History Colorado's Archives collection includes books, manuscript collections, maps and atlases, architectural drawings, newspapers, serial publications and directories, oral histories, sound recordings and transcriptions, and ephemera and subject collections. The collection is particularly strong on subjects relating to early immigration and migration, mining, railroads, and the documentation of the mid-nineteenth century population boom, the growth of cities, and continued migration to Colorado.
The Manuscripts collection, comprised of more than 2,600 individual collections, includes records produced by individuals, businesses, and organizations in Colorado that document significant aspects of life throughout the state and the western region from 1830 to the present.
The Map collection contains more than 2,500 items ranging in date from about 1830 to present day. The collection includes neighborhood, city, and state maps; topographical maps; pictorial maps; railway and railroad routes; stage routes; mines and mining claims; and American Indian tribe location maps. The geographic representation of the map collection covers Colorado and the West. Sanborn Insurance Atlases, available in microfilm format, include detailed views of streets and buildings for many Colorado towns from the 1880s. In larger cities, the maps were updated periodically to show the growth of the city over time.
The Book collection contains approximately 30,000 titles, many held only by History Colorado. The collection includes works of fiction and non-fiction by Colorado authors and Colorado publishers, as well as titles covering a wide array of Colorado history topics, including agriculture and ranching, mining, biography, railroads and transportation, American Indians, and Colorado cities and towns.
History Colorado holds the largest collection of Colorado newspapers available, dating from 1859 through the present day. The collection contains more than 1,700 microfilmed newspaper titles from towns across the state. Some newspaper titles are partially available to search online. Click here to learn more about using our newspaper collection.
The Colorado Subject Collection (ephemera and vertical files) includes materials such as event programs, invitations, travel brochures, advertisements, trade cards, certificates, menus, biographical files, and newspaper clippings. It is arranged into three parts: biographical, geographical, and subject, which includes topics such as agriculture, ethnic groups, military, and recreation. Biographical
These files are arranged alphabetically by the individual's last name. A finding aid is available to view online. Geographical
These files are arranged alphabetically by place name. Towns, counties, natural features, and national parks are included in this collection. A partial index is available online. Sample headings:
978.8 Colorado--Description & travel
978.81 Denver--Buildings--Equitable Building
978.84 Rocky Mountain National Park Subject
These files are housed in cartons that are arranged by subject.