Archives staff recently added a new collection: Colorado State Bureau of Child and Animal Protection Records (WH2392).
Most new manuscript collections come to the library as one donation, from a single source or donor. However, every once in a while archivists create new manuscript collections from within the library’s holdings. Recently, we assembled a collection of unique documents and flyers produced by the Colorado State Bureau of Child and Animal Protection. This organization, founded in 1901, was a statewide enforcer of schools’ responsibility to furnish physical exams and care for school children and to provide traveling law enforcement officers to investigate claims of abuse of children and animals.
These documents had resided for about a century in the library’s state and local Government Documents collection. Since none of the items was cataloged individually, we thought the materials would be more valuable and accessible to researchers if the single items were grouped together in a manuscript collection.
From today’s perspective, it is hard to imagine how an organization would group children and animal welfare into one mission. However, the records illustrate the early 20th-century movement to establish laws to protect both children and animals when neither had much legal protection from physical abuse or neglect before that time.
The Colorado State Bureau of Child and Animal Protection Records (WH2392) is open for research as are other collections in the Western History and Genealogy archive related to legal protections for children in Colorado, including Sadie M. Likens Papers (-M463) and Judge Benjamin Barr Lindsey Papers (WH219). Collections focused on animal welfare and protection include Morris Animal Welfare Agency Records (WH1275), Velma Johnston "Wild Horse Annie" Papers (CONS80), Alan J. Kania Papers (CONS219) and William Winter Papers (WH613).