Joe is well known to those of us interested in New Mexico history. His work has informed fellow professionals and introduced newcomers to this regions´ rich multidimensional past.
His subjects are as numerous as his audiences. He’ s given illustrated presentations to the Albuquerque Genealogical Society, New Mexico Library Association, Sandoval County Historical Society, Albuquerque Historial Society, Taos Historical Society, Historical Society of New Mexico, library associations, schools, teachers, senior centers, neighborhood associations, and is frequently a key presenter at conferences.
Joe’s research often addresses the fraught history of the treatment of Native Americans. ¨Olla Bearers and Indian Detours: New Mexico Indians as Tourist Attractions,” was presented most recently to the Taos Historical Society in August. In it he examines how entrepreneurs promoted New Mexico tourism through use of romantic and stereotyped images with “mixed consequences” for natives.
In “Christmas Revels: the 1919 New Mexico Mounted Police Raid on Santo Domingo Pueblo,” he describes a pivotal incident in 1919 that was a “precursor of the united Pueblo’s’ struggle to defeat the Bursum Bill and preserve their lands and way of life in the 1920s.”
Albuquerque Indian School: Origins and Communities is a two-part presentation about the school.
The first explores the cultural, athletic, religious and economic relationships and interactions with the Albuquerque community. The second is about the history of the school property after its closure.
The historic interplay between the automobile, the built environment, and the community is the theme of several talks. His examination of North Fourth Street traces the evolution and impact of what was once Route 66. Another talk features the emergence and development of auto-oriented lodging in Albuquerque from primitive camp to the motor hotels and lodges.
J.R. Willis: Postcard Artist and Old Town Arts Entrepreneur, is a review of the life and career of this once prominent Old Town artist.
Joe grew up in California and received a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Library Science from UCLA. He came to New Mexico first as a VISTA volunteer for libraries in Sandoval County. He worked at the UNM School of Law Library helping to create an American Indian Law Collection and editing the American Indian Law Newsletter. During his tenure with the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library he was Head of Reference, Head of the Main Library, and Branch Manager of Special Collections.
In addition to his research and speaking events, Joe is generous with his volunteer time and knowledge, working at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center archives and library, and with the Near North Valley Neighborhood Association. He successfully worked to pass statewide general bond legislation for public libraries in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. He has also served as New Mexico Library Association President and was made Honorary Life Member in 2000.
TACA is fortunate to count Joe Sabatini as a board member!