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Research Tools A-Z

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Use the Name Lookup Index to determine if a person was a member of the 10th Mountain Division, and the company or Regiment with which he served.

Schedules of population, agriculture, manufacturers and mortality for the 1885 Colorado State Census.

The Denver Directory of 1887 arranged alphabetically by name.

The Denver Directory of 1887 arranged by address.

Statistical Abstract of Denver in 1887 containing listings of the data by occupation, race, gender and employer.

Jasper King's 1933 aerial photographs mapped the City and County of Denver. The best way to view them is to use ESRI's website with transparency settings. 

Generally, Denver Mayors made an Inaugural Address upon being sworn into office. However, not all did so (or at least their message has not been found). The length of the Address varied from just two sentences to multiple pages of typed text. The Address shifted from the City Council’s meeting to separate public outdoor events.

Full-text of the Denver Post, the Denver Rocky Mountain News and hundreds of newspapers nationwide. Denver coverage from June 1989. Other papers' coverage varies.

Available in library or with library card

Index to historical coverage of the United States and Canada from pre-history to the present.

Available in library or with library card

Index to life insurance files of insured and beneficiaries 1901 to 1907. American Woodmen’s Life was founded in Denver, Colorado in 1901 as a Fraternal Benefit Society established to provide life insurance for the “un-insurable” Black Community. The register shows in chronological order the name of the insured, “camp and state” of residence, age, name of beneficiary or beneficiaries, and their relationship to the insured. States covered in this first ledger include Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indian Territory [Oklahoma], Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington, D.C. This register represents the first of 40 ledgers. The company went out of business in 1993.

Search the full-text of more recent issues of the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News (from 1992 to 2009), the Boulder Daily Camera, the Fort Collins Coloradoan and selected other papers available to library cardholders outside the Library. 

Available in library or with library card

Search by name of deceased or keyword in a growing list of newspapers, including the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Coverage varies by newspaper, generally 1990 and later.

Available in library or with library card

Images of the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 forward, the American Genealogical Biographical Index, immigration lists and over 9,000 more databases. Available remotely with a library card while the library is closed.

Available in library or with library card

Index of Arapahoe County Coroner reports, including death and inquest dates.

Finding Aids provide detailed information on papers and materials in the archives collections. The Library's archives include material on the American West, particularly Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region; on the twentieth-century environmental conservation movement in the United States; and on the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division of World War II. In addition, the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library archives provide important documents regarding the integral role and history of the African Americans in the Rocky Mountain West. 

This document contains a transcription of a history and Auraria neighborhood description, presumably written by William N. Byers. It was first published in January and February 1860 editions of the Rocky Mountain News Weekly.

Historical map of Denver, Colorado. Included is a listing of all Additions and Subdivisions until the year 1905.

Index to biographical information on people from all time periods, geographical locations, and fields of endeavor.

Available in library or with library card

List of the 105 prints and title page from the Birds of America from Original Drawings from John James Audubon. This is the reissued or partial edition from 1860. Some of the plates in this addition are printed together on one page instead of individually. The original edition printed between 1827-1838 contained 435 prints.  

Minus Collections usually consist of one folder only.

Lists newspapers and academic journals in print and on microfilm in the research archives.

Calvary Cemetery Listings are an index to lot purchases in Denver’s first Roman Catholic Cemetery from 
1889 to 1893.

October 1988-current

Available in library or with library card

Churches listed by denomination for the years 1859, 1866, 1873, 1875, 1880, 1885, 1890, 1900,  1905, 1910, 1916, 1920, 1925, 1930 and 1940.

Denver City Directories date from 1873 and are arranged by name of resident or business name. Many also list occupations. Denver Householder Directories date from 1924 and are arranged by address and show owners, residents, and business names.

Meeting minutes from the Denver City Council meetings, 1850-1876. 

Selected Print Sources Available to the Researcher in the Western History and Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library.

List of Colorado veterans who served in the United States on land or sea during the Civil War.

Index of pioneers taken from Annals of Clear Creek County, Colorado by J. S. Randall. Listing includes the pioneer's name, place and year of birth, residence or place and date of death.

