Genealogical Resources

Biographical & Genealogical Searches

Whether you're researching family members or prominent Colorado citizens, the Stephen H. Hart Research Center can provide access to useful materials for biographical research.

Census

U.S. Census (Colorado): 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920. Records available on microfilm.

Census Indexes: indexes to the U.S. Federal Census for Colorado: 1860, 1870, 1880

Colorado State Census 1885 and alphabetical abstract.

Learn more about Census information and our Census holdings.

Directories

Colorado State Business Directories: 1875–1956

Colorado City Directories: 1860s-1990s. 

Colorado telephone directories: 1880–present.

Newspapers 

History Colorado holds the largest collection of Colorado newspapers available. The collection contains more than 1700 newspaper titles from towns across the state.

The majority of our newspaper collection is only available on microfilm. A limited number of digitized newspapers are available online at the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. Digitized copies of the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and selected additional titles are available onsite at the Stephen H. Hart Research Center.

Collection Catalogs

Our online collection catalogs include records of our book, manuscript, serials, map, photography, and artifact collections.

Books and printed indexes

Examples include biographies, family histories, county and town histories, brand books, Colorado cemetery indexes, and a few newspaper obituary indexes.

Important Colorado biographical reference works include:

  • Officials of Denver and of Colorado 1858-1933.
  • Portrait and Biography Index by Henrietta Bromwell (5 vols). Alphabetical listing of prominent people in Colorado up to 1933. Provides citations to newspaper articles and reference books.
  • Real Pioneers of Colorado by Maria Davies McGrath, 1934. Short biographical sketches arranged alphabetically. 
  • Colorado Families: A Territorial Heritage by Colorado Genealogical Society, Inc., 1981.
  • Encyclopedia of Biography of Colorado by William Byers. 1901.
  • Portrait and Biographical Record of Denver and Vicinity. Chapman Publishing Co., 1898.
  • Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado. Chapman Publishing Co. 1899.
  • Representative Men of Colorado in the Nineteenth Century. Rowell Art Publishing Co. 1902.
  • Representative Women of Colorado by James A. Semple, 1911.

Manuscript collections

Use our online catalog to search for personal papers of individuals and organization records. Examples include: DAR, Polish Club of Denver, Society of Colorado Pioneers, Sons of the American Revolution, Sons of Colorado, Grand Army of the Republic (Colorado & Wyoming). Some business records may include employee publications and rosters.

Also check the Guide to Manuscript Collections: Index (1988), which is a name and subject index to the manuscript collections held by History Colorado.

Serials

The Colorado Magazine, published by History Colorado between 1923 and 1980. Index available in theStephen H. Hart Research Center. Articles on Colorado people and history.

Sons of Colorado and Trail indexes. Sons of Colorado (1906-1908) and The Trail Magazine (1908-1929) contain biographical articles and obituaries of pioneers.

Colorado Genealogist, regional historical society publications, Colorado college and university yearbooks, The Denver Social Register, organization yearbooks, directories, and magazines.

Indexes

Census indexes for Colorado 1860 (Nebraska Territory and Kansas Territory).

CWA Pioneer Interviews index: interviews conducted in 1933-1934 by the Civil Works Administration in various Colorado counties.

CWA Biography Index: book and newspaper references to prominent Colorado individuals.

Dawson Scrapbook index: alphabetical file of names and subjects cited in the eighty volumes of newspaper clippings of the Dawson Scrapbooks.

Colorado Subject Collection: Biography

Clippings, biographical data files, and other printed materials on Colorado individuals by name. Sometimes called ephemera or vertical files.

Photographs

Some photographs are available to view online at the History Colorado Online Collection and Denver Public Library's Digital Collections.

Other resources include:

  • Photo Subject Collection index. Photos of individuals are filed alphabetically by name under the heading "BPF." American Indian portraits are filed under the heading "IBF."
  • Search the Aultman Collection index. Collection of studio portraits from the Aultman Studio in Trinidad, Colorado.