College and University Histories, Continued

A couple of years ago I posted a blog entry about our library's many resources on the histories of the state's colleges and universities.  As the state's institutions of higher learning continue to make their history more accessible, there is much to add to this list.

Metropolitan State University of Denver is in the midst of a year-long celebration highlighting their 50th anniversary.  A history page has been added to their website, including a timeline, photos, and an opportunity to share memories.  Additionally, the January-February 2016 issue of Colorado Heritage includes a detailed article on the history of Metro State.

The University of Northern Colorado devoted the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of their Northern Vision magazine to exploring the university's history.  Formerly the State Teacher's College, the university continues today with one of the state's top teacher training programs.  The issue is chock-full of great old photographs from the University Archives, as well as a helpful and detailed timeline.

A history of Colorado State University's (then Colorado State College) Extension Service is new to our collection since my last posting.  This publication covers the period 1912 to 1941, the year it was published.

Best of all, many of the state colleges and universities now have digital repositories that contain documents, photographs, and other archival material and publications telling the story of their institution.  They also contain online theses and dissertations.  See the following:
  • Digital Collections of Colorado, hosted by the Colorado State University library, includes the repository for that institution as well as those from Colorado Mesa University, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University-Pueblo, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder-William Wise Law Library, and the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
  • The CU Digital Library includes collections from the University of Colorado-Boulder and from the Auraria Campus, while CU Scholar is the Boulder Campus's institutional repository for research and scholarship.  More from Auraria can be found at Auraria Library Digital Collections.
  • Digital UNC is the University of Northern Colorado's repository.  The site includes yearbooks, catalogs, photos, and other archival material.  
The author of the Colorado Heritage article on Metro State, referenced above, used many resources from the State Publications Library in her research.  You, too, can view our library's resources by visiting our website -- here you can connect to our online catalog as well as our own digital repository.


Time Machine Tuesday: Denver Air Pollution

Remember the "brown cloud"?  This visible air pollution was the embarrassment of our city for several decades.  The City of Denver's website on the history of air quality in Denver describes the brown cloud as resulting from "Denver's location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, mak[ing] it prone to temperature inversions in which warm air traps cooler air near the ground, preventing pollutants from rising into the atmosphere."  This caused Denver to exceed EPA air quality standards continually in the 1970s and 1980s.

Before the term "brown cloud" started being used, in 1962 -- just as the city was entering its era of high automobile pollution -- Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science conducted A Study of Denver Air Pollution, available online from our library.  The study offered a history of air pollution in Denver and addressed the question of whether the City and State governments needed to work on remediation, as well as how development patterns should proceed based on diminishing air quality.  Finally, the study explored "methods for a systematic approach leading to definitive computations explaining Denver pollution."

 Four years later, the same CSU department conducted a follow up study, Further Studies of Denver Air Pollution.  This time, the study went much deeper scientifically to show that, essentially, the issue needed further study.  As the years went by and the issue became more of a concern, more publications appeared on Denver air pollution, not just from CSU but also from the Colorado Department of Health, the Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Highways, and other agencies.  Too numerous to list here, the many publications produced during the 1970s and 1980s by these agencies, which can be discovered in our library's web catalog, give a detailed history of the development of air quality laws and mitigation in the Mile High City.        


Traffic Data

Are you looking for Colorado traffic counts and other data?  If so, you can find them at the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)'s Online Transportation Information System.  Here you can find traffic and highway counts via map or importable spreadsheet; data reports; videolog applications; diagrams; and much more.


Winter Weather and Insurance

Three days after the coming of spring, Colorado returned to winter today with a major blizzard.  If you find yourself needing to make an insurance claim, whether it be from an auto accident, a personal injury, or damage to your home, be sure to read the Colorado Division of Insurance's Winter Mishaps and Your Insurance.  Here you can find helpful tips as well as resources such as free smartphone apps.  See also the Division's brochure Winter Weather and Insurance, available online from our library.


