Colorado became a state in 1876—the year of the U.S. Centennial—but its human history goes back more than 10,000 years.
Millennia ago, ancient peoples first walked the diverse landscapes of the region we now call Colorado, a land of plateaus, mountains, and high plains. Since then, people such as the Utes—Colorado’s longest continuous inhabitants—and nomadic Plains Tribes have passed through these lands and stayed, carving out traditions that thrive today.
Over the past few hundred years, Mexican and European cultures, too, have settled, sought gold and silver, farmed, ranched, and built communities, creating legacies of their own and building urban and rural communities across the state.
As the designated steward of Colorado’s past, History Colorado is the place to discover, enjoy, and get involved in the history, the heritage, and the built environment of the Centennial State.
History Colorado’s quarterly magazine brings the drama and variety of Colorado’s past to your door through richly illustrated stories that link history to art, architecture, sports, music, technology, archaeology, and folklore. Our authors are historians, professional writers, and students as well as everyday readers who’ve landed on a story to tell—whether from their family’s own past or simply a passion they’ve pursued.
History Colorado staff and other writers chronicle the latest preservation success stories, share new perspectives on the past, and peer behind the scenes into the care and documentation of our collections. Read on to learn about how rare collections of historic artifacts and photographs are stored, cared for, and put on view. Find out what Colorado communities are doing to preserve their past for future generations. And, read in-depth histories of Colorado people and events of the past that still matter to us today.
The Colorado's Most Significant Artifacts program highlights the importance of historic and cultural heritage and honors and recognizes all the organizations in Colorado that care for and preserve photographs, documents, rare books and manuscripts, audio recordings, film, digital materials, art, and historic, archaeological and natural science specimens.