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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Dept. of Agriculture Photo Contest

From animals to scenery, products to people, Colorado agriculture provides numerous opportunities for artistic photographs that showcase this important part of Colorado’s economy and landscape. Are you a photographer interested in sharing what makes Colorado agriculture special? Enter the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s annual photo contest, which runs until December 31. Both amateurs and professionals are welcome to apply. This year’s contest features two new categories, “agriculture from above” and “urban agriculture,” in addition to the usual categories of crops, livestock, people, and wildlife in agriculture. The grand prize winner will receive a cash prize, and all winners will have their photos displayed at Northeastern Junior College and on the department’s website.

Click here to view past winners back to 2011, along with other helpful resources about Colorado agriculture.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Time Machine Tuesday: Old School Images

If you’re looking for early photos of Colorado’s schools, you may not think to look in government documents.  But in fact the State of Colorado in the late 1800s/early 1900s often included images in its biennial reports of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the School for the Deaf and the Blind, and other child-serving agencies.  And since many of the reports are dated before 1923, it is easy to find images that are in the public domain.   Here is a sampling of some of the great education-related images that can be found in old Colorado documents:

Denver’s Manual High School, from the 1891-92 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Hale Scientific Building at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from the 1891-92 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction  
Floorplan of Denver’s Emerson School, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  From the 1883-84 report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Girls’ Industrial School, near Morrison, from the 1907-08 Biennial Report of the State Board of Charities and Correction  
Administration Building, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, from the school’s 1905-06 Biennial Report.
The “yard crew” at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, from the school’s 1899-1900 report.
Montrose County High School soon after completion, from the 1909-10 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

Ashland School in North Denver; from the 1899-1900 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

A rural school in Larimer County, from the 1899-1900 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction

A rural school in Clear Creek County, also from the 1899-1900 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A rural school in Phillips County, from the 1895-96 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Georgetown School, from the 1895-96 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Students on the playground at Norrie School, Pitkin County, from the 1901-02 Biennial Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

State documents are good places to find other photos and architectural drawings, as well; for instance, many reports contain photos or drawings of the State Capitol, such as the image below from the 1892-94 report of the State Board of Health. Search other reports for institutions, penitentiaries, and other state buildings.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Finding Historic Colorado Photographs

There are many places to go if you are looking for historic photographs of Colorado.  A number of libraries and archives have digitized their photographs, so a general internet search will often yield many results.  History Colorado has created a database which includes many of their digitized photographs, along with other artifacts.  Also, the Denver Public Library’s Western History and Genealogy Collection has a huge photo collection online.  Other agencies have photographs that have not been digitized.  The Colorado State Archives has many photos but you will need to contact them to retrieve them.

If you aren’t searching for anything specific and just want to look at historic photos, our library has a couple of excellent books you can check out.  Colorado:  A History in Photographs (University Press of Colorado, 2005) presents an illustrated history of the state, while other books, such as Trials and Triumphs:  A Colorado Portrait of the Great Depression, with FSA Photographs (University Press of Colorado, 1993) present photos on specific subjects and time periods.  Search our library’s online catalog for more titles.

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Colorado State Publications Blog

History Colorado Collections Online

History Colorado recently launched a database of selected items in its collection, including artifacts, photographs, and archival materials.  The database launched with images of 80,000 items and is continuing to grow.  This database is an excellent resource for researchers to find primary sources on Colorado’s history.  Of course this database represents only a small percentage of History Colorado’s vast collections; if you do not find what you are looking for in the database, you can contact photos@state.co.us regarding photographs or curator@state.co.us regarding objects.  To find out more about the history and stories of Colorado, check out History Colorado’s Colorado Heritage and its predecessor, Colorado Magazine, available from our library.  Also be sure to check our library’s online catalog for further resources.

This 1880s-era chair from one of the private boxes in the demolished Tabor Grand Opera House is an example of the artifacts that are available for viewing on History Colorado’s collections database. 

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Colorado State Publications Blog

Colorado Outdoors: The Photography Issue

For seventy-five years, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks & Wildlife) has published Colorado Outdoors, a bi-monthly magazine focusing on Colorado’s wildlife and outdoor recreation.  Each year, the magazine publishes a special photography issue, which features the best in wildlife photography around the state.  Many of the images are stunning; others, just plain cute (like this year’s cover photo of baby mountain goats).  Check out this year’s photography issue (v.62, n.6, Nov/Dec 2013) for some great photos including a barn swallow with an attitude; a baby bear’s important lesson; a moose reflecting on life in Colorado; some playful black-tailed prairie dogs; a busy beaver; and much, much more (and of course, more baby mountain goats).  Copies can be checked out from our library, or you can subscribe by visiting their website.  
 
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Colorado State Publications Blog

Photo Contests

Are you a photographer who enjoys capturing Colorado’s wonders through your lens? If so, there are several state-sponsored photo contests available to you right now.

  • Every September, Colorado State Parks sponsors the Eldorado Canyon Annual Photo Contest. For details, visit the contest website.
  • The Colorado Department of Agriculture is currently sponsoring a photo contest. Submissions must be entered by December 31, 2010. See this page for more info.
  • The State of Colorado homepage, www.colorado.gov, is looking for scenic Colorado photos for their website. Visit this page to submit your photos. Categories are scenery, wildlife, and recreation.
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Colorado State Publications Blog

Architecture Images

The University of Colorado at Denver’s School of Architecture and Planning sponsors a really neat website they call the Electronic Library of Colorado Architecture, Landscape and Planning. The site features full-color images of Colorado’s significant architecture. You can search by site name, architect/builder, city, county, architectural style, building type, date, and more. There’s also a way to just browse through the collection. Many of the sites also have detailed close-ups of architectural features. This is a great website for discovering more about Colorado’s wide variety of architectural design.