Nancy Tucker has been recognized by the Albuquerque Historical Society for an Albuquerque History Accolade. She is affectionately known by her friends and admirers as the “postcard lady” for her rigorous collecting of Albuquerque-related postcards. But her collecting does not stop there. She’s constantly on the electronic hunt for a wide range of Albuquerque photographs, objects and paper history. She has always had a passion for collecting; finding things that relate to Albuquerque’s history became her passion beginning in 2001 when she first bought a postcard of an Albuquerque Sanitarium on eBay.
Don’t call her a hoarder who can’t bear to part with her treasures. She freely shares her treasures with researchers of local history, and donates most of what she’s found to a long list of organizations, including the Albuquerque Museum, the UNM Center for Southwest Research, the Hispanic Cultural Center, the Balloon Museum, the Palace of the Governors, and the Albuquerque Special Collections Library. Her donations began in earnest when she learned that the budgets of most of these organizations don’t allow them the luxury to pay for acquisitions. She calls what she does online “re-patriating Albuquerque-ana.”
Nancy graduated with a degree in history from Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia and soon thereafter was the first editor of a LGBT newsletter that became the nationally known Washington Blade. She spent most of her career working as a journalist and sales and marketing executive for Army Times Publishing Company in Virginia. Some of that time was spent telecommuting while living in San Francisco for 11 years. In all, she spent 29 years with that organization, and then later worked a short time for the San Francisco Examiner.
She grew up here in Albuquerque as an Air Force brat while her father was stationed at Sandia Base. Living near the intersection of Candelaria and Wyoming at the time, she says she got “imprinted” by the mountain. When she retired in 2004, she decided to return to Albuquerque. The only people she knew here were her real estate agent, a woman she’d met at a postcard show, and Joe Sabatini, because she made a donation to Special Collections even before she relocated.
Nancy says that collecting pieces of Albuquerque’s history is like writing a story; every item contributes to the whole. Her acquisitions are slowing down now and she’s begun to concentrate on organizing and donating what she has accumulated over the past 18-plus years.
Though she knew almost no one when she moved here, she has since made many friends and is an integral part of local history boosters in both the Albuquerque Historical Society and Historic Albuquerque, Inc. Nancy Tucker has made a substantial contribution to the history of Albuquerque and has made a positive and indelible mark of her own as she has become her own part of the city’s history.
View other Albuquerque History Accolades.