Here in the Western History and Genealogy Department, we are no strangers to complex questions. One of our most frequent questions, however, has an easy answer.
"Are my kids allowed in the Western History Department?"
To that, the answer is an enthusiastic "YES!"
Don't be fooled into thinking that just because our collections are historic, our users have to be as well! Children, tweens, and teens are more than welcome. Of course, since so much of our collection is fragile and one-of-a-kind, we ask that visitors of all ages treat our material with a light touch and lots of respect.
If you're interested in finding out more about what we can offer a younger audience - read on!
We are happy to help you get started with your history project or homework. Our department specializes in Western History and Genealogy, meaning we are a great resource for all those local history assignments. Looking for old Denver newspapers, maps, or primary sources? We've got you covered!
Working on a family tree for a school project? We'll help you track down your ancestors using our genealogy databases and books.
Research Projects, National History Day, and Extended Essays
Does your International Baccalaureate Extended Essay, end of semester paper, or National History Day project have a Colorado or Western theme? Our librarians and archivists are here to help you find books, photographs, letters, newspaper articles and more on your topic. We can help find phenomenal primary and secondary sources for all levels of research - from elementary to high school and beyond.
Most topics don't need an appointment - but if you think you'll need extra assistance, contact us or call 720-865-1821 to set one up!
The Western History and Genealogy Department hosts field trips for students as young as preschool. Whether it is a trip related to an assignment, class theme, or just a general tour of all things Western History, we are here to make your visit to the Denver Public Library educational and rewarding. Contact us or call 720-865-1821 to set up a field trip (we do ask for at least 3 weeks advance notice, so be sure to plan ahead!). Can't make it to the library? Contact us about getting primary sources to use in your classroom - without needing to come in.
Whether you are a teacher, student, or parent of a 3rd to 5th grader working on a Colorado biography project, the Denver Public Library's Colorful Coloradans page can help you get started. Browse biographies of some of Colorado's most interesting people - with new biographies added all the time! Included are primary sources (and lots of photos) from the Western History collection, and suggestions for further research both in the library and on the web.
That's right, fun! The Western History Department (5th floor of the Central Library) is home to art, maps, and historic artifacts that can be enjoyed by people of all ages anytime the Central Library is open. We have rotating exhibits, many of which are accompanied by kid-friendly scavenger hunts or quizzes.
Our friends in the Children's Library have hosted storytime in our beautiful reading room, and Western History sponsors a Time Travel Trunk of old-timey activities that visits the entire Denver Public Library system.
We also participate in the Denver Public Library's annual Trick or Treat Street with performances, crafts, and giveaways throughout the department!
So if you've never made it into the Western History Department before, take this as our invitation for all ages to explore the many wonderful things we have to offer!