Colorado Caucus

Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1, is caucus day in Colorado.  You can find information on the Colorado caucus, including eligibility, caucus locations, party contact information, and how to participate, by visiting the Colorado Secretary of State's Caucus FAQs

Colorado Farm to Market

The Colorado Department of Agriculture, Colorado State University, the Colorado Farmer's Market Association, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have teamed up to bring you Colorado Farm to Market, a helpful website "developed to familiarize Colorado food producers and food product manufacturers with federal, state and local food licensing regulations and to help ensure that the path food travels from farm to fork is safe."

Users of the website can navigate by type of food product (raw, prepared, etc.), learn about laws like the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, learn about weights and measures, find out about programs like Farm to School or donating to food banks, and much more.  If you are planning to sell your food and/or agricultural products, whether at a farmer's market or the grocery store, be sure to visit this website first to make sure you comply with the laws that will help ensure your consumers' safety.


Work-Related Injuries in Colorado

If you are looking for statistics on the number of injuries that occur in the workplace in Colorado, you can find this information in the annual statistical publication Work-Related Injuries in Colorado, issued by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).  Issues back to 1995 are available from our library.  (It takes the department a couple of years to compile the data, so the most recent issue right now, for instance, covers 2013).  Older issues can be checked out in print.  There are also a number of other publications available from our library that provide information on occupational injuries, worker safety, and worker's compensation.  Some helpful resources include:


Time Machine Tuesday: Cooking in 1945

The way we eat has certainly changed in the last three quarters of a century, as can be seen in the 1945 Colorado Experiment Station publication Venison on the MenuThis guide was published to offer ideas on how to cook the meat brought home from a hunt.  "It will prove of unlimited value to the hunter and his wife, who will welcome tested recipes for the good cooking of good game," the Colorado Game & Fish director wrote in the introduction.  It is interesting to contrast these recipes with the way we would cook today.  For instance, many of the recipes use lard, and there are no grilling recipes -- everything is cooked in the stove or in the oven.  The publication was reissued in 1984, and although it contains many of the same recipes, they have been adapted, for instance, to use butter or oil instead of lard.  The 1945 booklet, and its contrast with the 1984 edition, provides an interesting look at cooking in a past era.


Camp George West and Military Munitions on Green Mountain

This month the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that it will be investigating possible unexploded military munitions from testing sites at Camp George West in the 1930s through WWII.  There is concern that some of these munitions may be found in nearby Green Mountain residential neighborhoods that were developed after that time, and the CDPHE may be contacting residents in the areas.  For more information on CDPHE's investigation, see their February 12 press release and their informational webpage.

Camp George West was established near Golden in 1903, originally known as the State Rifle Range.  It was used as a summer encampment for the Colorado National Guard from 1906 to 1944.  For historical information on Camp George West see History Colorado's Historic Resources of Camp George West.


History of Libraries in Colorado

The Colorado State Library is a good place to start when researching the history of your local library, whether it be for an anniversary celebration, preservation of a historic structure, or just general interest.  The best place to start is in two publications that were put together by the State Library.  Although they are old, so do not contain current information, they do contain significant early history of libraries in Colorado.  These publications are Colorado's Century of Public Libraries (1959) and Colorado Public Libraries 1876-1976:  Historical Sketches, Including Histories of the Regional Library Service Systems and the Colorado State Library (1977), both of which are available for checkout.  Another more recent, privately-published publication is Libraries in the Nooks and Crannies of Colorado:  Small Public Libraries in Rural Communities (2009).

Other publications that help tell the stories of libraries in Colorado include the Colorado Library Directory; statistical publications; library planning and development publications; and county/district public library jurisdictional documents.  Also be sure to consult the Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which includes information on libraries in Colorado in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. General information on the early establishment of libraries and library law in Colorado can be found in an 1897 publication, Libraries: Their Establishment and Management, issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Also be sure to check out the State Library newsletters, which contain information on library happenings across Colorado.  Centennial State Libraries was the State Library's newsletter from 1985 through 2008.  It is available online from 1997-2008 and in print from 1985-2001. Other State Library newsletters under various titles are available back to the 1940s.   

For information on historic library buildings in Colorado, see the Colorado Historical Society's Directory of Library Buildings in the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties.

This is only a small sampling of the many documents and publications about libraries in Colorado that can be accessed from the Colorado State Library.  For many more resources, search the web catalogs for the State Publications Library and the Colorado State Library Collection.  (The State Publications Library contains publications for public use published by state agencies.  The Colorado State Library Collection includes commercially published material, professional resources, and Colorado documents not published by state agencies but relating to libraries and education in Colorado).


Time Machine Tuesday: Planning the Valley Highway

I-25 through Denver, originally known as the Valley Highway, dramatically changed transportation through and in the city when it was constructed in the 1950s.  For a glimpse inside the early planning process for the Valley Highway, check out The Valley Highway:  A North-South Limited-Access Highway Through Denver, published in 1944.  This study, done for the state highway department, describes the need for a highway; a location study; lanes needed; cost; and coordination with the City of Denver.  The document includes location maps, charts, and comparisons to other cities' highways, including photographs.  This is a fascinating look at the early planning and design for one of Colorado's most significant transportation systems.  The Valley Highway opened fourteen years later, in November 1958.  Another publication, Commemorating the Opening of the Denver Valley Highway, November 23, 1958 can be viewed in our library.

An artist's depiction of the proposed Valley Highway, from the 1944 publication.  
If only traffic were that light today!