An index to biographical newspaper clippings available at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

The clipping files are a large collection of articles of local interest which have been gathered from a variety of newspapers. The articles range in date from the early 1900's to the present. They are available for use on-site in the Library. The subject heading of Biography includes a list of the clippings of notables and lesser known persons.

The clipping files are a large collection of articles of local interest which have been gathered from a variety of newspapers. The articles range in date from the early 1900's to the present. They are available for use on-site in the Library. The subject heading of Denver includes a list of the clippings of local history, events, festivals, clubs, organizations, associations and the like.

The clipping files are a large collection of articles of local interest which have been gathered from a variety of newspapers. The articles range in date from the early 1900's to the present. They are available for use on-site in the Library.

An index to obituary newspaper clippings available at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

An index to newspaper clippings by subject available at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.

The clipping files are a large collection of articles of local interest which have been gathered from a variety of newspapers. The articles range in date from the early 1900's to the present. They are available for use on-site in the Library. The subject heading of Towns includes a list of Colorado town, city, community and county clippings.

List of Colorado voters, boundaries, and poll locations in the 1861 territorial election.

A directory of prospector arrivals, removals, deaths, marriages, children, property, mines, and ranches with names of old towns, mining camps, gulches, mountains, rivers, creeks, and other matters relating to the setting of their lives in the Pikes Peak Region.

The Colorado Book Review comprises a growing collection of book reviews of non-fiction books about Colorado. In many cases these are the only reviews available for the titles they cover. These reviews (as well as the Center's resource guides) can be browsed in our digital library. You can also view just 2020 reviews or 2019 reviews.


Colorado Chronology – a guide to its use by Roger L. Dudley

This is a chronology of events related to Colorado, its people, events, and growth. It will guide you to other sources of information. Entries have been arranged chronologically, and are searchable.

Less is more when searching. When searching for when a fire occurred search on “fire,” not “housefire” or “grassfire” to eliminate fewer items. The same is true of searching for a person. Usually searching on only a last name will give you better results. Use of initials was very common, so adding a first name or middle initial may or may not lead you to all the information about a particular individual. For example, William Newton Byers went by William N., and W.N. Byers, but it’s not always the name someone went by, but how others referred to them.

The intent of this work is to provide you with various sources to which you can refer. The dates may differ and no effort has been made to determine the “correct” date – only to give you the range of sources to check for yourself. Use this resource as a starting place, not the final answer for your research.

The Colorado Directories Index is a compilation of the Denver Public Library’s collection of City Directories and Telephone Books that is organized by municipality and county; as well as by year. 

Descriptions of the mines, mills and the mining and milling corporations of Colorado. Arranged alphabetically by counties.

An index to Colorado divorces listing the names of the plaintiff and defendant, the county, date and court where the divorce was granted, and the docket number.

Great starting point to direct your research into the deep history of Hispanic influence in Colorado. In addition to regional treatments, this bibliography addresses Spanish exploration, Mexican land grants, art and architecture, and more -- providing a glimpse into the diverse experiences of Hispanics in the state, and a jumping off point for further research into all of these areas.

An index to over 456,000 marriages cross listing the names of both bride and groom, the date and place of marriage, and the license number.

Indexes of mining accidents occurring in Colorado from 1884 to 1981. Includes first and last name, county, name of mine, date of accident, and type of accident.

From the earliest days to ghost towns, this partially annotated guide helps you begin any research into Colorado's rich history of mineral extraction. Chapters devote space to regional issues, and to the important roles played by technology, unions, women, and minorities.

Short bibliography intended as a starting point for further research into topics relating to Native Americans in Colorado. Topics covered include treaties, wars, migrations, and water and land deals in the 20th century.

This is a list of recent non-fiction titles about all aspects of Colorado, compiled by the Center for Colorado Studies at Denver Public Library and updated several times per year. If you know of a title that should be here but is not, please contact Tom Noel (

Derived from seven reels of microfilm held by the Genealogy Collection, this index covers many non-Denver deaths for the years 1934-1963. The index and the microfilm are neither exhaustive nor all-encompassing.

