The Press at the Palace of the Governors, known informally as the Palace Press, introduces visitors to the world of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century publishing.
Located on the north side of the museum courtyard, this former stable is now home to a working exhibit dedicated to preserving and promoting New Mexico’s printing and literary traditions. A visit to the printshop recalls the time when each letter on a page passed through the hands of an artisan printer.
Working in the tradition of such noted New Mexico presses as the Laughing Horse Press, the Seton Village Press, and the Rydal Press, the Palace Press is the longest-running operation of its kind in the state and is today a center for contemporary book-art activities. Printing has played an important role in New Mexico ever since the first press arrived at the Palace of the Governors via the Santa Fe Trail in 1834. At the time New Mexico was part of Mexico and so its first imprints were in Spanish. Under the direction of Padre Antonio José Martínez, that legendary printing press brought New Mexico into a new era.
Educational Activities and Events
The Palace Press offers a range of events and activities related to printing, including informal talks and hosting of class field trips. When our presses are in action, visitors are always welcome to observe and ask questions. Demonstrations of printing can be arranged by appointment, depending on schedule and other considerations. For researchers, our library holds more than 600 volumes on all aspects of publishing. We are also one of the museum’s most popular attractions during the annual Christmas at the Palace event, when visitors can assist in printing their own holiday keepsakes.
The Palace Press frequently sponsors workshops and lectures by noted national and international scholars, authors, and artists. Listings for events can be found on the history museum’s calendar of events.