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Gladiolus exhibit

August 19 -

Matt Carson of 934 Farms is generously carrying on the tradition that Marv and Jane Bruce started many years ago. He has given to UNC a wide variety of gladiolus spikes in a rainbow of colors.These beautiful, showy flowers are currently on display throughout Michener Library.

David and Karen Groseclose donation

David and Karen Groseclose generously donated tapes created by James Michener biographer, John Hayes. The tapes contain many hours of interviews with Michener and his associates and are a very valuable contribution to the James A. Michener Collection.

Documentaries narrated by Michener now available online

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, James A. Michener worked closely with his good friend Ed Pizek's film production company, Emlen House Films, to narrate a series of documentary films produced for PBS. The films focused on a wide variety of topics such as the experiences of African-Americans and women in athletics, a historical and cultural look at Poland, and the rapidly changing world of the South Pacific.

Working with both the Pizek family and the Copernicus Society of American, a charitable organization founded by Ed Pizek, the entire collection was gifted to UNC, over 100 16mm films and 60 video cassette tapes. To make them widely accessible, the majority of the films were recently digitized and are now available online. They can be accessed through the Library catalog, just search for "Emlen House" and select the streaming media version of the film.

Bob Larson, UNC emeritus professor of History

has donated books and papers that are providing invaluable documentation about university and faculty history.

Faculty and staff have been busy adding new content to Digital UNC.

Recently the following collections have been added or expanded:

  • Cover of the 1936 to 1940 diary.Annie MCowen diaries, Professor of Elementary Education at Colorado State Teachers College from 1921-58.
  • George Willard Frasier diaries, former university president, written during and after his tenure.
  • The Tessa Dalton Collection, featuring images taken during James Michener's travels while conducting research for his novel Centennial.
  • The Athletics Collection, featuring images of various sporting groups and events from throughout the University's history.
  • Master's theses dating back to the 1910s.

Student newspaper goes digital
Crucible dated October 1913, opened to show two pages.

The University of Northern Colorado will digitize student newspapers from 1892 through 2000, and when the project is finished later this summer, all editions up to present day will be made available to the public and searchable online through Digital UNC.Top half of the front page of The Mirror dated July 15 1926.

The student newspapers include The Crucible from 1892-1921 and The Mirror from 1919-2000. Remaining editions to the present day have already been added to Digital UNC at

The project involves scanning about 70,000 total pages, said Jay Trask, head of Archival Services and associate professor of Libraries. Once scanned, the original print pages will be preserved in archival folders in the Michener Library.

“This is a preemptive strike against the forces of destruction,” said Trask, pointing out that visitors to Archival Services in Michener Library frequently search the publications in conducting historical research. “Newsprint doesn’t last that long, and we want to preserve the historical record.”


Highlights from 2014

Hewett Collection
    A collection of Native American artifacts, some believed to be from 2,000 years ago, have returned to UNC after being held on loan at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center since1983 when the anthropology museum in Candelaria Hall ceased operating. Moccasins, beaded and porcupine-quilled pipe cases, a parfleche (also known as an Indian suitcase), and more than 200 Southwest pots and basketry were among the items received by Archival Services.

The collection is named after Edgar Lee Hewett, a faculty member in the 1890s and archaeologist who is believed to have excavated some of the artifacts. Students and faculty are researching the collection, including its origins.

Civil War Letters Digitization Project.
The University Libraries has recently completed a project to digitize a collection of letters dating from the Civil War period. The letters are a gift from UNC's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program, which offers workshops to K-12 educators on the use of digitized primary sources. A participant of one of these workshops donated the letters to TPS, with the Archival Services Department agreeing to house and manage them.

The approximately 60 handwritten letters are dated from late 1861 through 1865, and were penned primarily by a soldier named Daniel Parker who served in the Union Army. A few letters were also written by Parker's fellow soldiers in the regiment, and in some cases paper was shared between soldiers so that one letter had multiple senders and recipients. The letters chronicle the soldiers' experiences in battle and the hardships faced by their regiment during its campaign, which took the troops through several states.

The scanned letters are being added to Digital UNC, the University Libraries' online digital repository. Transcriptions of the texts are forthcoming and will be added to the repository when available.