Statewide index of approximately 50,000 non-Denver obituaries mostly from the 1970s through 1990. Researchers may request a copy of the full-text obituary through the Western History and Genealogy Department.

A Genealogical & Historical Guide to Colorado Sites.

Henrietta Bromwell, local historian and genealogist, indexed local, county and regional Colorado histories, newspapers, magazines and early land records from 1859-1933. Around 31,000 entries over 4 volumes and 2 supplements provides information on Coloradans from a wide spectrum of society. This PDF contains the original 4-volume set, but not the appendices.

Index of funeral notices, obituaries, and news articles from the leading weekly newspaper serving the African American community from 1904 to 1954.

Listed by name, residence, duty/license/article, month/year, frame number, division number, and microfilm roll number.

Location of the burial place of each fallen soldier given.

Index to draft registration cards on microfilm.

Index to draft registration cards on microfilm.

Position in list of names Indicates the probability of immediate service in army.

List of burials at Crown Hill Cemetery from 1908-1950.

Naturalizations created in the Denver and Pueblo, Colorado, including:

  • Federal District Courts. Declaration of Intentions, 1877 - 1952
  • Denver, Colorado. Naturalizations, 1906 - 1950
  • Pueblo, Colorado. Declarations of Intentions, 1906 - 1949
  • Pueblo, Colorado. Naturalizations, 1912 - 1949
  • Pueblo, Colorado Soldier's Petition for Naturalization, 1918 - 1928

This index references microfilm reels available in the Western History and Genealogy Department: Naturalization records created by the United States District courts in Colorado, 1877-1952 [microform].

Historical background and a list of current cemeteries.

The Master Property Record cards show the chain of ownership of Denver property by Parcel Number, from the late 1950s to the early 1980s.  The Parcel Number can be found on the Denver Assessor’s Office Real Property Search website. Try searching them by address or parcel number. If you have trouble finding the card online, please see our tutorial or ask for assistance at the Western History and Genealogy Reference Desk.

The Assessor Records provide an index to City of Denver Grantor/Grantee information and can give you a chain of ownership of Denver property. The Assessor Volumes cover the time period from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s. Earlier records are on microfilm and more recent records are on cards arranged by Parcel Number.

Transcriptions and indexes of building permits for the City of Denver.

Denver City Directories date from 1873 and are arranged by name of resident or business name. Many also list occupations.

Denver Grantor Grantee Records

The Grantor Grantee deed books are the legal documentation concerning property transfers. These may give additional information about the property transfer.

1859 - 1860: Grantee and Grantor

1859 - 1861:  Grantee

1861 - 1867: Grantee Book 1, Grantee Book 2 and Grantor

1867 - 1868: Grantee and Grantor

1870 - 1872: Grantee and Grantor

1872 - 1874: Grantee and Grantor

1874 - 1875: Grantee and Grantor

1875 - 1877: Grantee and Grantor

1877 - 1878: Grantee and Grantor

1880 - 1881: Grantee and Grantor Book 1, Grantor Book 2

1881 May - Dec.: Grantee and Grantor

1882 Jan. - Sept.: Grantee and Grantor

1882 Oct. - 1883 June: Grantee and Grantor

1883 July - Dec.: Grantee and Grantor

1884: Grantee and Grantor

Denver Householder Directories date from 1924 and are arranged by address and show owners, residents, and business names.

An index to Denver marriages cross listing the names of both bride and groom, the license number, and the licence numbers and dates covered in the volume.

Use the Assessment Index Map to help understand the parcel card numbering system. The Assessment Index Map divides the City and County of Denver into 14 map areas. On the map are instructions on how to locate a map area by parcel/schedule number. 

A listing of Denver Mayor's speeches, Inaugural and State of the City, 1859-2019.

Published by the City and County of Denver from 1909 until 1931 the Denver Municipal Facts contains a wealth of general information about the City of Denver, from politics and elections to sewer lines and public health.

