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.
The Catherine McElvain Library is a special library serving the scholars, artists, staff, and members of the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The collection is focused on anthropology, archaeology, and Native American art. The library resources and services are part of SAR’s support for comparative research on human prehistory and multiple dimensions of human social life, ranging from how people make a living in difficult environments to how they create meaning through language, ritual, and art.
The collection is open to the public for research and anyone who joins SAR may check out books. For SAR members, a current membership card functions as a library card.
Hours: (CLOSED DURING COVID) Service hours are subject to staff availability. Regular staffing hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. However, the library may close unexpectedly if the librarian is unavailable. Please contact the library before visiting, particularly during inclement weather.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 505-954-7234
Librarian & archivist: Katherine Wolf, MLIS
Catherine McElvain Library, photo by Jose Cruzado Coronel
Staley Prize and new book shelves flank the entrance to the stacks
The library has a strong basic anthropology collection with emphasis on innovative research in the major subdisciplines: archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. A large part of the collection is devoted to Native American history and culture, particularly the arts. The American Southwest and Mesoamerica are geographic focus areas, however there are also many ethnographies of cultures around the world. The book collection ranges from general interest titles to cutting-edge anthropological research. There are separate areas to browse for New Books, Staley Prize Winners, the Southwest Collection, Oversize art books, and SAR Press titles. The collection is cataloged and shelved by Dewey Decimal classification, although the library is seeking better methods of organizing Indigenous subjects and welcomes comments.
Books can be checked out by staff, volunteers, resident fellows, and SAR members. Visiting scholars, researchers, and the general public may use materials in the library for reference only. Library cards are not issued, but members and volunteers must show a current SAR membership card to register for an account and check out books. All books removed from the library must be checked out from the librarian. Loan periods vary from one year for senior scholars in residence to one month for members. The library building also contains staff offices for Scholar Programs. As a result, the building may be open and access to the collection available at times without library service. In the absence of the librarian, books may be used on the premises only.
Interlibrary loan (ILL) of books and articles from university libraries across the country is available to all resident fellows and staff. Simply email your title request directly to the librarian. SAR members may purchase interlibrary loan service as an added benefit at the time of their annual membership renewal/purchase. Contact the SAR Membership Coordinator for details. ILL books may come from libraries within the state or from across the nation and take up to three weeks to arrive. Loan periods vary widely and are determined by the lending library. Renewals are not guaranteed. ILL books must be returned on time, since the SAR library can lose its borrowing privileges if books are not returned promptly to the lending libraries.
Rare Books, Archives, Digital Collections
The library has a small collection of rare books that are listed in the catalog but are not on public view. A special collection of volumes donated by Dr. William Y. Adams traces the development of anthropological thought from the 16th century. Researchers may request rare books for reference use inside the library. The archives in the library are primarily institutional records and personal papers that document SAR’s long history. Archival materials are accessible by appointment only. However, digitization is in process and images of archival documents and photographs are available online as part of the New Mexico Digital Collections
The library subscribes to a variety of professional journals within the field of anthropology, history, and Native American studies. The holdings of back issues is more extensive, dating back to the late nineteenth century, including newsletters, society papers, conference proceedings, reports, bulletins, and a range of SAR publications. A selection of SAR annual reports from 1907 to 2004 are online at the New Mexico Digital Collections. With the exception of some annual publications, most periodicals cannot be checked out, but the library has a self-serve photocopier that will print or scan to pdf format.
Article Databases. Unfortunately, the library cannot afford to subscribe to article indexing databases. Researchers with university affiliations may find journal citations, and articles, through their own connections to JSTOR, ProjectMUSE, or other databases. Researchers within New Mexico have free access to scholarly journals, some fulltext, in Gale Academic OneFile through El Portal. The web version of Worldcat (worldcat.org) can also be used to search for article citations, but the SAR library does not belong to Worldcat so our books and journals will not show up in their database. After researchers obtain a citation for an article, then the librarian can assist searching our holdings for the journal title and article.
AIQ: American Indian Quarterly
Annual Review of Anthropology
Archaeology Southwest Magazine
Chronicle of Higher Education
El Palacio: Art, History, Culture of the Southwest
Journal of Anthropological Research
Journal of Latin American Caribbean Anthropology
Journal of the Southwest
Latin American Antiquity
Medical Anthropology Quarterly
NAIS: Native American Indigenous Studies
New Mexico Historical Review
PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review
Reviews in Anthropology
SAA Archaeological Record
Visual Anthropology Review