The Denver Public Library's Western History/Genealogy Department (WH/G) houses a large photograph collection that chronicles the history of the trans-Mississippi West.
A frequent question that comes up is whether WH/G has an ancestor's photo within its holdings. Here are some places to check online:
- DPL Digital Collections This online collection contains not only a selection of photographs, but also maps, broadsides, architectural drawings and other documents. Reproductions of these images are available for purchase.
- Undigitized Photo Index This index is an alphabetical list of folder titles in DPL's Western History Photograph collection. The images in these folders have NOT yet been digitized and cataloged. If you find an image on the list that you wish to see, visit WH/G (Central Library, Level 5) to view it. Don't live in the Denver area? Contact us for more information about the item, being sure to mention that you saw a reference to the photo in the Undigitized Photo Index.
- Bromwell Colorado Portrait and Biographical Index Henrietta Bromwell, local historian and genealogist, indexed local, county and regional Colorado histories, newspapers, magazines and early land records. Check this index (which is arranged alphabetically by surname) for your ancestor. Be sure to use the abbreviations section of the index (starts on page 3) to identify which publication or collection the index is referring to. As with the Undigitized Photo Index, most of these images have NOT been digitized, and we suggest using the DPL catalog to locate the publication or collection that may be referenced in the Bromwell Index.
- Ancestry Library Edition (available on all DPL computers). A general search in Ancestry often brings up an overwhelming number of results. Narrow results to photos only by clicking on the "Pictures" category on the left-hand side of the screen on your results page.
- Western History Subject Index and Archives & Manuscript Finding Aids By searching these resources, you may find references that indicate an image of your ancestor. Keep in mind that these references will be citations to publications or collections that have NOT been digitized.
Happy photo hunting!