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Support & Volunteer

Library advocates have their choice of opportunities, both in person and remotely, to participate in SAR’s mission to explore and understand the human world. Options include the contribution of funds or books to the collection, volunteer work in the library, sponsoring special projects, or the purchase of needed furniture and equipment. Involvement is not limited to the list below; the library’s needs are as varied as its supporters.

The library as an institution originated over 100 years ago along with the founding of SAR. Like many small research libraries, it operates with one staff member on a limited budget. It can be a challenge to serve library visitors while also maintaining an up-to-date collection and preserving rare books and archival materials. Despite these limitations, the library’s collection continues to grow and have lasting impact upon the SAR community through the efforts of dedicated staff, volunteers, and library supporters.


  • Buy a book for the collection from the SAR Library Wish List. Powell’s Books will ship the books directly to the library. Upon request, the library will add gift bookplates with donors’ names or memorials.
  • Enhance the library collection by donating funds to purchase new books on a particular subject. This might include emerging fields of study, underrepresented cultures and geographic regions, or simply a favorite topic in need of more recent titles. Contact the librarian for suggested topics. The librarian will select and order the books and credit the donor with bookplates.
  • Shop our book sales online at AbeBooks.com for rare books and surplus donations. Proceeds benefit the School for Advanced Research. Active only during the summer. Online sales are suspended during the academic year due to staffing issues.
  • Donate gently used books. We accept recently published titles (within 20 years) in good condition (hardcover preferred) about anthropology, archaeology, and Native American studies. We also need topics of local interest for our Southwest collection: regional fiction, local authors, nature and travel guides, and Santa Fe/New Mexico history. Due to space constraints and staffing issues, we cannot accept donations larger than one box.


Share your knowledge and expertise for a special project. Both short term and ongoing projects may be available. The library welcomes volunteers from various backgrounds, but particularly those with academic or work experience in anthropology, library science, archives, or Native American studies. Our best volunteers have a variety of life skills, a passion for accuracy, and enjoy working independently. Contact the librarian to discuss current volunteer opportunities. Email: library@sarsf.org  or phone: 505-954-7234

  • Scholars can enhance the collection by making title purchase suggestions and identifying outdated texts in their field of study.
  • Library staff with cataloging, shelving, or periodicals experience can help with several projects.
  • Booksellers can assist with online sales and inventory on AbeBooks.com.
  • Physically active volunteers with an eye for detail are often needed for book shifting projects and inventories.