Time Machine Tuesday: College Catalogs

The State Publications Library collects college catalogs for all state-funded colleges and universities, and these can provide a fun look into the past as you can learn about the culture of student life in previous decades.  While our library has long collected these catalogs in print, now many of them are available online, some going back quite a ways.
  • University of Colorado Boulder -- online back to 1979-80
  • University of Northern Colorado -- online back to 1983-84 (see older issues at UNC's digital repository)
  • Red Rocks Community College -- online back to 1996-97
  • Colorado School of Mines -- graduate and undergraduate online back to 1999-2000
  • Western State College of Colorado -- online back to 2000-01 (click here for Western State Colorado University)
  • University of Colorado, Colorado Springs -- online back to 2001-02
  • Northeastern Junior College -- online back to 2002-03
  • Arapahoe Community College -- online back to 2003-04 
  • Morgan Community College -- online back to 2003-04
  • Adams State College -- online back to 2004-05 (click here for Adams State University)
  • Aims Community College -- online back to 2004-05
  • Otero Junior College -- online back to 2004-06
  • Fort Lewis College -- online back to 2005-06
  • Mesa State College -- online back to 2005-06 (click here for Colorado Mesa University)
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver -- online back to 2005-06
  • Colorado Northwestern Community College -- online back to 2006-07
  • Community College of Denver -- online back to 2006-07
  • Front Range Community College -- online back to 2006-07
  • Lamar Community College -- online back to 2006-07
  • Trinidad State Junior College -- online back to 2006-08
  • Colorado State University Pueblo -- online back to 2007-08
  • Community College of Aurora -- online back to 2007-08
  • Pueblo Community College -- online back to 2007-08


Colorado Mining Towns

In our library's collection you can find a number of books and websites that tell the story of Colorado's mining towns.  A sampling of these resources includes:
  • Aspen:  The History of A Silver-Mining Town, 1879-1893 (University Press of Colorado, 2000)
  • Coal People:  Life in Southern Colorado's Company Towns, 1890-1930 (Colorado Historical Society, 1999)
  • Denver:  Mining Camp to Metropolis (University Press of Colorado, 1990)
  • Hard as the Rock Itself:  Place and Identity in the American Mining Town (University Press of Colorado, 2013)
  • History of Leadville and Lake County, Colorado (Colorado Historical Society, 1996)
  • The Rise of the Silver Queen:  Georgetown, Colorado, 1859-1896 (University Press of Colorado, 2005)
  • Rocky Mountain Boom Town:  A History of Durango, Colorado (University Press of Colorado, 1992)
  • Silver Saga:  The Story of Caribou, Colorado (University Press of Colorado, 2003)
  • A Tale of Two Towns:  A Mining and a Farming Community in the 1890s (University Press of Colorado, 1997)
  • When Coal Was King:  A History of Crested Butte, Colorado, 1880-1952 (Colorado School of Mines, 1984)
  • Yellowcake Towns:  Uranium Mining Communities in the American West (University Press of Colorado, 2002)


Kit Carson and Fort Garland

Frontiersman Kit Carson once commanded Fort Garland, a southeastern Colorado fort set up to provide military protection to early settlers of the San Luis Valley.  You can visit Fort Garland today; it has been preserved as a museum by History Colorado.  At the museum, you'll learn about Kit Carson and life in an early Colorado fort by visiting original adobe buildings.  Also on view are barracks where the men slept, and dioramas that tell the story of life at the fort.

Kit Carson has left a significant legacy in Colorado, including the name of Kit Carson County.  For a quick overview on his life, see his bio on coloradovirtuallibrary.org.  You can read more about Carson and his involvement with Fort Garland in several Colorado Magazine articles, available from our library, including a reprint of an 1866 report made by Carson, printed in the July 1955 issue.

