New Mexico History Museum

Historic scissors to cut the ribbon at NMHM

May 22, 2009


Santa Fe, N.M., May 22, 2009 – When the Grand Opening ribbon is cut at the brand-new New Mexico History Museum on Sunday, May 24, it will be in historical style. A pair of 18th-century Spanish scribe’s scissors have been loaned to the Museum by longtime supporter Jerry Richardson, a Museum of New Mexico Foundation trustee.

The scissors were purchased by Richardson in 2002 at an antiques show in Santa Fe. Described to Richardson as “scribe’s shears or scissors,” they were dated to the early 18th century, but believed to be even older. In that earlier era, villagers who could not read or write themselves went to a scribe when they wanted to send someone a letter. They dictated the letter to the scribe, who had a long roll of paper, pen, ink and a pair of scissors. After writing the letter, the scribe would cut it off the roll, thereby conserving the remaining paper.

“I am very pleased that these historic scribe's scissors are going to be used for the very historic occasion of the opening of the New Mexico History Museum,” said Richardson, a founding member of Los Compadres del Palacio, the group that began working on the Museum about 20 years ago. “It has always been my hope that they would someday become part of the collections there and now, with this linkage, they are even more appropriate for the collections.”

The ribbon-cutting begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 24, in the Palace of the Governors Courtyard. Speakers will include:

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

Former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, for whom the Museum building is named

Dr. Frances Levine, director of the Museum

Stuart Ashman, secretary of the Department of Cultural Affairs

Alvin Warren, secretary of the Department of Indian Affairs

Ambassador Patricia Espinosa, Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry

Spanish Ambassador to the United States D. Jorge Dezcallar de Mazarredo

New Mexico History Museum at 113 Lincoln Avenue, just behind the Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza Museum Front Desk: 505-476-5200

For more information about the New Mexico History Museum, including a selection of user-ready high-resolution photographs, log onto More than 8,000 additional, high-resolution photographs illustrating the history of New Mexico are available by keyword search at (click on “Photo Archives” then on “Digitized Collections”). Most requests for scans from this site can be delivered the same day, and usage is free for publicity purposes only.

The New Mexico Rail Runner will operate its Saturday schedule ( on May 24 and 25 to accommodate opening-weekend visitors. In addition, all four of the state’s Santa Fe-based museums will have free admission on both days: the Museum of Art (; the Museum of International Folk Art (; and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (

Previous releases: High-Tech Techniques Bring New Mexico’s Past to Life Join the Stampede! New Mexico History Museum’s Grand Opening Riding the Rails... in Style Four Centuries of History: the Fiestas de Santa Fe Duty, Sacrifice, Honor Where ancient artifacts meet cutting-edge art Fashioning New Mexico The Tiffany Ties that Bind The Railroad Wars The New Face of History The Tales that Made the American West New Mexico History Museum's Core Exhibits Telling the People's Stories: A Message from the Director Creating a Place for Our Past, by Dr. Frances Levine, El Palacio, Summer 2006 Other Sites: NM History Museum on Twitter NM History Museum on Facebook

Media Contacts: Kate Nelson New Mexico History Museum 505 476 1141

Rachel Mason Ballantines PR 505 216 0889

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