History Colorado's incomparable collections—from books and manuscripts to artifacts and photographs—encapsulate the rich history of this state and help us understand the present in the context of the past.
We are currently looking for interns to assist with collections inventory, archaeology collections, as well as exhibits and registration - find out more here!
You can extend the life of your family’s papers, photographs, and heirlooms by following basic guidelines for care and storage. Here are some sources for more information on how to care for your collections.
What does preservation mean, exactly? Many people might associate the term with environmental preservation or conservation. For others however, the word is primarily used in the context of historic preservation, which is the act of physically preserving and protecting historic buildings, landscapes, and other sites, for the purposes of education and interpretation, cultural enrichment, and public benefit.
I started volunteering in the Registration Department in October of 2014. Each week I have a different opportunity to explore objects and personally learn about their individual histories and their place in the collection.
In February 1879, enabling legislation was signed by the Governor of Colorado creating the State Historical Society, the objective of which was to collect and preserve items relating to the history of the state. Since that time, the collection has grown to encompass approximately 15 million individual items including archival documents, artifacts and visual images.
With the Winter Prather collection finished, I’m pleased to introduce the massive Aultman Studio collection, the next set of materials up for processing as part of the NHPRC 20th Century Photograph Collections Grant Project.
While the construction to expand the Ute Indian Museum in Montrose is moving along nicely, the exhibit team at History Colorado is busy planning the new exhibits to be installed there. One of the most exciting parts of exhibit development is selection of the artifacts to support the stories of the Ute people that we will tell.
Having officially finished the Winter Prather collection (expect to see a finding aid online soon!), I have time to share one of the more obscure parts of Prather’s biography. First, just to recap: Winter Prather was a prominent commercial and fine art photographer working mostly in the Denver, Colorado and Taos, New Mexico from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. Thanks to the 2015 NHPRC Access to Historical Records grant that History Colorado received last May, I have been able to spend the last two months processing and cataloging Prather’s manuscripts and photographs.
In 1988 Bernice Lang donated her doll collection to History Colorado. Currently, staff and volunteers are working on the collection, originally started by Bernice’s mother, Minnie Belle Jackson, who came to Colorado by wagon as a child in 1867.
Soon to be on exhibit, this beautiful coffee service set has a unique history—not only because of who owned it, but also who made it. From the estate of Townsend Sherman McAllister, the set was donated to History Colorado in 1970. The donor’s father, Henry McAllister Jr. was raised in Colorado Springs and in 1896 married his college sweetheart Phebe Ketcham of Jericho, Long Island. In 1898, son Townsend Sherman was born in Colorado Springs, followed by Henry III in 1904. In 1906, the family moved to Denver where Henry Jr. established his general law practice. Phebe was active in St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, as well as in the Colonial Dames and Monday Literary Club. A prominent family in Denver, the McAllisters often entertained in their home at 1880 Gaylord Street. Guests not only enjoyed good food and company, they sat on antique furniture from Phebe’s family who settled Jericho, Long Island, during Colonial times and enjoyed beautiful art.