Western History & Genealogy Blog

Zooming Tool for Researchers

How the zoom tool in our Digital Collections website helps researchers

Recently we’ve had the pleasure of a patron discovering the zoom capabilities of our new Digital Collections website. He gave us examples of how he used zoom to further his research. This shows how the zooming tool increased his knowledge and furthered his research. In his words, “The photograph is of the James F. Mathews/Isaac Gotthelf mansion at 2601 Champa St., Denver. There are only two existing photos of the property that we know about. The one you have and another in a private collection. Each has been able to provide important information, but the angle of the photo in your collection provided a difference perspective that has been very helpful to us. The original negative of the DPL photo, as you can see, was badly damaged, so it was very hard to pick out important details until the new digital archive was released. Below are examples of the additional “details” we were able to collect from the photo which was previously unrecognizable. The ability to “zoom” on the hi-res image provided volumes of new information to us. In historic preservation, restoration ends where hypothesis begins, so the ability to confirm questions we had will be invaluable to the quality of the restoration we are going to perform on this property. My hope is that we might create an interesting story about this to share with the preservation community, and that also reflects on the quality of the collection at Western History and all the hard work that has gone into improving the on-line archive.”

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Call Number



Five Points Denver F. F. King real estate 2601 Champa Street


Rocky Mountain Photo Company.


View of a house at 2601 Champa Street in the Five Points neighborhood of DenverColorado. The brick and stone Second Empirestyle house has a mansard roofbelt coursecovered porch, and octagonal towers.


[between 1920 and 1930?]


Condition: damage from original negative reproduced in print.; Formerly RMP663.; Title handwritten on back of print.;R7100258565

Physical Description

1 copy negative ; 10 x 13 cm. (4 x 5 in.); 1 photoprint ; 21 x 26 cm. (8 x 10 in.)


Denver (Colo.)--1920-1930. Five Points (Denver, Colo.)--1920-1930. Houses--Colorado--Denver--1920-1930.


Copyright restrictions applying to use or reproduction of this image available from the Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library.

Available for Purchase


Type of Material

Film negatives.; Photographic prints.; Imaged.; Image





We could tell that the west turret had a finial, but were not sure about the east turret. This detail confirms the existence of a missing finial and more details about its design.


We didn’t know if slate was used on the porch and conservatory structures. This detail confirms that the conservatory roof was slate




And this detail confirms the use of slate on the main porch (east elevation)



This detail confirms that the porch known to exist west of the conservatory was a “hood” rather than a traditional porch supported on posts.



And this detail from the photo permits us to restore the staircase associated with the hooded porch.



“Another detail that confirms for us that the main porch was constructed so that the posts closest to the building were free-standing, rather than engaged. We can also determine how far from the façade it was positioned because we can now see the exact number of balusters between it and the façade.

All this stuff may be “ho-hum” to the rest of the world, but to us, it is amazing stuff! Thanks again for providing a great digital archive.”



 Exectuive Director

 Colorado Preservation, Inc.