Highlights from 2013

Connie Willis Papers

A note from George R.R. Martin to Connie Willis reading "Daniel and I meant to give this to you at the Pope Room, but we were afraid you'd get tomato sauce all over it. Love, G.Archival Service Department received several boxes filled with materials to add to the Connie Willis Papers.

The items included early drafts of the novels Doomsday Book and Bellwether, research notes and a large number of science fiction/fantasy books given to Ms. Willis by her associates in the field such as George R. R. Martin, James Patrick Kelly and Harlan Ellison.

Image: Note contained in the novel Hunter's Run from George R. R. Martin to Connie Willis.

University Libraries Received Gift of Photochroms
Two donkeys, an adult and a foal, both facing toward the camera, with mountains in background A generous donation of more than 750 photochroms made by William Henry Jackson, one of the most renowned 19th-century landscape photographers of the American West, was received. The prints, originally produced by the Detroit Publishing Company, were a gift from Howard Gottlieb of Chicago, Illinois.
    Photochroms, which are colorized prints created from black-and-white photographic negatives, were popularly used as postcards during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Detroit Publishing Company was the top producer of photochrom postcards in the United States, reportedly selling over seven million prints in one year. The company purchased the entire stock of Jackson's negatives, and Jackson himself went to work for the company in 1898.
    The Gottlieb Collection focuses primarily on the American West, but also includes images from throughout North America. Please contact the Archival Services Department if you wish to view any of the images.

Paul Stewart Collection
Archival Services acquired an extensive collection of books related to African-American history from Paul Stewart. Stewart was instrumental in the founding of Denver's Black American West Museum in the 1980s. He spent years collecting oral histories, stories, photographs, memorabilia, and papers documenting the experiences of African-American in the West. The collection of approximately 33 linear feet is currently being processed and will be made available during the fall semester 2013.

Hawaiian language materials
The University Libraries received a limited edition copy of the set of Ho'oulumahiehie's Ka Mo'olelo o Hi'iakaikapoliopele and The Epic Tale of Hi'iakaikapoliopele. The book set was donated by the Awaiaulu Hawaiian Literature project to increase access to Hawaiian language materials to scholarly libraries throughout the world. The book set will become a part of the Special Collections.


Highlights from 2012

Suzanne Schulze "Horace Greeley" Collection
Over seventy works documenting the life and writings of Horace Greeley have been cataloged and added to the newly created Suzanne Schulze "Horace Greeley" Collection. The collection contains Greeley's own writings including Recollections of a Busy Life, The American Conflict and A History of the Struggle for Slavery Extension or Restriction in the United States. It also includes biographical works such as Horace Greeley: A Bio-bibliography by Suzanne Schulze and Horace Greeley and American Freedon by Robert C. Williams. All of the works were donated by Suzanne Schulze, an emeritus faculty member of the UNC University Libraries. To access the materials, please visit the University Archives.

Browse the Suzanne Schulze Collection in the Libraries catalog.

Errol Uys Papers
Archival Services has acquired the papers of the author Errol Uys related to his work with James A. Michener on the book The Covenant. The papers consists of 8 linear feet and include original research, correspondence with Michener, edited manuscript pages and other important documents. Work will begin soon on processing the important addition to the James A. Michener Special Collections.

Tales of the South Pacific Traveling Exhibit. September - November.
The Archival Services Department has developed a traveling exhibit highlighting James Michener’s novel Tales of the South Pacific.  The exhibit consists of artifacts, documents, and photos.  It explores Michener’s military service, the writing of the novel and the subsequent musical and movie.  During the months of September through November the exhibit will travel to Boulder Public Library, Sterling Public Library, Hudson Public Library, Westminster Public Library and the Farr Branch of the High Plains Library District.  The exhibit is part of the Northern Colorado Common Read program.

Other Michener events that are part of the Northern Colorado Common Read 2012 are:

  • Thursday, Oct 25, 5-6 pm – Tour of James A. Michener Archives
  • Thursday, Nov 8, 5-6 pm, Michener 303 – Viewing of James Michener’s 1980 documentary film entitled South Pacific:  End of Eden?

Over 150 original letters and photographs related to James Michener drawn from the Robert Vavra Collection have been added to the Digital UNC. To see these materials, please go to Digital UNC at

SFWA Names Connie Willis Recipient of the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.’ Connie Willis joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as Michael Moorcock, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Joe Haldeman. The award will be presented at the 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in Arlington, Virginia, May 17-20, 2012.


