Skip to main content

Papers from the Ghost Ranch Library

Identifier: MS-31

Scope and Content Note

Between 1947 and 1948, Georgia O'Keeffe shipped several boxes of books to New Mexico from her and her late husband's, Alfred Stieglitz, collections at their New York apartment and the Lake George house. This was the beginning of O'Keeffe's personal book collection in New Mexico. O'Keeffe grew her collection by purchasing and seeking out books on particular subjects; others she received as gifts from friends, admirers of her work, authors, and museums, which is documented through her habit of storing accompanying gift cards and correspondence within the books. Publications cover a wide range of topics such as art history, art techniques, health, world history, travel, dogs, gardening, and cooking.

During O'Keeffe's lifetime, the books traveled back and forth between her two New Mexico homes, Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu. The books from Ghost Ranch were donated to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum by Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton in 2000 and are now referred to as the Ghost Ranch Library. Publications from the Ghost Ranch Library are held at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum's Michael S. Engl Family Foundation Library and Archive and are searchable in the library catalog. Most of the items in this archival collection were housed within the books and periodicals and were used as page markers within the Ghost Ranch Library books. Materials include but are not limited to correspondence, notes, ephemera, and clippings dating from 1892 to 1992. There are few items in this collection with a publication date after O'Keeffe's death date in 1986. This is likely due to the books remaining at Ghost Ranch and in limited use several years after O'Keeffe's death.

In order to document the archival item original location within the books, the materials in this collection were processed at the item level and all items have an accession number, which starts with 2000-06- and is noted in the finding aid. The original book location has been noted in the archives database by title and Library of Congress Control Number. Similarly, the archival material has been noted in the catalog record for the book.

Accruals to the collection include recipe binders from the Ghost Ranch house, which were similarly processed at the item level, but without the 2000-06- accession numbers.

The library and archival materials in O'Keeffe's Abiquiu house were later transferred to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum from The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation in 2006. The book collection, titled the Abiquiu Bookroom collection, has been catalogued and included in the library collection. The archival collection is ephemera found in Abiquiu Bookroom books; it is unprocessed and will be called the Abiquiu Bookroom Papers.


  • Creation: 1892-1992, undated

Language of Materials

Materials predominantly in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public for research purposes.

Copy and Reproduction Restrictions

Photocopies of materials may be made for research purposes only. Use restrictions pertaining to Series 9: Recipe Binders: Materials shall be used exclusively for research, educational, and scholarly purposes. The items of tangible property are not to be reproduced, used, or otherwise exploited for commercial purposes, without first obtaining prior written consent of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton or the survivor of them.


3.42 Linear Feet (2 hollinger boxes, 1 paige carton, 1 oversize box, 1 half hollinger box)


Collection primarily includes materials originally used as page markers in Georgia O'Keeffe's book collection at her Ghost Ranch house. The bulk of the items are correspondence, notes, ephemera, and clippings dating from 1892 to 1992. Accruals include two recipe binders compiled by Georgia O'Keeffe.

Arrangement of the Collection

Arrangement is artificial based upon similar series existing in related Georgia O'Keeffe collections of papers. Series include:

Series 1: Correspondence; Series 2: Enclosure and Visiting Cards; Series 3: Notes and Writings; Series 4: Subject Files; Series 5: Clippings; Series 6: Page Markers; Series 7: Photographic Material; Series 8: Enclosures; Series 9: Recipe Binders.

Series are arranged chronologically within, except for the Correspondence series, which is arranged alphabetically, and the Recipe Binders series, which remains in original order.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum by Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton in 2000.

Credit Line

Gift of Juan and Anna Marie Hamilton.


Two recipe binders have been processed as accruals to this collection. Additional materials found when inventorying Ghost Ranch in 2019 have yet to be processed.

Related Materials

Materials in this collection were originally housed with the publications that are known as Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch Library. Georgia O'Keeffe's Ghost Ranch Library is part of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Michael S. Engl Family Foundation Library and Archive Special Collections, and can be searched through the Museum's library catalog.

Ownership and Rights

This collection is the physical property of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. The Museum holds rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply. Please contact the Museum for further copyright and publication information as it pertains to this collection.

Explanation of Rights

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Fran Martone, Tori Duggan, and completed by Elizabeth Ehrnst in 2015. The collection was revised by Ashley Baranyk in 2020.

Finding Aid to the Papers from the Ghost Ranch Library, 1892-1992, undated
Elizabeth Ehrnst and Ashley Baranyk
Created September 2015. Revised March 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • March 2020: Finding aid revised in March 2020 by Ashley Baranyk due to accruals.

Repository Details

Part of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Repository

217 Johnson Street
Santa Fe NM 87501 US