Special Collections and Archives Remote Resources

With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders, we're taking this opportunity to highlight Special Collections and Archives resources that are available to you while our doors are closed. We have also included a national guide to online resources at many western history research centers and institutions throughout the nation. 

(And, since we can't be all business all the time, skip to the bottom for some fun diversions.)

Resources for Students and Teachers

Colorful Coloradans: These are biographies of important Coloradans—featuring digitized sources from the Special Collections and Archives collection—that provide young researchers with high quality, primary source material for their history projects. Ideal for 4th grade and up.

Denver Municipal Facts: 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.

Primary sources from the archives: Our Digital Collections contain primary sources ranging from art and photography to maps and letters. The collection is browsable as well as searchable, and contains materials relevant to most eras of Western history.

National Guide to Online Resource and Western History Research Collections: Links in the guide provide discovery tools as well as digital surrogates for primary sources. Please contact the institutions listed for more information and research help. 

Resources for Genealogists

Getting Started in Genealogy: A tutorial written by Special Collections and Archives in-house experts.

Guide to Denver Directories: Many early city directories are available online in the Library's Digital Collections and in the Ancestry Library Edition database.

Special Collections and Archives Department Newsletters:  The newsletter includes highlights of staff members, our most popular blogs, news about the archives and collections, historical information, and genealogy news. You can also sign up for our newsletter.

Resources for Building Histories

Building History Tutorial: A tutorial written by Special Collections and Archives in-house experts.

Early Building Permits: Most permits issued before 1915 did not show an address and must be searched by Legal Description. Many of these are missing or incomplete but may give names of original owners, builders or architects, and costs.

Master Property Records: These records are arranged by Parcel Number rather than Legal Description. The Parcel Number can be found on the Denver Assessor’s Office Real Property Search website. Try searching them in the Digital Collections by address or parcel number. If you have trouble finding the card online, please see our tutorial.

Denver Assessor Records Index Map: These provide an index to City of Denver Grantor/Grantee information and can give you a chain of ownership of Denver property. They cover the late 1880s through 1950s.

Neighborhood History Guides: Explore the unique history, stories, and images of some of Denver's iconic neighborhoods.

Resources for Fun

Online puzzles: For people of all ages. Try your hand at digital puzzles made from iconic images found in the Special Collections and Archives.

Denver Public Library, Special Collections and Archives Coloring Book 2019

Some of our most popular blog posts from the past several years, from ghosts to the wild west to collectibles:

Keep checking back. Resources will be added as needed during the course of this crisis.