The Wheelwright Museum’s collection holding number around  11,000 items including jewelry, metalwork, carving, basketry, folk art, and textiles of the Navajo, Rio Grande Pueblo, and other Native peoples of New Mexico.
The Wheelwright Museum archival holding number is around 510 feet, including the papers of scholars and artists, including John Adair, Kate Peck Kent, Laura Adams Armer, Caroline B. Olin, Byron Harvey, Washington Mathews, Mary Cabot Wheelwright, Frances Newcomb, and many others.

Access to collections and archives is by appointment only. Requests should be sent 4 weeks in advance, to or 505-982-4636 ext. 113.

Researchers may contact the curatorial department at or 505-982-4636 ext. 113.

IMLS and Mellon Foundation Grants Update

The Wheelwright Museum is pleased to report that we have successfully completed 2 of 3 grant-funded projects to improve the public accessibility of museum collections and archives. In 2020, a generous $50,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) allowed us to hire student intern Nataani Hanley Moraga, purchase new compactor storage, move the museum archives, create a new workstation for an archivist and researchers, update our computer database, and enhance our social media posts.


We also received a significant $36,636 grant from IMLS in 2021. This ambitious project allowed the museum to migrate its aging database from Filemaker Pro to Rediscovery’s Proficio collections management system, so that our collections can be researched from a link on the museum’s web site (called Proficio on the Web). This grant also brought in student interns Danielle Hena, Charles John, and Nataani Hanley Moraga to assist with the project, and funded needed equipment and supplies including a freezer for pest prevention, insect traps, UV-filtering window film, laptops for collections management, collections photography equipment, and data loggers to monitor temperature and humidity in museum spaces. Funds from IMLS also allowed us to begin adding the archives to the new Proficio database.

Our current grant is funded at $500,000 through the generosity of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This project supports staff capacity and allows us to continue the process of making our collections available on the Web by providing additional computer hardware, improving the Museum’s web site and preparing it for the on-line module, moving the museum’s archival records to a new location, photography and cataloging of the collection, digitizing materials from the John Adair Archives by volunteer Steve Harvath, posting finding aids to the new web site, and launching Proficio on the Web in early 2024.

 We are grateful to IMLS and the Mellon Foundation for their support of these important projects, which not only bring visibility and accessibility to the Wheelwright Museum and its collections and exhibitions, but also help facilitate the career paths of Native American students wishing to join the museum profession.

More on John Adair Archives

Preliminary of Inventory of Archival Collections

Index of Boxes