Skip to main content

Miguel A. Gandert photographs and papers

Call Number: WA MSS S-2964

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of photographs and papers that document the work of Miguel A. Gandert recording mestizo culture in the Rio Grande region of the American Southwest, including the landscapes and people of Northern New Mexico, circa 1972-2006. Many of the images depict individuals underdocumented in mainstream society, including boxers, Mexican immigrants, motorcycle gang members, teenage mothers, and urban Mexican American youth. The collection consists of photographs, including contact sheets, work prints, transparencies, and exhibition prints, as well as computer media and publications with images created by Gandert.

Material in the collection includes photographic work from college and graduate school at the University of New Mexico, circa 1972-1983, as well as his exhibitions and publications through 2006. Exhibitions documented include Boxers and Wrestlers (1977), Being With It (1979), Let's Boogie at Okie's (1980), Varrio San José: Scenes from an Urban Chicano Experience (1980-1983), Tierra O Muerte (1988), Reflexiones del Corazón (1992), Face of a Community (1994), Nuevo México Profundo (2000), and Hermanitos Comanchitos (2003).

In this guide to the collection, library staff retained Gandert's titles and spellings.

Except where noted, photographic prints in the collection are black-and-white prints. Chronological arrangements within the collection are by the image creation date not the date the photograph was printed.


  • 1972-2005


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 27, 28, 87, 102, 129 (sound recordings and computer disks): Restricted Fragile Material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Miguel A. Gandert Photographs and Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Miguel Gandert on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 1999-2006, and on the Arthur Corbitt Hoskins Memorial Fund, 2003.


Organized into five groupings: I. September 1999 Acquisition, 1972-1999. II. May 2002 Acquisition, 1980-1999. III. November 2003 Acquisition, 1982-2001. IV. June 2005 Acquisition, 1983-2003. V. December 2006 Acquisition, 1986-2005.


14.94 Linear Feet ((114 boxes) + 8 broadsides, 7 broadsides oversize)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of photographic prints (chiefly in black and white), contact sheets, printed material, and computer disks.

Miguel A. Gandert (born 1956)

Miguel A. Gandert is an Indo-Hispano American photographer and photojournalist. Born in Española, New Mexico, Gandert earned a Master of Arts in photography from the University of New Mexico in 1983. His work has appeared in many exhibitions including the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian in 1990, the 1993 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and at the National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico in 2000.

In 1991, Gandert became a professor at the University of New Mexico, eventually the Distinguished Professor of Communication and Journalism. In 2011 he became the director of the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program.

His publications include Pilgrimage to Chimayo?: Contemporary Portrait of a Living Tradition, with Sam Howarth and Enrique R. Lamadrid (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1999); Nuevo México Profundo: Rituals of an Indo-Hispano Homeland, with Enrique R. Lamadrid (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 2000); Hermanitos Comanchitos: Indo-Hispano Rituals of Captivity and Redemption, with Enrique R. Lamadrid (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003); The Plazas of New Mexico, Chris Wilson, Stefanos Polyzoides, and Jose Zelaya (San Antonio, Texas: Trinity University Press, 2011); In the Country of Empty Crosses: The Story of a Hispano Family in Catholic New Mexico, with Arturo Madrid-Barela (San Antonio, Texas: Trinity University Press, 2012); and Hotel Mariachi: Urban Space and Cultural Heritage in Los Angeles, with Catherine L. Kurland and Enrique R. Lamadrid (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013).

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization in 2007, and again in 2014. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, titled according to month and year of acquisition.

Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Former call numbers: Uncat MSS 24, Uncat MSS 290, Uncat MSS 585, Uncat MSS 787, and Uncat MSS 1042

Guide to the Miguel A. Gandert Photographs and Papers
Matthew Daniel Mason and Danijela True
May 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.