Western History & Genealogy Blog

Western History Collection

Ferril Knew Them All

Ferril Knew Them All

In her oral history (OH193), Anne Ferril Folsom said that, in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the word was out that when traveling from coast to coast, the best place for a stopover was the Ferril hous

Ferril loved to fish.

Ferril loved to fish.

Thomas Hornsby Ferril inherited his love for fishing.

John MacHarg, his grandfather, owned a sporting goods equipment store in Rome, New York in the nineteenth century.  He specialized in manufacturing fly fishing equipment which he happily teste

Sesquicentennial! Happy 150th Colorado Territory!

Cover of Eugene H. Berwanger's The rise of the Centennial State

Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. How will you mark the occasion? How about with some history?

Susan Schulten, associate professor of history at the University of Denver, was interviewed last week about the&n

The Dandiest Don

Cover of James W. Johnson's The Dandy Dons.

Earlier this week, Bill Russell, celebrated basketball player, coach, commentator and activist, was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award presented by the United States. While many might associate Russell with Boston, and his long tenure with the Celtics, his collegiate career and activism began in the West with the University of San Francisco Dons.

Stories about Russell's life and his collegiate career appeared in many newspapers, including

New Books in Western History (2.15.11)

Cover of Douglas Brinkley's The Quiet World

Recent weeks have seen reviews of new works on the preservation of Alaska's wilderness, on the larger circumpolar world of the Arctic, and excerpts from a new book on the urban centers of the Great Basin and a memoir of Western wolf management.

Following on his voluminous work on Theodore Roosevelt, David Brinkley offers the second in his series of conservation histories: The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960<

David Taylor's The Line

David Taylor's The Line (44-page accordion booklet accompanying his Working

Sometimes a book isn't just notable for its cover -- it's also a compelling object in itself. So it is with a 44-page accordion booklet entitled The Line accompanying David Taylor's larger photoessay entitled Working the Line.

Taylor's collection of photographs from the U.S.-Mexico border includes the accordion-page supplement, pictured above on one of our low-rise shelves in the Western History/Genealogy Department.

Civil Rights in the American West

Last week Denver Public Library’s David Johnson offered an eloquent reading of the “I Have a Dream” speech, which inspired me to write about the sometimes neglected role of the West in the history of American civil liberties, and, on the eve of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, to offer some suggestions from the many recent books on civil rights in the American West.

The struggle for civil liberties was neither confined to the South, nor exclusively to the period of t

Songs to Convert Rocky Flats

Songs to Convert Rocky Flats
Songs to Convert Rocky Flats
Songs to Convert Rocky Flats

This quirky little songbook was published in 1979 by the Rocky Flats Action Group and contains gems such as “It’s the Nukes that Must Go and Not Me,” “It Could Be a Wonderful World,” “Nuclear Power Blues,” and, my personal favorite, “There’s a Bomb Plant on the Hillside” (sung to the tune of “Little Boxes”).

The songs were intended to be sung at rallies, meetings, marches, and demonstrations in order to "make us feel stronger, part of the bigger movement of people eve

Brand-New Central Computer Center


Have you visited the busy new computer center on the fourth floor of the Central Branch of the Denver Public Library? Computers in libraries did not happen by chance.

Presentation: Chatfield Story

Chatfield Story cover

The Authors of Chatfield Story will be at the Denver Public Library to discuss their book about Civil War Private, Edward L. Chatfield, of the 113 Illinois Regiment and his extended family for whom the road, park and dam are named. 

Central Library,  Conference Center, Level B2

Tuesday, September 28, 5:30 - 8 p.m.