House History Research

Researching the history of your historic home or other property is fun and informative. The resources listed below are available at our Stephen H. Hart Research Center.

Catalog

Search the online catalog for books, manuscript collections, maps and serials.
Possible subject headings: 

  • Architects
  • Architecture – Colorado
  • Architecture – [City]
  • Buildings – [City]
  • Historic Buildings
  • Maps – [City]
  • Name (of building or person)
  • Neighborhoods – [City]
  • Street maps – [City]

Directories

Colorado City Directories (1860s-1990s. Contact staff to identify available volumes.)
Colorado State Business Directories (1875 – 1956)
Denver Householder’s Directories (1926 – 1986)
Colorado Telephone Directories (1880 – present. Contact staff to identify available volumes.)

Atlases

Sanborn Insurance (1887 – 1962) available on microfilm.

CU Boulder's Map Library has digitized many of their Colorado Sanborn Insurance maps. Visit their website to learn more.

Census

Ancestry Library Edition is available onsite at the Stephen H. Hart Research Center. Ancestry provides an easy way to search multiple censuses at once.

The Stephen H. Hart Research Center also holds on microfilm: 

  • Federal census for Colorado (1860 – 1930)
  • Colorado State (1885)

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 PostRocky Mountain News, and selected additional titles are available onsite at the Stephen H. Hart Research Center.

Photographs

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

Other resources include:

Colorado Subject Collection (formerly ephemera files)

Subject: Architecture
Biographical: name of owner or architect
Geographical: City or town name

Compass Database

Compass is the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation's online cultural resource database for the state of Colorado. Site files can provide useful architectural and historical information on buildings and historic districts. Complimentary access to Compass is available onsite at the Stephen H. Hart Research Center.

Other Resources

Other agencies, such as the State Archives, County Tax Assessor's Office, or County Clerk & Recorder, may hold other useful records. Download the Office of Archaeology & Historic Preservation's guide "Researching the History of Your Property" for more helpful suggestions.