Denver Obituary Project

Index of obituaries and funeral notices that appeared in the Denver Post or Rocky Mountain News: 1913, 1914, 1915-1919, 1920-1924, 1925-1929, 1930-1934, 1935-1939, 1940-1944, 1945-1949, 1950-1954, 1955-1959, 1960-1964, 1965-1969, 1970-1974, 1975-1979, 1980-1984, 1985-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2004, 2005-2009, 2010-2014, 2015, 2016. 2016 is our last year of indexing. Obituaries after 2016 are available with a library card from America's Obituaries and Death Notices.

If a representative's request for papers pertaining to an organization or group is accepted, all names of persons will be redacted unless the Library receives the Affidavit of Release (Form 2.3.6) from each individual stating that they give permission to the Denver Public Library to release their names. All other names will be redacted.

Declaración jurada de exoneración de responsabilidad y petición de copias de archivos de inteligencia del Departamento de Policía de Denver.

Requests for Police Department Intelligence records pertaining to a group or organization require an Affidavit of Representation including notarization. The representative is required to attest to the fact he or she is an authorized representative of the group or organization. The signature on the form must be witnessed and attested to by a notary public.

To request records pertaining to an individual, customers must fill out this application and present a legally acceptable photo identification card that includes birth date, which will be copied and attached to the application. Please allow 30 days for response/certified letter.

Declaración jurada de representación para solicitar copias de los archivos de inteligencia del departamento de policía de Denver.

Indexed list of residents displaced during the development of the Auraria campus. Compiled by Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA).

The names of the men and women from Denver who lost their lives during WWI. List taken from the article, “Hail, Heroes! Hail!” which appeared in the Denver Post, November 11, 1920.

Contains a selection of photographs, maps, broadsides, architectural drawings and other documents from the collections of the Western History/Genealogy Department.

Browse PDF images of New York Times and Wall Street Journal issues from January 2008 to two months ago. Browse by newspaper title and exact date. Use New York Times Current or Wall Street Journal Current to search by topic.

Available in library or with library card

An index to Douglas County marriages listing the names of the bride and groom, the license number, the date of application and the date of marriage.

Use this form to request Voter Registration Records from the City and County of Denver Clerk and Recorder.

The Fairmount Sexton Records 1891–1953 are arranged in rough “alphabetical order” by age, sex, race, date of burial, and other information.

Recorded are the names of the men and women from Denver who lost their lives in service to their country during the European War, 1914-1918.

Index to registers by this mortuary. Registers are available for in library use only and require staff retrieval.

A Directory of their arrivals, removals, deaths, marriages, children, property, mines, and ranches, with names of old towns, mining camps, gulches, mountains, rivers, creeks, and other matters relating to the setting of their lives in the Pike's Peak Region.

"Lest We Forget
The ox team; the covered wagon; the long trek; the hair-breadth escape from hostile Indians; the log house; the forts for defence [sic]; the many privations, these brief personal sketches will remind us of our obligation to the Old Pioneer"

Index and description of the records of the Society of Colorado Pioneers.

Donald E. Oehlerts prepared this convenient reference tool listing newspapers published in Colorado from 1859-1963, and which Colorado institutions held copies of these as of the early 1960s.

The Gunnison News-Champion printed many articles between 1935 and 1945 of historical interest in Gunnison County. This work is a transcription of many of these articles.

The material has been divided into 3 sections: 1. People; 2. Pioneer organizations and meetings with lists of those who attended; and 3. Articles of early history of the area including towns, explorers, Indians, mines and quarries, smelters, ranches and railroads.

History Colorado’s Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (OAHP) and the Creating Communities Project have combined resources to highlight different historic buildings within the boundaries of specific neighborhoods. These buildings are just a small sample of the historic buildings located throughout the Denver area.

A history of Denver, Denver Methodism and The University of Denver (Colorado Seminary) divided into four sections: Section I (1876-1884), Section II (1884-1890), Section III (1890-1900), and Section IV (1900-1912). Transcribed by Ruth Moore.

Index to registers of burial by this mortuary. Registers are available for in library use only and require staff retrieval.

