27 March 2012

Website Review: Colorado State Archives Historical Records Index Search

This post is an overview of the Historical Records Index Search system on the Colorado State Archives website. You can find this immensely helpful Colorado resource here:

Colorado State Archiveshttp://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/
Colorado Historical Records Index main pagehttp://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/hrd/index.htm

If you are researching the State of Colorado, the Archives is a must hit resource. By indexing the available records, they have provided historians and genealogists with a easy to use and free resource, allowing researchers to identify possible records prior to visiting the Archives or making requests for copies.

There are numerous databases available, and you can see the list at the bottom of the Index main page (link above).  The last update was made 25 June 2012, and at that time, there were 2,243,831 entries. If you need information on a specific record type, you can peruse the Records Descriptions page, which lists each resource individually. Included in the site is everything from federal census', "Amache Japanese Internment Camp Teachers", "Prohibition Arrests", "Non-Fatal Mine Accidents", county records, and much more.

When you conduct a search, the system will display the first 200 matches, and no more. You cannot move to page two. If you are searching for "Bill Jones", all record types, in Denver, you will need to be more specific to find who and what you are looking for. However, if you are searching a rather unusual name, for example, "Widmeyer" you can be rather vague in your search terms. Please note, the system does not use Soundex, so you will have to search all the various spellings you can think of to find all of the resources available.

Searches can be conducted by last name only, first name only, or a combination. "Smith, John" or Smith, Jo" for example. You can also search by county, year range, and record type.

Although the site states that Internet Explorer works best, I have been solely using Chrome, and it has worked fine for me.

Images are not available through the site, only derivatives. You can order records through the site, however, which is a nice feature. When you have found a record you are interested in purchasing, simply click the box next to it in the results list, and hit the "Add/Remove to Inquiry" button at the top of the spreadsheet. When you are done searching, and have added all the records to your inquiry, click on the "Complete Email Request" button, and you will be led to an online form to complete. Their fee system is listed at the bottom of this post.

The State Archives also has several other resources and historically interesting links:
Digital Archives
Family History Site
Governor Ritter Historical Archives
Governor Owens Historical Archives
Listen to D-Day Radio Broadcasts
Digital Trademarks


The Colorado State Archives is managed by Terry Ketelsen.

Found at 1313 Sherman, Room 1B20, Denver, Colorado 80203, you can contact them via phone at: 303-866-2358. The public research room is open 9:00am - 4:30pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. They are closed on weekends and Wednesdays, and state holidays.

General Requests
Colorado Residents: $15.00 per search or name to include 3 pages of copies with additional pages of copy work at $1.25 per page.
Out of State Requests: $25.00 per search or name to include 3 pages of copies with additional pages of copy work at $1.25 per page.
Certified Copies: $10.00 and up per document.
Professional Assistance: $28.00 per hour charged in fifteen minute intervals ($7.00 for every fifteen minutes.)

Specific Requests
Corporation Searches: $25.00 per corporation to include 3 pages of copies with additional pages of copy work at $1.25 per page.
Radon Searches: $25.00 per name to include 3 pages of copies with additional pages of copy work at $1.25 per page.