Photographs and Moving Images

Photography Collection

History Colorado's photography collection contains over 1 million images documenting the history of Colorado and the American West from the 1840s to the present day. The collection ranges from early daguerreotypes and glass plate negatives to digital prints and from Kodak snapshots to masterworks of photographic art.

The photographs show the growth and development of Colorado and her people, industries, agriculture, and communities. Highlights of the collection include the largest collection of American landscape photographer William Henry Jackson's work west of the Mississippi River; 110 years of photography from the Aultman Studio of Trinidad, the longest-operating photography studio in the state of Colorado; and the photographic archives of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad.

A selection of photographs from History Colorado's collection have been digitized and are available to view online. Click here to view the History Colorado Online Collection, which contains images and records of photographs, artifacts, and archives. Additional photographs from History Colorado's collection are available to view online through Denver Public Library's Digital Collections.

The Subject File Collection is a great starting point for your research into the Photography Collection at History Colorado. This collection contains photos arranged by subject, such as cities and towns, natural features, people (by name), American Indians (by tribe), transportation, and other topics. Photographs in the Subject File Collection are available to view in person at our Hart Research Library. Click here to view and search our index to the subject headings in the Subject File Collection.

High-quality reproductions of photographs are available for personal or commercial use. Please contact us at photos@state.co.us for more information.

Moving Image Collection

History Colorado holds moving image films from and about Colorado dating from circa 1915-1990. These films include cinematic releases, home movies, news reels, films by early Colorado production companies, and promotional, industrial, and educational films on 16mm, 35mm, 8mm, and Super 8, as well as video formats. Click here to view and search our moving image collection inventory.

History Colorado also holds historic television news footage from two prominent Denver stations. The KWGN-TV (Channel 2) television news footage collection and KOA-TV (Channel 4) television news footage collection are both open for use. Please contact cosearch@state.co.us for more information about how to access these collections.

A small number of films from the collection have been digitized and made available online on History Colorado's YouTube channel. Access to and use of other moving image films in the collection is dependent on History Colorado's use policies for moving image films.