Regis University Regis Santo Collection

The Regis Santo Collection at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, features over 700 Southwestern religious and cultural objects from the late eighteenth century to the present. A santo (Spanish for saint) is a painting on a wooden panel or a sculptural carving. The university has only a small budget for the care of the collection and no dedicated staff person devoted to its care.

When not on display in the main library, the santos are stored in a climate-controlled archives vault, but the display conditions are what worry the collection’s caretakers. The display space in the main library is not climate-controlled, so wooden objects that came into the collection with significant cracking due to the dry climate of the Southwest are compromised and subject to further deterioration.

The university is currently seeking a long-term solution to these display problems in the form of a new study center that will provide proper environmental conditions and better access to the collection, allowing more research to take place on these important cultural objects.