Highlights from 2011

Research from the UNC Archives in the news: On the track of 'global jihad,' professor studies rise of Islamist movements.

Scanning Workshop
As part of National Archives Month, Archival Services hosted a scanning workshop on Saturday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Guests met in Room 303 where Jay Trask, University Archivist, gave a presentation on the best practices for digitizing family papers and photographs. The group then worked in Archival Services for hands-on experience with scanners. The workshop was free and open to the public.

Blacks in the U.S. West Presentation & Photographic Exhibit
Paul Stewart, founder of the Black American West Museum in Denver, gave a presentation on Blacks in the U.S. West on Monday, April 25, at 3:00 pm, in the Government Publications area on the lower level of Michener Library. In conjunction with his presentation and in the same area on the lower level, there was an exhibit of photographs collected by Paul Stewart portraying Black Women of the American West. Mr. Stewart’s presentation and the exhibit was the result of the collaborative effort of Jay Trask, Head of Archival Services, and George Junne, Professor of Africana Studies.

A National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Preservation Assistance Grant for 2011 has been awarded to the Archival Services Department. The grant initiative will focus on developing an environmental monitoring program for the archival, rare book and other special collections. Numerous humidity and temperature monitors will be placed in storage areas throughout the James A. Michener Library. The grant-funded equipment will allow for detailed monitoring of the environmental conditions within the repository and the data gathered by the Archival Services Department faculty and staff will help determine the best course of action needed to improve the environmental conditions within the Library and encourage the long-term preservation of our collections.

Additionally, the NEH designated the initiative a “We the People” project. “We the People” projects “encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through the support of projects that explore significant events and themes in our nation’s history and culture and that advance knowledge of the principles that define America.”  
For further information, please visit the National Endowment for the Humanities

More About the National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
GREELEY, CO (KUNC), January 19, 2011
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a grant to help preserve special collections at the University of Northern Colorado's James A. Michener Library.

The $3,500 grant will help provide an environmental monitoring program for the archival, rare books and special collections at UNC's library. The preservation initiative will focus on the library's three large collections, including the works of James A. Michener:

"It's just a huge collection of [Michener's] published things, but we also have his manuscripts, and his drafts of when he was working on his novels," says Jay Trask, head of Archival Services at the University of Northern Colorado. "We've got a first draft of something like 'Centennial' so you can see the notes he made, his research all that kind of stuff."

He notes that it's vital to ensure proper levels of temperature and humidity, because the paper and photographs in special collections are especially vulnerable to heat and moisture. The project at UNC is part of the "We the People" initiative by the National Endowment for the Humanities, meant to encourage the teaching and understanding of American history, culture and democratic principles.

Listen to the interview with Jay Trask.
© Copyright 2011, KUNC

New online finding aids:

Archival Services exhibits on display:

  • Effie Alice McNitt Montgomery Class of 1893 Graduation Photographs (SC 102)
    This collection consists of twenty-seven photographs of the Colorado State Normal School Class of 1893, two publications, and miscellaneous items. Scans of the photographs have been added to Digital UNC:
  • Sports Memorabilia from the University’s Past
    The display case in front of the elevator contains items from the Mary Behling Athletic Memorabilia Collection (SHC-02); Opportunities for High School Graduates, a June 1929 Colorado State Teachers College  bulletin; three 1956 football programs from the Sports Media Records Collection (SPHC-1, Series 12 (Football)); tennis plaques  from 1981 and 1984; and a 1955 swimming trophy from the Health and Human Services Dean’s Memorabilia Collection (RG24 S2).
  • The display case across from the Lower Level Security Gate contains  a 1953 Bottler Award (baseball); a softball trophy from 1967;  wrestling trophies from 1946, 1949, 1961, and 1963; swimming trophies from 1961, 1963, and 1966; track and field trophies from 1960, 1961, 1963, and 1967; tennis trophies from 1952, 1959, and 1973; a hockey trophy, n.d.; and a basketball in a wheelchair trophies from 1974.  The trophies in this display case are from the Health and Human Services Dean’s Memorabilia Collection (RG24 S2).
  • A Selection of Books by UNC Alumni
    This exhibit is located in the display case to the left as you enter Archival Services. Alumni featured include Clyde M. Brundy, Charlotte W. Gauss, Irene Welch Grissom, Louis Molnar, Alice McNitt Montgomery, Hazel Brown Welsh, and Fred H. Werner. For more information about the exhibits, please contact the Archival Services Department at 351-2854.
  • Images Celebrating University History
    First Floor, across from the Circulation Desk. July 2010-


Highlights from 2010

Lower Level, North exhibit case: Proms, Balls, Dances and Campus Royalty, 1920s-1960s. This exhibit showcases campus proms, balls, dances and royalty appearing in the Cache La Poudre yearbooks.

