UCB Libraries


CU Boulder & Local Area Genealogical Resources

This page was Compiled by

Deborah Hollis, Associate Prof./Head of Special Collection

Phone: 303.492.8834, email: govpubs@colorado.edu


The University Libraries at CU Boulder does not have an organized genealogical collection but does own research materials that can be valuable in genealogical research. This guide highlights the library departments that you might consider visiting for family history research. Most materials in the main book stacks circulate to Colorado residents but note that special formats/materials in certain departments do not. Check with each department library for details. Remember to bring money/change to make photocopies.

This Web site also highlights Front Range collections for family history research as well as local and low cost classes or workshops for the beginning and advanced genealogist.



CU Boulder Resources

Front Range Resources

Human Resources

Web Resources

Evaluating Web Sites

Family Photograph Albums


CU Boulder Resources Tips/Collection notes Location and hours
Chinook online library catalog Keep in mind that this is an incomplete database. Many historic materials do not have bibliographic records in Chinook. Check with each department.

Try a subject search for "genealogy" or a word search for "genealogical."


If you're just getting started look for a beginner's guide, e.g. A Student's Guide to German American Genealogy by Gregory Robl, E184.G3 R65 1996
Archives open to the public.
  • Many holdings not in Chinook.
  • Nothing in this department circulates.
  • Boulder & CO census
  • Telephone directories
  • CU yearbooks
  • Has the 1870 Colorado Territory census index. but Gov Pubs has the census microfilm

Basement of Norlin Library,


Phone number: 303.492.7242 http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/archives/index.htm


Government Information Library
  • Most pre-1976 federal documents are NOT in Chinook.
  • Records for many historic state publications are not found in Chinook, with the exception of genealogical publications identified and cataloged using a LSCA grant in 1997.
  • For Census genealogical information, check out the library guide.
  • some military registers
  • Blue Book
  • Naturalization Records created by the U.S. District Courts in Colorado, 1877 - 1952 (79 reels of microfilm)
  • Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, 1903 - 1945 (100 reels)
  • Spanish Archives of New Mexico (23 reels)
3rd Floor Norlin Library.

Hours available from web site.
Map Library

  • Note that many holdings are not reflected in Chinook
  • See their Web page for recommended Web sites
Some useful materials to consider:
  • Army Map Service (AMS) maps for Europe (e.g. Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Yugoslavia) and Japan just to name a few.
  • Map Index to Topographic Quadrangles of the United States, 1882-1940, call#: GA 405 M64 1986 . (CU owns the maps covered by this index.)
  • USGS Geologic Atlas, call#: I19.5:
  • British Ordnance Surveys
  • Columbia Gazetteer of the World, call#: G103.5 C65 1998
  • Gazetteer of (country): names approved by the United States Board on Geographic Names, D5.319:
  • Colorado maps
  • Colorado plat maps (1880's - 1930's)
  • Historic Urban Plans reproductions of American city maps
  • International city maps (15th - 19th centuries)

Located in the new Benson Earth Sciences building. Enter the Earth Sciences Library on the first floor on the southwest side. Take the elevator or stairs to the lower level.

Phone: 303.492.7578. Assistance available

Visit the web site for hours.
Research and Instruction Department

Located on the first floor of Norlin Library.

Visit the web site for hours.


Highly recommended:

A Genealogist's Guide to Norlin Library, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado compiled by Mary Chalfant Ormsbee, call number Z5313.U5 O76 1988.

It's in a loose-leaf binder located in the Reference Stacks. The work was sponsored by the Boulder Genealogical Society and its 160 pages contain useful introductions to the Library and its relevant collections, as well as an extensive annotated bibliography of genealogical resources found in Norlin. Though somewhat dated now (1988), it is still very useful.

British researchers should check out the 3 volume reference work entitled, Genealogical research in England and Wales by David E. Gardner and Frank Smith. Call number CS414 .G3.
Center for British Studies

Be sure to check out the Media Library's holdings for British materials such as Early English Books (1475 - 1700), early newspapers, and women's journals.

Materials for the Center are scattered throughout Norlin Library in various department libraries. See the finding guide for more information. Some church records for Essex, Cheshire, Hereford, and Wiltshire counties. Some English Record Societies material in main book stacks.

Finding Guides to the British Studies Collections in the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries

Hard copy of the Finding Guide available in the Central Reference Dept. and Government Information Library.

Possible Obstacles    
Classification systems Materials in various library departments are classified and organized in different systems. Within e.g. government publications, federal and state documents use different classification systems. If you're confused be sure to check with staff at the reference desk in each department.

Various systems include the

  • Library of Congress (LC) classification system [Main stacks]
  • Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) for US federal publications [Gov Pubs]
  • Swank/Jackson system for publications from states other than Colorado. [Gov Pubs]
Dates/calendar With regard to British materials, "until January 1, 1752 the year began on the 25th of March, the Feast of the Annunciation, so that before that date any dates in January, February and in March up to 24th came after December." Source: Tracing Your British Ancestors: A Guide to Genealogical Sources, by Gerald Hamilton-Edwards, Walker and Company: New York, 1967, p. 43. Available for circulation at Norlin Library, call number, CS9 .H27 1967.
Format of research material Microfilm, microfiche, microcard and hard copy. Available for use in the library only. Microfiche & film reader/printers available. Copy cards can be purchased for use with this equipment. British government documents (hard copy & film) do not circulate and are not available for interlibrary loan.
Holdings information not in Chinook. Electronic records for many >historic materials are not reflected in the online catalog. You will need to visit each library to check with staff about historic materials. Each department has a shelf list (paper record) for these items. For example pre-1989 British government publications are not in Chinook.
Legibility Handwriting may be faint or illegible in microfilm reproductions. This is true of early US Census schedules.
Language For example: early British church records can be in Latin Many records were written in Latin up to 1733. Then the official rule became that legal documents would be written in English.
Location Genealogical materials at CU are scattered and not centrally located since there is no organized genealogy collection at the University Libraries. Re: British materials see the Finding Guide.
Parking on campus is costly during the week. Highly recommended -- park at the Crossroads Mall in Boulder and take the Hop or Skip to campus. The bus stops right in front of Norlin and the Earth Science library. Parking is best in the evenings or on weekends. Evening fees are less than during the week day. Keep in mind home football games during the fall semester.