Aquatic Studies and Investigations

Colorado Parks & Wildlife conducts numerous annual studies of fish and amphibians.  Among the topics they study are warmwater and coldwater fisheries; salmonid diseases; water pollution; whirling disease; habitat; mercury; fish telemetry; and more.  Each summer the agency issues a number of reports on these and related topics.  You can find recent years' reports, along with selected topical journal articles, on their website.  Our library also has print versions of these reports going back several decades; search our library's web catalog for resources both online and in print.


Time Machine Tuesday: Uninsured Motorists

In 1954 the Colorado Legislative Council conducted a study to determine the feasibility of requiring all Colorado drivers to carry auto insurance.  The Problem of the Uninsured Motorist in Colorado examined the numbers of drivers without insurance and what percentage of accidents were caused by uninsured motorists, and the resulting economic losses; looked at other states that had adopted a compulsory insurance law; discussed the problem of drivers failing to report accidents; and considered legislation addressing discriminatory practices of insurers who refused to sell insurance to minority groups.

For information on Colorado automobile insurance laws today, visit the Colorado Division of Insurance website.


Zika Virus

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has set up a new webpage with information on Zika Virus, which is transmitted by certain mosquito species.  Although these species do not live in Colorado, there is concern of the spread of the virus if it is carried by persons who have traveled to the areas where the mosquitoes are common.  Places that have the virus-carrying mosquitoes include the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America, and some Pacific islands.  If you or someone you know has recently traveled to these locations, check out the webpage for information on testing and prevention.


Coins and Currency in Early Colorado

You're probably aware that Denver is home to one of the United States mints.  But do you know the history behind coinage in Colorado?  It has a lot to do with Colorado being a metal mining state.

Gold brought the earliest white settlers to Colorado territory, and gold dust was used as currency during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush.  However, some people tried to pass off brass filings as gold dust, so three men from Leavenworth, Kansas, started Clark, Gruber & Company in Denver and began minting their own coins.  (You can see some original Clark, Gruber coins at the History Colorado
museum).  At this time, the Federal government had no laws against the private production of currency -- but during the Civil War, such a law was passed, and Clark, Gruber sold their minting equipment to the government.  Such was the origin of the U.S. Mint in Colorado. 

But Colorado's role in the story of American currency goes much further than the Mint.  From the late 1870s to the early 1890s, silver mining became one of the state's most significant industries.  Under the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, the United States government purchased silver for coinage, and many fabulous fortunes were made on the metal.  This only lasted until 1893, however, when the Act was repealed -- and Colorado's economy plummeted.

Eventually Colorado recovered from the Crash of 1893, although silver never again became a sought-after commodity in the state.  Gold mining returned in the early twentieth century, and coal mining became one of the state's dominant extractive industries.  Meanwhile, however, after serving as an assay office for several decades, the U.S. Mint became official when a new building was constructed in 1904, and coin production began in 1906.  Today, the Denver Mint produces over 50 million coins per day!

You can read more about the history of coins and currency in Colorado by checking out several great resources from our library.  The Quest for Gold and Silver:  Including a History of the Interaction of Metals and Currency is a book from the Colorado School of Mines that discusses the history of bimetallism in the U.S. and Colorado.  For a more in-depth look at Colorado specifically, see the article "Currency, Coinage and Banking in Pioneer Colorado" in the May 1933 issue of Colorado Magazine.  Information on Clark, Gruber & Company coins can be found in the November, 1936 and November, 1937 issues of Colorado Magazine.

A Clark, Gruber & Company coin, minted in 1860, featuring an image of Pikes Peak.  


Time Machine Tuesday: Promoting Colorado's Resources in 1889

Throughout its history, the State of Colorado has worked hard to attract businesses. In 1889 the Colorado General Assembly created the State Bureau of Immigration and Statistics, "charged with the performance of all duties pertaining to and in relation to the encouragement of immigration and governing the same in the State."  Among the Bureau's first endeavors was to create a promotional booklet encouraging businesses to locate in Colorado.  This booklet, The Natural Resources, Industrial Development, and Condition of Colorado, was written "to present the great sources of wealth in Colorado and a statement of simple, impartial facts concerning each county in the State and its separate industrial interests."  Agriculture in the plains, mining in the mountains, and manufacturing in Denver (then part of Arapahoe County) are just some of the many topics covered.  Statistical tables provide further insight into the state's already growing industries.  Aside from mining and agriculture, other industries covered include oil, forestry, railroads, health resorts/tourism, and more.

Today, Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) has replaced the old Immigration Bureau.  Visit OEDIT's website to see how they are working to attract business and industry in much the same way as their counterparts 127 years ago.


Noxious Weeds in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has a Noxious Weed Program whose mission is "to control noxious weeds, the nonnative invaders that replace native vegetation, reduce agricultural productivity, cause wind and water erosion and pose an increased threat to communities from wildfire."  The program works with state and federal partners to control the spread of noxious weeds as well as educate the community on these invasive species.

Field bindweed, an invasive species in Colorado
The program's website contains a wealth of information on noxious weeds in Colorado.  You can download a current list of invasive species; learn about early detection and rapid response; apply for grants; and more.  Click on Noxious Weed Mapping to find statewide distribution information on individual invasive species.  The Noxious Weed Species ID link provides numerous photos and other tools for identifying invasive species in the wild and on your property.  Here you can also download a mobile app to assist with identification in the field.

For more information on noxious weeds in Colorado, search our library's web catalog using the keyword "noxious weeds."  Some of the helpful resources you will find include:

Photo courtesy Colorado Department of Agriculture

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