UCB Libraries


CU Boulder & Local Area Genealogical Resources

Compiled by Deborah Hollis, Associate. Prof./Head of Special Collections

 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 guide 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


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."



telnet libraries.colorado.edu

 If youre just getting started look for a beginners 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
  • A complete set of Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for Colorado
  • Has the 1870 Colorado Territory census index. but Gov Pubs has the census mircrofilm

Basement of Norlin Library, MWF 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed T&TH. No evening/weekend hours. Phone number: 303.492.7242


Government Information Library


  • Not all pre-1976 federal records are in Chinook.
  • Records for many historical state materials not in Chinook.



  • CO Soundex & census schedules (1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920)
  • some military registers
  • Blue Book
  • print copies of First Census of the U.S.
  • 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.

 During Fall & Spring semester:

M-F 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Sa. 1 5 p.m.

Su. 1 9 p.m.


Call for intersession hours. 303.492.8834

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 Gazetter 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

Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Be sure to call (303) 492-6133 and verify intersession hours.

Central Reference Department

Located on the first floor of Norlin Library.

Hours for reference service:

Su. 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., M-Th 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.,Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sa. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.



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, early newspapers, women's journals.

Materials for the Center are scattered throughout Norlin Library in various department libraries. See Deborah Hollis 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 Information, federal and state documents use different classification systems. If youre 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]

Format of research material

Microfilm, microfiche, microcard

Available for use in the library only. Microfiche & film reader/printers available. Copy cards can be purchased for use with this equipment.

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.


Handwriting may be faint or illegible in microfilm reproductions.

 This is true of early Census schedules.


For example: early British church records can be in Latin



Materials at CU are scattered and not centrally located.

Re: British materials see the Finding Guide




Front Range Resources


Location & phone number

Boulder Public Library - Carnegie Branch

Colorado history as well as local history. Reference tools and magazines for genealogical research in other states.


1125 Pine Street, Boulder, CO, 80302. 303.441.3110


[See human resources section for BGS volunteer hours.]

Colorado Historical Society

Colorado history. Call for information about workshops.

1300 Broadway, Denver, CO 80231


Hours: 10 am - 4:30 Tuesday - Saturday

Colorado State Archives

Vital records, naturalization records, court cases, school, military and corrections records.



1313 Sherman Street, Room 1B-20, Denver, CO 80203. (303)866-2358 or (303)866-2390. Call toll-free in Colorado only at 1-800-305-3442. M-F 9 - 4:30 p.m.

Email: archives@state.co.us

Denver Public Library - Western History and Genealogy Department


Remember that DPLs Government Documents & Business Library is a Patent depository.

A strong and well respected genealogical collection with many unique materials such as the Sanborn Fire insurance maps. Beginning guides available at no charge.

Full text patents can be photo copied.

Has some early military registers.

10 W. Fourteenth Ave. Pkwy.

Denver, CO 80204-2731 303.640.6291.


Hours: Mon., Tues., Wed., 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Thurs., Fri., Sat., 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sun., 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

LDS Family History Centers

Scattered throughout the state. Longmont and Louisville have FHC's.

http://www.genhomepage.com/FHC/Colorado.html and


Colorado Springs - Pikes Peak Library District

Family history sources

Hours of operation & phone numbers are listed on their Web page:


National Archives - Rocky Mountain Region

  • See human resources section of this guide for workshop details.

Census & Soundex for all states in microfilm.

Offers workshops in the spring and fall.

 Schedule will be set in April and classes held in May.



Building 48 - Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225-0307


 Hours: M,T,TH,F 7:30 - 3:45 p.m., W 7:30-4:45 p.m.


Human Resources


Workshops & expertise

Colorado's Genealogical Organizations

For example: Boulder Genealogical Society (BGS) holds monthly meetings with guest speakers on a variety of research issues/topics. Free and open to the public. BGS also sponsors beginning workshops.





Contact information for a variety of societies is available at this Web site.

Boulder Public Library (BPL) Carnegie Branch Library

Houses Boulder Genealogical Societys (BGS) Genealogy Collection.

 Can assist with research tips.

BGS volunteers available for assistance/consultation during the following hours:

M 2 - 4 p.m. & 7 - 9 p.m.

T 2 - 4 p.m.

