In 2014, the Colorado Historic Records Advisory Board (CHRAB) awarded DPL's Western History/Genealogy department (WH/G) a grant to digitize rare 8mm and 16mm films from our audio visual collection. The resulting digitized film footage, consisting of ten films from two collections, is now available to researchers for the first time to view on YouTube.
Seven of the ten films digitized come from the “Newc” Eldredge Papers (TMD23). These films, created by various 10th Mountain Division soldiers, depict skiing and drills at Camp Hale, Colorado in 1943, where the division trained for mountain/winter warfare before its deployment to Italy in 1945 (click on the links below to view the films):
- Camp Hale by Clyde Bresee (8mm, color)
- Camp Hale by Herschel Hardisty (8mm, color)
- Camp Hale; Aspen skiing; muleskinning by Tony Hyde (8mm, color)
- Camp Hale barracks; ski parade (FF6) by Winston Pote (16mm, b/w)
- Camp Hale (FF7) by Winston Pote (8mm, b/w)
- Camp Hale (FF9) by Winston Pote (16mm, color)
- Camp Hale (FF11) by Winston Pote (16mm, color)
The other three digitized films are promotional motion pictures from the Denver Chamber of Commerce Records (WH1216) and show Denver and Colorado footage from the 1940's and 1960's:
Why are these films significant? We think they’re valuable for many reasons.
In particular, the Camp Hale footage provides a glimpse into the life of a WWII soldier, and it shows the network of barracks that was Camp Hale. Since the camp was dismantled shortly after the war, today, you can only “visit” Camp Hale in film. Moving images of Denver and Colorado from the mid-20th century can be hard to find too, so we were pleased to discover film footage of Denver and across Colorado showing a much smaller downtown skyline, quieter mountain highways, and scenes from the Denver Municipal and Stapleton Airports, which make a stark comparison to DIA today.
~This project was supported in part by an award from the Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives Records Administration.~