New Mexico State University

Amador Trade Catalogs

Searching Tips - NMSU Library Archives Photograph Collections Searching Tips

The database does not contain images of the catalogs. It is merely an index to help patrons locate specific catalogs for research purposes. Any in-depth study or handling of the catalogs must to be done on-site in the RGHC Search Room.

Catalogs can be found by searching several different fields: Business Name, Catalog Description, Date, City, State, and Merchandise. These fields are described in more detail below. Spanish language catalogs can be found by typing "Spanish" in the Catalog Description field. You can change the type of search that is done by changing the default “contains” to “does not contain” in the Type scroll menu. Using “does not contain” will not retrieve items that contain the word or phrase entered in that field. This is the same as performing a Boolean NOT search. For example, if you wanted only English language catalogs, you could type "Spanish" in the Catalog Description field and choose "does not contain" from the scroll menu.

Business name- This refers to the company which published the catalog. Companies with proper names have been inverted, so the last name appears first. For example: Joseph Beifeld and Company appears in the database as Beifeld, Joseph and Company. Examples of stores and companies that appear in the database are: Abeles and Mahler, Bloomingdale Brothers, Marshall Field and Company, Montgomery Ward and Company, and Schweitzer and Beer.

Catalog description- This field refers to the physical description of the catalog and not the merchandise it contains. The catalogs can be brochures, pamphlets, price lists, advertisements, etc. The merchandise contained in the catalog is described in the Merchandise field. The Catalog Description field can also be used to locate Spanish language catalogs. By inserting “Spanish” into this field, all Spanish language catalogs will be retrieved. This is the only way to find the Spanish language catalogs as all other search terms have been translated to English.

Date- This refers to the date the catalog was published, if known. The dates of the catalogs range from 1873-1942 and there are several where no date is known. Specific dates, such as 1878, can be entered. To search a span of dates do not type 1904-1906. The database cannot read date spans. Instead type “1904 1905 1906” and click on the "Match any search term (Boolean OR)" button. This should bring up all catalogs from these years. If you wish to search a decade, type in the first three digits of that decade. For example, the 1890s would be searched by typing “189” into this field. If the date of a catalog is unknown, then “n.d.” has been entered into this field.

City- This field represents the location of the company or store. Most of the cities are in the United States, for example: Chicago, St. Louis, El Paso, and San Francisco. There are also some foreign cities such as London and Paris. Companies that have several major locations may have more than one city listed in this field. Searching any one of the cities will find the record in the database.

State- This field represents the state of origin of the company or store. Do not use abbreviations. Fully spell out all state names, such as Texas, to bring up all catalogs originating in that state. This field also contains foreign country names, for example, Mexico. No country needs to be listed when searching for a specific U.S. state.

Merchandise- This field describes, in general terms, the content of the catalog. Only broad descriptions are used such as glass, braids, clothing, furniture, foods, and produce. Any part of a word entered will bring up several derivatives of that word. For example typing in the term “glass” will bring up entries for glass, glasses, glassware and items that contain the word glass such as field glasses.


Please send questions or comments to:

Rio Grande Historical Collections
New Mexico State University Library MSC 3475 * P.O. Box 30006 * Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-3006
Telephone: 575-646-3839 FAX: 575-646-7477