Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino Research Guide

Para leer esta guía en español, haga clic aquí.

The collective memory of the Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino communities in Denver and Colorado is important to students and researchers seeking to understand the social, political, and historical fabric of our region. The Special Collections and Archives Department has a rich collection that highlights the lives of activists, politicians, artists, and civic leaders. 

The library has over 70 manuscript and photograph collections containing original correspondence, scrapbooks, founding documents, meeting minutes, every type of historical photographic format, and much more. The Library’s Hispanic Acquisitions Committee, founded by community leader Lena Archuleta, played an invaluable role in acquiring these collections. Today, the Library’s Community Acquisitions Committee continues this work.

The department also features a genealogy collection with resources on families from across Mexico, the U.S. Southwest, and beyond. Highlights include church records, parish registers, cemetery resources, Spanish and Mexican censuses of New Mexico, and land grant materials from New Mexico and Colorado. 

In addition, the department’s collections include published books (including the working reference library of LARASA, totaling more than 1500 titles), journals, and artwork documenting the historical and contemporary experiences of the Chicano, Latino, and Hispanic people in Denver, Colorado, and the West. The library also boasts Colorado’s only complete collection of the Spanish, Mexican, and Territorial Archives of New Mexico on 263 rolls of microfilm under one roof.

Note that items in the collection may be in English, Spanish, or both. Learn more about donating materials in our Donate Guide.


Research Tools & Collections:

Library Catalog

Searches books, serials, maps, manuscript and photo collections, oral histories, and art collections.

Archives Finding Aids

Finding Aids provide detailed information on papers and materials in the archival collections. This tool searches the full-text descriptions of these collection guides, often identifying specific items or folders within the larger collection.

Digital Collections

Contains a selection of photographs, maps, posters, architectural drawings, indexes, individual documents, and other collection materials from the Special Collections and Archives Department and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library.


Sample Subject Headings:

These are examples of Library of Congress subject headings that have been used in our library catalog to describe materials related to the Chicano/Hispanic/Latino community. You may wish to try customizing them to the persons or places you are researching when you search our catalog.

  • Cemeteries -- Colorado – (name of county) County
  • Chicano movement
  • Church records and registers -- Colorado -- Conejos.
  • Hispanic American women.
  • Hispanic Americans -- Colorado 
  • Hispanic Americans -- Colorado -- Genealogy.
  • Land grants -- Colorado -- History.
  • Latin Americans – United States
  • Mexican Americans
  • Pueblo County (Colo.) -- Genealogy
  • Registers of births, etc. -- Colorado -- Las Animas County.

Search results for various topics:


Manuscript and Photograph Collections:

We hold more than 70 collections containing the papers and photos of influential Chicano, Hispanic, and Latino people from around Colorado and the western United States. A sampling of some of these collections includes:


Digitized materials




Genealogy & Land Grant Resources

The Special Collections and Archives Department has a bilingual genealogy librarian on staff whose specialty is Hispanic and Southwest genealogy. If you would like assistance with your research in English or Spanish, contact for more information.

DPL Blog Series



Maps (a sampling of selected maps)



(includes Lena Archuleta, Casimiro Barela, Tim Flores, Magdalena Gallegos, Lorraine Granado, Luis Rovira, and Francisco ‘Paco’ Sánchez)


~ A big thank you to my colleagues Lupita Ramos for translating this guide and to Nicolás Cabrera for consulting! ~