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Urban and Regional Planning: Narratives from Neighborhoods

A research guide for those interested in Urban Planning at the University of Colorado Denver

Finding Narratives from Denvers Neighborhoods

The following options can provide narrative information on neighborhood history. Some collections may include letters, oral histories, or other forms of personal recollection. Others -- such as collections of newspaper articles -- can provide snippets of individuals' viewpoints through interviews, editorials, or quotations, framed in the larger context provided by an article.

  1. Explore the collections of Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy collection online. They are at:  If you don't see items that meet your needs, try giving them a call at 720-865-1821.They're incredibly knowledgeable, and no one loves discussing Denver history as much as they do!
  2. See whether there is a Denver Public Library branch library in the neighborhood. Those are often rich sources of commentary on neighborhood history. Give them a call. Ask whether they have a collection of resources on neighborhood history, or whether a staff member might be willing to talk about neighborhood history in detail.
  3. Do a little bit of creative Googling. See whether your neighborhood has a neighborhood historical association with contact information.
  4. History Colorado (the history museum over by the art museum) offers surprisingly little information about its collections online. I think they want you to have to come over and pay admission (admittedly, it's worth it!). However, they have an immensely helpful and generous library staff. If you give them a call, they'll be able to tell you about relevant items in their collection -- both on display and in their archives. That might yield some exciting results. Their number is: 303-866-2305
  5. The database called Access World News includes the Denver Post. You may want to explore the Denver Post from 1920-1970 (just entering some terms that might interest you -- see what people were talking about!). Local newspapers can be a great indicator of public opinion. Access World News is at:
  6. The Auraria Library's "Latinos and Hispanics in Colorado: Photograph Collection" offers wonderful insights into Denver's Latino history. Photographs detail both official events and candid life.