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Catherine McElvain Library


For the safety of our community, the SAR campus is closed to all visitors for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Limited library service is available for resident fellows and staff. We regret the necessity of suspending service to our members. Book due dates will be automatically extended. Please keep your books, and yourselves, safe at home.

American Anthropological Association (AAA) COVID-19 Resources.

The Catherine McElvain Library is a special library serving the scholars, artists, staff, and members of the School for Advanced Research. The collection focuses on anthropology, archaeology, and Native American art, with an emphasis on the Southwest and Mesoamerica. The library has over 10,000 books, collections of archival materials, current journals, and extensive periodical holdings to aid researchers.

The library collections are open to the public for research. Book borrowing privileges are a membership benefit for all who join SAR. A current membership card functions as a library card.

Email: library@sarsf.org

Phone: 505-954-7234

Librarian and archivist: Katherine Wolf, MLIS

COVID-19: Library service is available only for resident fellows and staff, on a remote basis, while the building remains closed to in-person service. Staff are monitoring email and working irregular hours for social distancing.

Catherine McElvain Library, photo by Jose Cruzado Coronel


The archival collections in the library are primarily institutional records relating to the history of SAR dating from 1907. Among the collections are the records of the Indian Arts Fund, the papers of Kenneth M. Chapman, the papers of Martha and Amelia Elizabeth White, records of the De Vargas Development Corporation, and papers of Rick Dillingham. The archives are open by appointment only.

Stacks, Catherine McElvain Library

As part of the Scholar Programs division, the library supports residential fellows and senior scholars with their research in anthropology, archaeology, and the social sciences. The library also supports the staff, interns, and resident artists of the Indian Arts Research Center on the SAR campus with their projects on Native studies, art history, and creative expression.

Support the Library

  • Buy a book for the collection from the SAR Library Wish List. Powell’s Books will ship the books directly to the library.
  • Shop our book sales online at AbeBooks.com for rare books and surplus donations. Proceeds benefit the School for Advanced Research. temporarily suspended
  • Browse the ongoing book sale inside the library for books of interest, including some formerly owned by Edgar Hewett or Elizabeth White. Cash purchases benefit the library.
  • Donate gently used books. We accept recently published titles (in the last 15 years) about anthropology, archaeology, and Native American art. We also seek local guidebooks, regional fiction, and other topics of local interest for our Southwest collection. Due to space constraints, we are currently unable accept large donations.
  • Volunteer your expertise for a special project. The library welcomes volunteers with academic backgrounds in anthropology, library science, and related fields.

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