Western History & Genealogy Blog

Western History Collection

Architectural Drama in the Queen City of the Plains

AUR-891
AUR-3306
X-8249
X-25973

Modern Then, Iconic Now

Our vast photo database is filled with treasures of every flavor.

Photo Archive Friday

Senator Johnson pauses during tour of RM Arsenal

Image selected from the photographic undigitized collection

Photo showing Senator Edwin C. Johnson pauses during his tour of inspection of Rocky Mountain Arsenal to view the 100lb. incendiary bomb.

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'

New Castle, Colorado: A Coal Town That Survives Despite Disaster

Main Street in New Castle, Colorado. Circa 1890-1900.
New Castle, Colorado on the Fourth of July, 1891.
Shrull, Dale. The Legend of Burning Mountain: An Early History of New Castle. Glenwood Springs: Stoney Mountain Publishing, 2000
Shrull, Dale. The Legend of Burning Mountain: An Early History of New Castle. Glenwood Springs: Stoney Mountain Publishing, 2000

The town of New Castle was one of many Western Slope towns incorporated during the coal boom of the 1880’s, but is one of few coal towns from that era to have survived.

Who's the Baddest Man?!?

Soapy Smith
Soapy Dead
Soapy in the Skagway Saloon (Soapy in Center of Photo)

On the evening of July 8, 1898, a blazing flash of gun fire illuminated the summer night’s sky and sent the townsfolk of Skagway, Alaska into a panic.

American Indian Newspapers in Western History and Genealogy

Southern Ute Drum. February 20, 2013. Ignacio, CO: Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Front page.
Southern Ute Drum. February 20, 2013. Ignacio, CO: Southern Ute Tribe: Page 3.
Teton Times. February 20-27, 2013. Mobridge, SD. Front Page.
Lakota Country Times. February 27, 2013. Martin, SD. Page B1.

American Indian newspapers help American Indians keep abreast of tribal news across reservations both large and small.

Jack Dempsey: Colorado's Heavyweight Boxing Champion

Jack Dempsey and Estelle Taylor at Denver's Union Station
Jack Dempsey's Manassa, Colorado home
Montrose, Colorado around 1890

Did you know that World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Dempsey, the “Manassa Mauler,” was born in Manassa but also lived in many other Colorado towns?

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.

Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California

Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy. Pasadena, CA: Ammo Books. 2012. Front Cover.
Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy. Pasadena, CA: Ammo Books. 2012. Back Cover.

Retna’s art combines English and Spanish gang letters and the letter forms of Hebrew, Arabic and other alphabets into haunting paintings of calligraphic letters bleeding into one another, los