New Mexico's state archives offer a rich collection of documents from the Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial periods. Robert J Torrez has mined this collection to produce a series of thirty-six articles that give us an idea of the stark reality of everyday life: what ordinary people went through to feed and protect their families, keep warm, worship their God, deal with government bureaucracies, and enjoy a few of life's pleasures. Previously published in periodicals with small local circulation, these essays are now available to the broader audience they deserve. The essays are divided into five groups. Part 1: ""Glimpses of Daily Life"", includes such topics as arranged marriages, conflicts over taxes and water, and weaving in New Mexico. Part 2: ""Indian Relations"", shows us visits and battles with Navajo, Ute, and Pueblo people. Part 3: on ""Crime and Punishment"", comprises essays on hangings, poisonings, and outlaws. ""The Territorial Topics"" gathered in Part 4 is a melange of entertainment, travel, and government matters, from the oddity of ""UFOs over Galisteo"", in which a Chinese balloon seems to have made its way to New Mexico in 1880, to the arrival of stagecoaches, telegraphs, and a circus. Part 5 presents biographical sketches of seven famous and not-so-famous New Mexicans.