Welcome to the Archives!
The Denver Public Library’s Archives contain over 6,000 collections of original papers, diaries, photographs, organizational and governmental records. These unpublished, primary source materials tell the story of many of the people who shaped Denver and the Rocky Mountain Region. Archives are where the deep, original research happens!
The library’s collecting areas include:
- Western History (particularly Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Region)
- Conservation (history of the American conservation movement in the U.S.)
- Tenth Mountain Division (history of the U.S. Army's "Ski Troops" of World War II, who trained in Colorado)
- African American Research Library collections (history of African Americans in Denver and the Rocky Mountain West)
You can browse and search within collections in the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library and in the Western History and Genealogy Department.
Finding aids describe what’s in a collection, connecting researchers with the right collection for their area of interest. Most collections are not digitized, so you’ll probably want to come to the library to review collections in-depth.
Within your finding aid search results, note the container number (box or folio, etc.) of materials that look promising for your research. You’ll want to bring this information when you visit the library so we can order the specific material you need.
Contact us via email if you have a more detailed question about archival collections. It is usually necessary (and fun) to make a visit to the archives in person.
You won’t need to make an appointment in advance of your visit, and like everything the Denver Public Library offers, collections are open to everyone. Our materials are stored onsite, and it usually takes us 10-15 minutes to bring the item/s you requested into the Mullen Manuscript Room. Check out our video about visiting the archives in person.
Plan to stay for a while! Archival research takes time. There is metered parking in the neighborhood and in nearby parking lots and garages. Or, save some money and stress - DPL is along many bus routes and offers bicycle parking at both entrances. Archival collections are accessible any time the Central Library is open.
Search the Denver Public Library Catalog