Colorado Magazine also has information on the history of Fort Garland, including articles in the January 1939, January 1946, September 1946, March 1947, January 1951, and Spring 1966 issues.  Colorado Magazine's successor, Colorado Heritage, features an article about Buffalo Soldiers (African American troops) at Fort Garland in its Spring 1996 issue.  Finally, check out Old Fort Garland, a 1954 Colorado Historical Society publication that features a soldier's journal, and Fort Garland Museum:  A Capsule History and Guide, a full-color history of the museum published by the Colorado Historical Society in 2005.  Both publications are available for checkout from our library.


The Cost of Corrections in Colorado

How much does it cost to keep an inmate in a Colorado correctional facility each day?  The answers -- contained in a Colorado Department of Corrections publication Cost Per Offender by Facility -- may surprise you.  Currently, the cost of housing a single inmate ranges between $53 and $224 per day, depending on the level of security at the facility.  This amounts to a cost of anywhere from $19,000 to $81,000 per inmate per year.  The costliest facility in Colorado is San Carlos; the least expensive are the community corrections programs.  A comparison with the numbers from ten years ago shows a sharp rise in costs, from around $3,000 per inmate per year/$10 per inmate per day for community corrections to about $61,000 per inmate per year/$167 per inmate per day for San Carlos.

This annual publication offers a basic summary; for more in-depth information on Colorado's correctional populations see the DOC's annual Statistical ReportFor budgetary information, see the DOC's annual Budget Request.



Our library has many resources for learning about the use of pesticides in Colorado.  Search the term "pesticides" in our online catalog for a listing of numerous sources of information including fact sheets from the Colorado State University Extension and publications from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).  See also CDA's pesticides website.  Here you can find updated information about rulemaking, commercial pesticide applicators, licensing and examination information, resources for homeowners, registering as sensitive to pesticides, and more. 


Sunrise and Sunset Reviews

No, I'm not talking about the "wow, what a beautiful sunset!" type reviews.  In this case, sunset and sunrise reviews are a set of reviews published by the Department of Regulatory Agencies on regulations for professions or services that are about to expire (sunset) or begin (sunrise).  The reviews are published each fall and are all available from our library.  The purpose of the reviews is to inform Legislators and the public on whether a certain regulatory laws (such as the licensing of a profession) should be renewed for a specific set of time.  For example, some laws are given an expiration date after five or ten years, sort of as a pilot period.  The sunset review will discuss the merits of the law and provide recommendations on whether it should be renewed.  Sunrise reviews discuss possible new regulatory legislation.

You can find reviews by searching our library's web catalog, or you can see an alphabetized list at the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies' Office of Policy, Research, and Regulatory Reform  website for an archive of reviews, reviews in progress, and a review schedule.


Time Machine Tuesday: Limited Gaming in Colorado

In 1990 Colorado voters passed a law to allow limited gaming in three historic towns -- Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek.  Gambling had been prohibited in Colorado in the 1876 Colorado Constitution.  Over the years, bingo and raffles, pari-mutuel (horse) betting and a state lottery were accepted into law, but casino-style gambling was outlawed in the state until 1990.  How did proponents sell gambling to voters?  By assuring citizens that 1) gaming would only be restricted to certain towns, not statewide and 2) a percentage gaming funds would go toward historic preservation in Colorado through the State Historical Fund, and to tourism promotion.  (Beginning with Amendment 50 in 2008, some of the gaming funds also go to community colleges).

Two years later, limited gaming was again on Colorado's ballot.  1992's Amendment 3 would have, if passed, expanded gambling into Trinidad, Walsenburg, Naturita, Leadville, Silver Cliff, Lake City, Silverton, Oak Creek, Grand Lake, Walden, and Dinosaur, as well as the entire counties of Las Animas, Hinsdale, and Huerfano.  Further, Amendment 4, also on the ballot that year, would have legalized gambling in Burlington, Evans, Lamar, Las Animas, Sterling, Antonito, Garden City, Grenada, Holly, Julesburg, Ovid, Milliken, Peetz, and Sedgwick, along with the counties of Logan, Prowers, and Sedgwick.  Finally, Amendment 5 would have allowed gaming in the town of Parachute, while Amendment 9 would have allowed gaming in Lower Downtown Denver.  Funds from expanded gaming would go to various entities including public schools, tourism, and historic preservation.  All four amendments were soundly defeated -- according to the official Abstract of Votes Cast (available for checkout from our library), the first three amendments were each defeated with an average of 400,000 yes votes and 1,000,000 no votes.  Amendment 9 was defeated by an even bigger margin -- 292,961 for and 1,200,336 against.