W 10-12 p.m. & 2 - 4 p.m.

TH 2 - 4 p.m

F 2 - 4 p.m.

Sa 2 - 4 p.m.

Denver Public Library

Colorado Genealogical Society offers programs and classes held at DPL throughout the year.



This Web site lists scheduled classes. Usually held on Saturdays for a small fee.

National Archives Rocky Mountain Region. Workshops:

  • Basic Census Research
  • Federal land records
  • Military records
  • Naturalization records
  • American Indian research

Offers 1/2 day workshops in spring and fall for a small fee. Usually limited to 25 people.


 Call for schedule: 303.236.0817

 Figure out your Soundex code


Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

Annual conference offers lectures & workshops for a registration fee.


Speakers are usually professional genealogists, historians, librarians, etc.


National Genealogical Society (NGS)

Annual conference offers lectures & workshops for a registration fee.


Some recommended Web Resources



Adoption information from the

National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

The NAIC was "established by Congress in 1987 to provide professionals and the general public with easily accessible information on all aspects of adoption, including infant and intercountry adoption and the adoption of children with special needs." (from their Web site.)

Has state statute information.

Carrolls State Page

Locate information about various state archives. For example see Alabama Department of Archives and History. (Be sure to do an agency search and select Archives and History.)

Good way to identify state archival holdings long distance. Be sure to search at the county and local level for online public records information/databases.

Cyndis List

Great place for beginning genealogical web surfers


Colorado Marriage and Divorce Records

Includes Statewide Marriage Index (alpha by bride and groom) 1975-1996 and Statewide Divorce Index (alpha by surname) 1975-1994. Searchable.


Great Britain's Public Record Office

Homepage information for those interested in researching their British roots


Midnight at the Internet Café

A select list of recommended web sites.


Christine's Genealogy Website

African American Website


Hispanic Genealogical Society of New York

Information useful in Hispanic genealogical research.


Jewish Gen

Information useful in Jewish genealogy.


American Indian Family History Project -- Crow Census 1885, 1900, 1910, 1930

Nice example of family history projects and American Indian records.


Secret No More

Templates assist in writing a request.

Get the FBI file number for access to files made available from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. For example the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, AIM, Black Panther Party, various union leaders, etc.


Tapping Officials Secrets

Find out what the state statutes are with regard to accessing e.g. vital, student, or criminal records. Great reference tool.


General Land Office records


"GLO was established within the Treasury Dept. in 1812 to take charge of all survey and land title records." [from Web site.]

Instant access to Federal land title records issued from 1820 to 1908 for 12 states.


US Mapping Information (USGS)

Can help ID e.g. county or cemetery information.


Bibliography of public records sources.

From Jobe's Public Records Web page.


Vital Records Information United States

Identifies where one writes to request copies of birth, death, marriage, or divorce records. Fees are listed.

Some states provide Web access to birth/death records.



Used by journalists and investigators to locate the living.


Online directories

For telephone or email information

Evaluating web sites




Note the author, publisher, or producer of the web page.


  • Is there any information about the author/company?
  • Are the persons or organizations credentials provided?
  • If it is someones family history page, do they document or provide proof of their claims? [e.g. scanned images of land records, etc.]

Contact information

Is an email address available for direct contact?


Maintenance, stability, & currency

Is the web page updated frequently? Are there any broken links?

  • Is a date of last revision posted?


Has the site been rated or reviewed? Is this information available at the web site?

  • Has anyone, e.g. a genealogical group reviewed the web site?

Note the domain name





  • Is a commercial site interested in selling a product?
  • Is it an organization that has a reputation of conducting sound genealogical research or providing e.g. good book titles?
  • Note that not all .edu extentions are affiliated with accredited colleges/universities. It could also be someones personal web page at a university.

Family Photograph Albums



Fading Memories: Albums Damage Photos

Written by Glenn Collins, October 3, 1987, Saturday, Late City Final Edition, New York Times

Full text article available via Lexis/Nexis' Academic Universe.

Keep in mind that paper in photo albums and/or glues or tape used in albums can destroy your photographs


Hobby and craft stores can assist with information about the materials and tools needed to preserve those family photographs.

Creative Memories

Offers photo album preservation workshops for a fee. Check local phone book for listings.

This is not an endorsement -- just one place to get some information about preservation issues.