Colorado Mining Directory includes mine name, county and page. 

Search WorldCat to find items Denver Public Library does not own and and place a request. You can also submit a purchase suggestion by filling out a blank request form.

The index is composed of a number of columns of information, most taken directly from the IJN obituary, but many also supplemented from different sources. Associated cemetery (burial) information is also included when that information could be identified 
in the obituary.

Index to residents of the old ladies home from 1897 to 1980.

Search the Denver Public Library Catalog

Search or browse the full text of these major newspapers

  • New York Times, June 1980-current
  • New York Times Historical, 1851-2013
  • Wall Street Journal, January 1984-current
  • Chicago Tribune, January 1985-current
  • Christian Science Monitor, October 1988-current
  • Los Angeles Times, January 1985-current
  • Washington Post, January 1987-current
Available in library or with library card

Summary of the map collection development guidelines followed by the Western History and Genealogy Department.

Covering the period from 1869-1889, this document attempts to provide a comprehensive list of individual sheet maps produced by the U.S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, in addition to the annual and final reports, and other compilations and materials. Also includes links to digitized historic maps and documents, major archival resources, and a summary of those sheets held by Denver Public Library.

The Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office Denver County marriage license applications from 1903-2003 are housed at the Denver Public Library.  All of these records are restricted for privacy by Colorado state law (C.R.S. 24-72) and require a photo ID and proof of relationship to those named in the record for access.

Please fill out the Request Form for Records of the Clerk and Recorder of the City and County of Denver.


To find marriage dates & license numbers, check the resources below:

Colorado Marriages Index 1858-1939

Denver Marriages 1940-1974

MyHeritage (Search for marriages from 1970s - present)

In library only

Index lists name, residence, arrival date, from which state, date born, and date died. 

Membership roster as well as past commanders, 1899-1930. Digitization of these directories is ongoing, and they will be made available as they are completed.

Names of the mine owners/operators, mine or mill name, mining company name, page, county, and type of mine (metalliferous or coal).

Title of report, years, call numbers and more.

Personal information, dates of persons killed or injured, mine and more.

Mine name and location, date of disaster, number of deaths and more.

Personal information and dates of persons killed, mine name and location, cause of death and more.

Index to Henderson, Hollister, and Canfield mining histories. Names of mines, mining companies, mining districts, lodes, veins, claims, and tunnels are indexed with page number.

Explore the lives of your ancestors and discover your family's history.

Available in library or with library card

List of members of the Grand Army of the Republic from Nebraska, compiled by Gerald Sherard. Includes name, unit and GAR Post if available for the entire state, but does not include all names, being a partial extract of some records.

New York Times full text from June 1980-current. Search by keyword or browse by date.

Available in library or with library card

Contains full-text and images in PDF format of the New York Times from 1851 to three years before current year.

Available in library or with library card

This book is a guide to the identification and dating of all the known types of black and white 19th century photographs on all bases. It includes common commercial types as well as rarities and home-made varieties. The aim was to make this a self- sufficient reference for such readers as educators, students, historians, collectors, museums, photographers, antique dealers, and individuals seeking to identify and date family photographs.​

A directory of places in Colorado. Includes town/location name, county, type, notes, whether in the 1949 and/or 1996 atlas, seat, section/township/range, and reference. 

Dos and Don'ts for handling books. With pictures!

Lists the employee’s name, occupation, birth date, birthplace, railroad, and archive box number containing the employee record, file number, and remarks. Publication is marked as Volume III, though it combines the information from Volumes 1-3 into one aggregated list. More detailed versions of these records are housed at the Colorado Railroad Museum Library.

List of some 1400 names of pioneers who arrived in Colorado prior to February 26, 1861. Names organized alphabetically and include short biograhpies.

Members of the Grand Army of the Republic from Colorado who were buried in the G.A.R. burial ground at Riverside Cemetery. Includes those buried and later removed from Calvary [Catholic], Hebrew, and Old City [Mount Prospect] cemeteries, in Denver.

Index to over 5240 burial records in Riverside cemetery.

