The History Colorado Center in Denver, TX provides public access to historic sites, cultural and heritage resources and educational programming in Colorado. History Colorado also supports tourism and historic preservation through educational programming and is a Smithsonian Affiliate.
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The purpose of the collection of the History Colorado Center is to understand the present of Colorado through the context of the past.
Archives- this collection includes manuscripts, books, maps, paper publications, indexes, blue prints, architectural drawings, oral histories, sound recordings, immigration documents and other archival materials that detail the history of Colorado. Most of these materials are found in the Stephen H. Hart Library and Research Center. Some of the earliest manuscripts date to 1830 with more than 30,000 books in the collection and maps of early 1880’s Colorado cities.
Photographs and Moving Images- The photography collection alone contains more than 1 million images that document the American west with an emphasis on Colorado from the 1840s through present day. There are early daguerreotypes, film negatives, and digital prints. Photographic art is included in this collection from 110 years of photography and Colorado history. The moving image collection is films from 1915-1990 that include releases by Colorado production companies, historic television footage, and other documentaries that have been released onto History Colorado’s YouTube Channel.
Artifacts- There are more than 12,000 years of human history catalogued in the artifacts collection at History Colorado. The collection can be researched through the library by appointed and also viewed on line. There are more than 200,000 artifacts total in the collection categorized by Art and Design, Culture and Community, and History. Some of the highlights include horse drawn buggies, firearms, textiles, art, paintings, gold, and furniture.
The Exhibits at the History Colorado Center are curated and rotated by museum staff to provide the community and visitors with a comprehensive history of Colorado. Details on current, past and future exhibits can be found on the History Colorado Center website. There are a few permanent exhibits however.
Living West- This permanent exhibit shows how the environment of Colorado helped to shape its history. Visitors will learn about the Mesa Verde, basket weaving, Black Sunday, draught, and mountain ecosystems.
Denver Diorama- Set up in the lobby, this diorama was originally built in the 1930’s and showcases a replica of Denver in the 1860’s. The public works project was restored and is exhibited in an art case for new generations.
Great Map and Time Machines- This Four-Story hall takes visitors back in time if they look down at the 40 by 60-foot map of Colorado that is made from precast tiles and is visible from outer space.
Destination Colorado- This 5,000-square foot exhibit shows visitors what the town of Keota was like in 1918, a High Plains settlement along the Quincy Rail Line.
Denver A to Z- This newer exhibit showcases the history of Denver, the Mile-High City, known for its art and pop culture icons.
Colorado Stories- This exhibit is community based and features 8 different galleries representing different groups of people that have called Colorado home from the indigenous people to the Chicano activists of the 1970’s.
Programs and Education
The History Colorado Center provides community programming for children and adults that enhances visitor’s experiences and education.
Tiny Library Concerts- local Colorado musicians perform in the research library as part of a concert series that strives to document the musical history of Colorado.
Lecture Series- lectures series are planned in advanced with details on the website. Historians and authors take part in leading discussions and lectures on Colorado history and stories about prominent figures from Colorado past.
Colorful Colorado Talks- These discussions are on a variety of topics from geology to history, climate, dinosaurs, the History Colorado Collections, and more. Programs are held on Monday afternoons and are one hour in length.
Tours and Treks- These guided tours for adult visitors leave the museum and tour places with cultural and historic significance such as Street car neighborhoods, South Mesa, Wineries, the arts district in Sterling and other attractive locations. There are also haunted treks available, Christmas Light Tours, and tours of historic homes and museums.
Program for Avocational Archaeological Certification- Participants 15 years old and up can apply to be accepted into this program that is certification outside of an academic degree program. The program is supervised by a board and state archaeologist.
Online Exhibits- There are interactive Colorado history exhibits and documentaries available online through the History Colorado website. Visitors to the online gateway can interact through blogs, playing games, and social media networks.
1200 Broadway, Denver, Colorado, 80203, Phone: 303-447-8679