However, 1992 voters did approve a measure that required counties, cities, and towns to hold elections to approve gaming in their town before going to a statewide vote. 

Limited gaming again appeared on the ballot in 1994, and was again defeated.  Amendment 13 would have expanded gaming to Manitou Springs and to public airports, while Amendment 14 would have legalized gambling in Trinidad.  According to the book Riches and Regrets:  Betting on Gambling in Two Colorado Mountain Towns (1996, University Press of Colorado), which is available for checkout from our library, numerous other states defeated gambling measures that year, suggesting national trends.

You can read about the 1992 and 1994 amendments, including arguments for and against, in the official "Blue Books" for those years.  The Blue Books are available digitally from our library.  You can find other Blue Books (the state's official non-partisan analysis of ballot issues) by searching our library's Blue Book finding aid.  You can find more about gambling in Colorado from the Colorado Department of Revenue


State Parks NatureFinder App

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a new app called NatureFinder, which you can download to your smartphone or tablet and take with you as you explore State Parks.  The app shows you where you can find and view plants and wildlife in the park, or you can use it to record locations of wildlife, plant species, or animal tracks you see.  The app helps both visitors and park staff track and learn about the biodiversity of each State Park.


Ethnic Histories of Colorado

Colorado's history and places were shaped by people of many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.  A book from University Press of Colorado entitled Enduring Legacies:  Ethnic Histories and Cultures of the Colorado Borderlands (available for checkout from our library) explores the stories of various ethnic groups in the state of Colorado.  The book includes chapters from various authors, each telling a story of a particular ethnic or cultural group.  Topics include:
  • Spanish explorers
  • The San Luis Valley
  • Mexican music and poetry
  • Nineteenth-century Chinese prostitution
  • The black farming colony of Dearfield
  • Denver ethnic gangs in the mid-20th century
  • Marcus Garvey's influence on Colorado blacks
  • Equal rights struggles at the University of Colorado
  • The Japanese in Colorado during WWII
  • Latina education in mid-20th century southern Colorado
  • Native American tribal identity
  • Curanderismo and health
  • Native American mascots
  • The Chicano Movement
  • African Americans' role in shaping the West
Our library also offers numerous other ethnic and cultural histories of Colorado.  Some highlights include:
  • The Architecture and Art of Early Hispanic Colorado
  • A Chinaman's Chance:  The Chinese on the Rocky Mountain Mining Frontier
  • Colorado Hispanic Studies Resource Guide
  • Colorado's Japanese Americans
  • La Gente:  Hispano History and Life in Colorado
  • The Last War Trail:  Utes and the Settlement of Colorado
  • The Park Hill Experience
  • Sacred Objects and Sacred Places:  Preserving Tribal Traditions
  • Sights of Insight:  A Guide to Colorado Sacred Places
  • Tell Me, Grandmother:  Traditions, Stories, and Cultures of Arapaho People


Time Machine Tuesday: Oil and Gas Fields of Colorado

Most Coloradans know that oil and gas production has skyrocketed in Colorado, but a 1975 resource from the Colorado Geological Survey illustrates the industry's development visually and using statistics.  Oil and Gas Fields of Colorado includes two parts:  a map, and a book of statistical data.  You can see how much the industry has expanded by comparing the 1975 map to a current map courtesy of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission.  COGCC also has data files to compare with the 1975 statistics.

Oil and gas fields, 1975
Oil and gas fields today

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