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.
In this digital age, the way we read newspapers may have changed, but the characteristics and qualities of newspapers have remained largely the same. A newspaper is a first-hand creation with information relevant to the life and culture of the community it serves. A newspaper is, metaphorically, the eyes, voice and spirit of a community. History Colorado preserves those voices and stories on the best newspaper preservation format available: microfilm.
I’m from Georgia, born and raised a southerner through and through, and I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, when it comes to historic places, people from the east think they have all the good stuff. But three decades ago I moved to Colorado and was astounded to find some of the richest, most vibrant historic places I've seen. I still remember my drive up I-70 seeing quaint mountain towns like Georgetown for the first time and being blown away. This place is something special.
**Disclaimer: While, of course, the use of the pejorative term “Jap” is no longer tolerated today, writers at the time of World War II used the term liberally. We have left the term intact to preserve the full accuracy of these historical records. Reader discretion is advised.**
There’s often a vast disconnect between those who fight wars and those who remain at home. A manuscript collection recently added to History Colorado’s Archives collection highlights a personal attempt to reconcile this gap. Mr. Ahrend “Ben” H. Turban was born in Denver in 1911 and grew up in various homes for orphans. After attending South High School and the Colorado School of Mines, Ben, as he liked to be called, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1938. He worked as civil engineer and surveyor in major points of military conflict throughout the Pacific, including Guadalcanal, Saipan, and Okinawa.
Becoming an architect is a rather daunting task when your father is Frank Lloyd Wright. Although John Lloyd Wright had a hard time measuring up to the architectural achievements of his father, he was able to define his own place in history with the invention of Lincoln Logs in 1918. He found inspiration for the toy on a 1917 visit to Japan, where he assisted his father with the construction of the Imperial Hotel using a revolutionary technique of interlocking beams. The inherent simplicity of the design struck a chord with John, and soon after, he set out to democratize the technique for the enjoyment of America’s children.
I have just finished rehousing and processing all of the photographic prints in the David DeHarport Collection! Hold your applause though; I still need to process approximately 2000 color slides, 6200 large format negatives, and 3000 35mm negatives. However, before I begin to wrangle with the organization of the DeHarport negatives, I must consider their long-term preservation.
Late in 1933, in the thick of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civil Works Administration, a job-creation program that was part of the New Deal he’d created earlier in his presidency. Although most CWA jobs were manual labor, the program also employed artists and writers left jobless in the dismal economy of the early ‘30s. These new jobs were temporary, and by mid-1934 the program had disbanded. Though it was short-lived, Coloradans of today owe a debt of gratitude to the CWA, because among the projects it created is an incredible set of interviews that shed light on the early days of our state.