Western History & Genealogy Blog

Hidden Gems

Digital Archiving in the 21st Century! (or at least in the early part of it...)

Digital Transitions--RCam, with Phase One P65+ digital back
Ability to capture incredible detail!  (We promise we're not counterfeiting!)
Detail from Robinson's Atlas of Denver 1887, Plate 13

After nearly three years of research, planning and developing strategy-- (alongside a strenuous attempt to stay on pace with sprinting technology) the Imaging Services Lab of DPL's Western History and Genealogy department is at long last moving into the next phase of its evolution, and the 21st Century.

When our program began not-so-long-ago in 1996-- I doubt very much that those involved could have conceived of the changes-- and new sets of challenges-- that technology would deliver in ten years'

Wo/Men at Work: Exploring Hard Work's Reward

Women at Work. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 2012. Cover
Women at Work. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 2012. Cover
Blunt, Judy. "Cooking From Scratch." Women at Work. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 2012. Cover
Powell, Ralph. "Everything's Dangerous." Women at Work. Salt Lake City: Red Butte Press, 2012. Cover

This artfully designed, hand-bound book tells two stories of work during an era when what a person did or made was still considered more important than what he or she bought.

Remember when...

We all have memories of our school days. It seems like it was a continual round of hurry up and waits. Days where we all stared at the clock counting the seconds to reces

Double Takes - Made Me Look - Again!

Poolside Beauty   z-11829
The stewardess from Kubrick's "2001" on her break   Z-11827
Oh, the Luxury of Pink Formica!   Z-11831
Reflections of the Beautiful People       Z-11823

A Banquet of 60s Kitsch ~ Madmen at the Library

Sometimes the only thing to say is "Wow." Lloyd Rule's promotional photos for Green Mountain Townhouses in Lakewood, Colorado, capture the mid-60s style in all it's glory.

Denver Crowns a King!

Denver Crowns a King!

You never know what you are going to find...

...when you browse through the "Creating Your Community" digital collections. The third grade class of University Park Elementary School was photographed during a pagent.

Hidden Gems - Edward Boos and the Flathead Indians of Montana

Atoem Elem Wh Skil Em Me (Chief Eagle)  BS-28
Atoem Elem Wh Skil Em Me (Chief Eagle) BS-28 Detail of Necklaces
Atoem Elem Wh Skil Em Me (Chief Eagle) BS- 28
Alex Boneparte [on right]  BS-13
Alex Boneparte - Detail of horse's ornaments - BS-13
Joe Lamoose - BS-53
Joe Lamoose - Pipe Tomahawk BS-13
Joe Lamoose - What these eyes have witnessed.....    BS-13

Candid Looks into the Past

One of the Library's treasures is a set of glass plate negatives taken by Edward Boos on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Flathead and Missoula valleys of Montana in 1905.

Double Takes - Made Me Look - Again!

Convicts Marching in Lockstep - 1900? ~ X-7798
A. H. Davis - mugshot - X-17714
Werner Schwarzmiller, recaptured after an escape attempt, 1947     X-17923
Cell Block #1, Colorado State Penitentiary    X-7864
Damage after the 1929 riot and fire    X-17890
Demonstrating the Gas Chamber   X-17720
Visiting Time in Prison    X-7781
Female convict and pet bird   X-17719
The "Old Gray Mare" - convict recieving swats with a wet paddle   X-17932
George Levy, Prison Psychiatrist   X-17933

"And I turned 21 in prison, doin' life without parole..."

Our collection includes some 340 photographs taken at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Cañon City, Colorado - and talk about "double takes," the human drama imparted by these ima

Double Takes - Made Me Look - Again!

Heap of Papers - RH-1429
Detail of RH-1429
MCC-1660
Detail of MCC-1660
X-22073
Detail of X-22073

File Management ~~~

Sometimes when I look at my desk I feel overwhelmed - then I remember this picture by the amazing Harry Rhoads and get a little lift. He was always able to get a smile out of people - and he had an excellent eye for framing and lighting a photograph, not to mention telling a story. As "Denver's Phototographer" for more than six decades, Harry Rhoads knew how to take a picture.

The enlargement demonstrates the capabilities of our new software, which now allows users to examine the detail in images like never before. The preview version of the image often hides amazing surprises, as demonstrated in the second set of images, by another of our reknowned photographers, Louis C. McClure. Because of the sharp resolution in glass plate negatives, our high density scans reveal almost microscopic detail upon enlargement - showing here the tiny hairs and pollen in this bowl of anemones.

The Civilization Process

X-32984 Thomas Torlino before Carlisle School
X-32985 Thomas Torlino after Carlisle School

Lost Worlds

Thomas Torlino, a Navajo Indian, demonstrates in these before and after pictures the change he underwent in the Carlise Indian School in Carlise, Pennsylvania.