UCB Libraries

Chief Ouray & Otto Mears

Collections: Western Americana

The Archives was originally established in 1917 to collect manuscript material on the settlement and growth of Colorado. These materials include diaries and papers of Colorado `59ers, boomers and boosters, settlers, mining entrepreneurs, clubs, 19th century politicians, merchants, homesteaders, soldiers and promoters.


Diaries, journals and letters describe the overland journey to the Pikes Peak mining region while depicting the economic and social growth of Colorado Territory. Mining papers include company ledgers and files as well as the correspondence, journals, and records of early mine owners. Early voluntary organizations, churches, labor unions, and associations document the varied and complex organizational life which characterized early Colorado history. Family, business, transportation, and political papers of late 19th century lawyers, merchants, promoters, politicians, and women depict the state's early politics and economy. Military papers highlight early Indian policy and White attitudes toward Native Americans, and record military campaigns. Municipal and county records, when combined with the research papers of local genealogists and historians provide genealogical and demographic information regarding settlement patterns and social history.


Aside from manuscript materials, the Archives holds historical maps of varying types: railroad and trail maps, topographical maps, geological maps, mining maps, property maps, and Sanborn fire insurance maps. Also included are blueprints, architectural drawings and and a wide variety of posters. Photographic sources include portraits, landscapes and urban scenes dating from the 1880s. Among these are a variety of collections of photographs of mines, miners and mining towns in Colorado.

We hold the papers of The US Navy Japanese Language School Project located at the UCB from 1942-1946. These papers include JLS textbooks, WWII correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks and diaries.

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