Colorado State Archives
About Our Agency
Mission Statement, Services and
The mission of the Colorado State Archives is
to ensure the preservation of the state's permanent legal records and
information and to promote their use by the citizens of Colorado.
Records management, archives management and micrographics quality
control are administrative functions provided to state and local
government agencies in Colorado to ensure the preservation of
Colorado's permanent legal and historical records. Information and
research functions provide for citizen access to public records
created by the legislative, executive and judicial branches of state
The Colorado State Archives is the legal
repository for selected historical and contemporary records and
information generated by state and local governments in Colorado. The
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administration
and the Council of State Governments have said that "state archives
are the guardians of much of a state's public documentary heritage,
resources essential in establishing a citizen's rights, understanding
his past, coping with his present, and planning for his future...The
value of a state archive stems from the information it contains and
the evidence it provides. Its records are essential to administrative
and cultural continuity."
Records Management / Records Disaster Recovery / Records Destruction
Employees from state and local government agencies can request
assistance with records retention and disposition scheduling. By
statute, the State Archives sets legal retention periods and
disposition requirements for records created by over 240 state
agencies, offices of the 64 counties, 280 municipalities, 176 school
districts and 1400 special districts. The State Archives advises when
and how public records may be transferred, destroyed or if they must
be kept permanently. In addition, the State Archives can provide
guidance in the recovery of damage to records from disasters. Please
Records Management Page
for detailed information.
Optical Imaging and Disaster Recovery Services
Any agency of state or local government that microfilms or images its
records may store the original at the State Archives for back-up or
disaster recovery purposes at no cost. Guidelines on micrographics
quality and optical imaging are available from our office.
Transfer and Storage Services
The State Archives serves as the legal repository for permanent
records generated by state agencies. Records are transferred from
state agencies in accordance with agency records retention schedules.
Some records from local governments may be accepted for permanent
storage on a very selective basis.
Research and Reference Services
The Colorado State Archives has a wealth of information for research
and reference. We receive additional accessions periodically. We will
respond to mail and phone requests but suggest that you conduct any
extensive research at our facility whenever possible because of the
voluminous nature of our collections. Records deposited at the
Colorado State Archives are available for use subject to restrictions
or limitations imposed by law, by executive order, by the agency from
which they have been transferred, or by the State Archivist. The
research and reference functions are cash funded activities of state
government, hence fees for service apply. Information about fees is
readily available from our staff by asking us in person or by phone.
The staff will assist researchers in identifying records that will
assist them with their information needs and will retrieve records
requested by researchers. Many original records may also be available
for viewing in micrographic formats. Records must be used in the
Research Room because they may be the only or definitive copy, and may
not be withdrawn from the State Archives. The staff will make copies
of records upon request. Please see our
Resources and Collections
page for further descriptions of the records we have.
The State of Colorado Homepage is managed through our office by a team
of employees within the Division of Information Technologies, a
division of the Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration.
Administration of the state website by DOIT began on July 1, 1996.
Previously, the site was administered by the University of Colorado at
Workshops, Talks, Tours
Workshops are offered periodically for records management,
micrographics, records transfer and using the research services. Staff
serve the community by speaking to various groups and organizations on
a variety of topics concerning Colorado history and the role of the
State Archives in preserving records. Tours of our facility are given
The following publications are provided to educate
and inform public officials and records custodians about information
issues they may confront.
Colorado State Archivist is on the
Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board
and is a member of
Colorado Preservation Alliance.
organizations improve the housing and care of and promote access to
essential historical documentation through education, identifying
materials of enduring value to Colorado and coordinating activities
Welcome to the Home Page of the Colorado
State Archives! I hope you will enjoy your journey through our page
and that the information provided is of value to you. The Colorado
State Archives has recently been placed into a new division of state
government called the Division of Information Technologies, (DOIT)
This new division also includes the state computer center, the
Information Management Commission, the former division of
Telecommunications and the Colorado Financial Reporting System. This
restructuring of government will provide state agencies and the
taxpayer with an enhanced ability to conduct business in our rapidly
changing information technology environment. It is my pleasure to be
of service to you and I welcome your comments.
Department of Personnel &
Division of Information
Colorado State Archives
1313 Sherman Street Room 1B-20
Denver, CO 80203
Toll-free within Colorado 1-800-305-3442
In 1943, the Colorado legislature created the
position of State Archivist to oversee the retention and disposition
of public records. The first State Archivist, Herbert O. Brayer,
filled the office as a staff member of the Colorado State Historical
Society. Dolores C. Renze, one of three women to hold such a position
at the time, succeeded to the office in 1949, retaining the position
until 1973. During her tenure, the State Archives and the Public
Records became a division within the Historical Society. In 1959, the
State Archives became independent of the Society. George E. Warren
became State Archivist in 1974 and retired in 1987. The State
Archives has been housed in four different state buildings during
these years, including the old Woodward mansion at 1530 Sherman
Street. Records were housed in tunnels under the capitol complex and
in rented storage space in nearby buildings before its move into the
Centennial building in 1976, where the State Archives now occupies the
three lower floors. The State Archives also stores records in a
satellite storage facility southeast of Denver near Simla, Colorado.
In 1996, the State Archives was merged with
the divisions of Telecommunications, General Government Computer
Center, and Colorado Financial Reporting System (COFRS) to form the
Division of Information Technologies (DOIT).
This realignment has provided the opportunity for more accessible and
useable electronic information.
Notice: The State government's
difficult financial situation has resulted in significant staffing
reductions at the State Archives. In order to provide the best service
possible under these difficult budget issues, the Archives public
research room will be closed on Wednesdays effective July 16, 2003 and
each Wednesday thereafter until further notice. We regret this
inconvenience to our customers.
Please direct all correspondence to:
Colorado State Archives
1313 Sherman Street, Room 1B-20
Denver, CO 80203.
By Electronic Means (E-mail & Interactive
If you wish to make a specific information request or would
like to know how much a search would cost, then please
go to our
on-line request form.
We will answer these requests within 5-10 business days with the exact
costs or a cost estimate of the research that you are requesting. If
you need immediate assistance please call us at: 303-866-2390, between
the hours of 9:00a.m. and 4:30p.m. MST, Monday through Friday.. If you
are a K-12 student and need general information about Colorado and its
history then please use this form also. We will be happy to e-mail
K-12 students Web links to information.
If you have a records management question you
may e-mail us at:
If you wish to comment about the Web site or
have a general question please e-mail us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the
possibility of viruses and spam, we will not open attachments. We
will also not open e-mails that do not specify the nature of your request in the
subject line or do not have a clear or appropriate subject line
For Research/Information assistance please call between the hours of
9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Mountain Standard Time, Monday through
Friday, holidays excepted.
For all other services, such as Records
Management Assistance, Micrographics Quality Control or Archives
Management please call between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.,
Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.
Please direct all fax requests to the Colorado State Archives at:
Our Website Address is