Western History and Genealogy in the Denver Public LIbrary

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  The Denver Public Library in downtown Denver is a hub of Colorado and genealogy information. They hold some of the largest collections of Western history books in the country.

  The Denver Public Library in downtown Denver is a hub of Colorado and genealogy information. They hold some of the largest collections of Western history books in the country. Rows and rows of genealogy books line the shelves. You can trace your whole family tree back to where your ancestors came from. There are also wooden cupboards of old newspapers preserved in microfilm. You can use old computers to look at them and read newspapers dating back to the eighteen hundreds.

A wooden table off to the side holds old maps of early Colorado. You can locate and see what your street and neighborhood looked like even before Colorado was a state! A circular room with lots of shelves holds one of the largest collections of Western history books. As the tour guide, Ariana Ross, said “If it’s the West, it’s here.”

There is also a room dedicated to the ski soldiers, or the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division. Ross said that it took the Mountain Division months to train. The soldiers had to complete army training, as well as army training on skis. They were formed to combat Hitler’s German forces during World War Two. Ross also showed old photographs taken with slow-exposure cameras. Those cameras took an hour to take one picture! That hour-delay caused people to time their photos just right in order to get the right shot. The library has to keep the photos in envelopes in dark, temperature-controlled rooms so they stay around for generations to come.

The library also has a vault of rare items like papyrus scrolls from 200 B.C, sculptures and even old rifles. However, you need an appointment to see most of the really rare items. In conclusion, if you want to know anything about your ancestors or the West, go to the Denver Public Library.