traditional holiday, with Aztec roots, from Mexico. Many American communities with Mexican American and Mexican populations also celebrate Dias De Los Muertos.

Full disclosure: This entry is not written by an Arizona Historical Society librarian/archivist, but I am an educator with AHS.

I want to tell you about the importance of archives and librarian/archivists in learning family history.  In this instance, my family history, and the role the Arizona Historical Society played.

My grandfather, Feliz Ruelas, was born in Tucson, Doña Ana County, New Mexico in 1860 before Arizona became a territory. He died in 1930, decades before I was born.  Growing up I never saw a picture of him.  I wondered what he looked like and who in the family might resemble him.

I heard that information about the family might be available at the Arizona Historical Society, so I went over to check it out.  Bottom line, I found a lot of information, including the first photo I ever saw of my grandfather!

If not for knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly staff in the AHS library/archives, my interest in family history and Arizona history might not have developed.

So, the next time you visit any library/archives be sure to thank the amazing dedicated staff who help you with your research.

One more thing—several cousins and my baby brother resemble our grandfather.

PC 1000-Portrait-Ruelas, Feliz-#

PC 1000-Portrait-Ruelas, Feliz-#18225.  As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

Archivists’ note:  We’d like to thank Mary Ann for sharing her story of finding her relatives in the archives.
The photograph accompanying this post is one of several photographs of Mary Ann’s grandfather Feliz Ruelas. The picture information tells us that this was taken at his first ranch, Ruelas Ranch, near Patagonia around about 1885. He had just run a race on the horse pictured here.

Another photograph of Mary Ann’s relatives, this one of her Aunt Adelina Ruelas, was chosen to be put online as part of the digital reunification of the Mexican Heritage Project. You can view that photo online through the Arizona Memory Project or come in to the Arizona History Museum and check out the Mexican Heritage Project exhibit where this photo is also being displayed.