The index includes date of burial, name of deceased, age, location of burial and some additional information.

The Robinson Atlas will help you to date the construction of a building and give you a picture of neighborhood development. These maps also show the legal description of your building, which is necessary for locating many historic building records.

The Rocky Mountain News Digital Collections contains 300,000+ born digital photographs published from the 1990s to 2009. These include images of the Broncos, Colorado Rockies and other profession sports teams; events such as the visit to Denver by Pope John Paul II; the Oklahoma City trial; as well as the Rocky’s Pulitzer Prize photos.

Index to registers of burial by Rogers and Nash Mortuary.

Historic maps of Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico from the late 19th to mid 20th centuries. These are useful for those who cannot physically access the printed maps, which include much more detail and are color-coded, or to view the underlying map beneath printed updates. Help

Available in library or with library card

This collection contains over 705 individual scores for a large variety of music for many different instruments and vocal parts. Dating from the 1890s into the 1960s, genres include cowboy ballads, movie theme songs, two-steps, foxtrots, polkas, tangos, waltzes, piano studies and rags, choral pieces, school marches, Christmas and religious music, Spanish, Mexican, Native American, and Hawaiian songs, military and patriotic pieces, romantic classics and parlor music. Many titles are about Colorado and Denver, and many other western states are included.

Published in 1901, Smiley’s History of Denver was originally compiled for the Denver Times. Jerome Smiley’s book gives a very detailed early history of Denver and the region. Beginning with the development of local geological formations, Smiley takes the reader through prehistoric inhabitants, Spanish and French exploration of the area, fur traders and trappers, early settlers, the growth of Denver, and finally Denver’s prospects for the future.

Locate a death certificate, find an obituary, discover cemetery records, track down probate records.

An index to articles from the monthly publication of the pioneer society Sons of Colorado. The title of the publication was later changed to The Trail.

An index to obituaries of Colorado pioneers that appeared in the monthly publication of the pioneer society Sons of Colorado. The title of the publication was later changed to The Trail.

Index of articles including profiles and obituaries of pioneers that was published 1908-1929 by the Sons of Colorado.

An alphabetical list of folder titles in the Denver Public Library's Western History Photograph collection arranged by subject: People, States, Towns and Countries, General Subjects, Railroad Companies, Denver and miscellaneous visual materials. The Visual Materials index is a new addition covering previously unindexed resources from a collection of late 19th and early 20th century illustrations (mostly woodcuts) and photographs. The images in these folders have not yet been digitized and cataloged. 10th Mountain Division photographs previously in this index are now digitized and can be found by searching our digital collections.

Western History Subject Index (formerly the General Index) card file contains more than seven million entries on four million cards. Developed over the last century, it provides access to newspapers, local histories, biographical works, newsletters and journals.

The WHSI includes abbreviations to a wide variety of indexed sources. While the full title for the abbreviated title or work is sometimes easy to discern -- e.g., RMN for the Rocky Mountain News or DP for the Denver Post -- others are more obscure or refer to materials or collections whose designations or call numbers have since changed. To simplify use of the Index, these abbreviations have been linked to the catalog records for the indexed items. Users may then follow the hyperlink to the Denver Public Library's catalog for a full description of the item and its availability.

Western History and Genealogy's YouTube channel presents a welcoming introduction video to the department and how to do research here, numerous oral histories and other features highlighting some of our collections.

Index to World War I draft registration cards on microfilm.

Includes name, rank, cemetery and burial location of each fallen soldier. 

Names of men who were drafted for active service for World War I from Colorado counties, except Denver.

Listing of Colorado's war dead and those missing in action during World War II.

The Zion Baptist Church was founded on November 15, 1865. Zion's members have played sterling roles in our city, state, and nation. They have been ex-slaves, laborers, politicians, preachers, teachers, writers, musicians, artists, lawyers, doctors, activists, and many other folk. In many cases they have been the first to act upon and reach for opportunities that traditionally had been denied our people. This resource documents and celebrates the marriages and anniversaries of the members of the church both past and present.