Newspapers have always been an important collecting and preservation initiative at History Colorado, in no small part due to the fact that two Denver newspapermen helped establish the Colorado Historical Society (now History Colorado) in 1879. Will Ferrill, the publisher of the Daily Colorado Republican and Rocky Mountain Herald, was the society’s first curator. William N. Byers, the founder of the venerable Rocky Mountain News, was one of the society’s first directors. History Colorado’s newspapers include publications from each of the state’s 64 counties, preserving the extraordinary history of ordinary people and capturing history in the making.
Explore the Newspaper Collection
Titles in the History Colorado Newspaper Collection can be found in the History Colorado Online Collection. Most of the titles, including the earliest runs of the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post, as well as current issues from titles from across the state have been microfilmed and are available for viewing at the Stephen H. Hart Research Center. To learn more about which newspapers are in the collection and to find out what dates are in our inventory, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Preserving the Past for the Future
In the 1980s the society was awarded an National Endowment for the Humanities U.S. Newspaper Project grant to microfilm 1.7 million pages from historic Colorado newspapers resulting in 830 reels. The project preserved 600 titles from over 200 towns in Colorado, which were found in 77 different repositories throughout the state.
The Colorado Newspaper Project reached across the state overcoming the urban/rural and mountain/plains dichotomy. The committed staff worked in barns and basements, abandoned missile silos, and brand new libraries…they read an estimated 577 miles of microfilm. And they regularly made personal connections with the interesting and astounding face of local history…reading the rigors of settlement life in the mountains and the tragedies of dryland farming…Newspaper preservation…is--at heart--the preservation of the stories of ordinary people. (Colorado Newspaper Project final report to National Endowment for the Humanities)
To date, History Colorado holds over 22,000 reels of microfilm. It is the most extensive collection of Colorado newspapers in the world with more than 1700 microfilmed titles from across the state. We continue to collect and film newspapers from each of Colorado’s 64 counties. It is an extraordinary contemporary collecting program that highlights Colorado’s social, racial, economic and political, and religious diversity.
Sharing the Diverse Stories of Colorado in the Digital Age
History Colorado also works closely with the Colorado State Library, providing access to titles in our microfilm collection through digitization in the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. CHNC currently includes over 2.8 million digitized pages, representing more than 650 individual newspaper titles published in Colorado from 1859 up thru 2022.