Portraits and photographs of College and University Presidents have been scanned and added to Digital UNC. 

Friends of the UNC Libraries
The Friends of the UNC Libraries sponsored a presentation on November 18, in Michener 303, by Jay Trask and Mark Anderson, authors of University of Northern Colorado, a pictorial history of UNC. The presentation was free and open to the public. For additional information about the book, visit

Home Movie Day
Jay Trask served as one of the “experts” at the 2nd Annual Home Movie Day at the Tivoli Center on the Auraria campus on Saturday, October 16.  Home Movie Day is designed to honor and preserve small format films shot on 8mm, Super8, and 16mm.  Representatives from the Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists and a local company, Memories to Digital, answered questions and provided advice.

Weld County Genealogical Society Workshop
As part of Archives Month, Archival Services hosted members of the Weld County Genealogical Society in a genealogy workshop on Saturday, October 23, from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Guests met in Room 303 where Jay Trask, University Archivist, will did a presentation on what the differences are between public libraries and archives and talked about what kinds of materials can be found in our collections.  The group then took a tour of the Reference, Periodicals, and Government Publications Departments.  The final portion of the tour took place in Archival Services.  After the tour, members worked in Archival Services or returned to one of the other departments to do more research.

Thumbnail of page from Library Letters Autumn 2010

UNC Library Staff Co-Author Book Illustrating University History: Mark Anderson, reference librarian, and Jay Trask, head of Archival Services, have co-authored a pictorial that documents the history of the University from 1889-1989. The 128-page book, titled “University of Northern Colorado” and published by Arcadia Press, will be released Monday, June 7. It will be available at the Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore in the University Center. Anderson and Trask sifted through thousands of images in the University’s Archives, selected photos, including from negatives and lantern (glass) slides, and wrote captions of historic moments that are published in the book. More, including a video of the authors, at:

Lower Level, North Exhibit Case:  “It’s Cool in the West:  Summer School at the University of Northern Colorado”: The first section of the exhibit features University publications promoting programs offered during the summer, 1912-1946.  For instance the 1912 Summer School bulletin contains a fold-out photograph that was taken of students who attended summer school in 1911.  Perhaps a 1928 poster best describes how the University promoted summer school:  “In attending Summer School at Colorado State Teachers College the student has an unequaled opportunity to combine work and play, study and recreation.  Ample provision is made for wholesome health-giving pleasure.”

Lower Level, West Exhibit Case:  “UNC Memorabilia”: Items in the exhibit case include:  Diving Score Board, circa 1930 and a Field Hockey Stick, 1960s  from the Mary Behling Athletic Memorabilia Collection 1st Place trophy for the 1969 Homecoming Parade to the School of Nursing; a Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) Swimming Championship 1951 trophy; a glue pot used by library staff; and an ink can.

Memorabilia recently received from Gerald E. Tanner are also on display and document his activities at the University, both as a student and a faculty member.  While a student at the University, Tanner served as President of the Associated Students at Colorado State College of Education (now the University of Northern Colorado) for 1957-1958. He was active in campus activities, including Choral-Aires, Intercollegiate Knights, the C-Club, Distributive Education Club, Blue Key, Sigma Chi, and Phi Delta Kappa.  In addition, he lettered in football.  Tanner was listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities in the fall of 1956. He was an associate professor of psychology, counseling and guidance. He was named Vice President for Student Services in 1980 and Emeritus Faculty in 1996.

First Floor, Across from the Reference Desk:  “Memorabilia from the University’s Past”: Two exhibit cases are filled with memorabilia from the University’s past, including the cap worn by President Snyder at commencement exercises.

The Archives faculty and staff have been working with both the staff from the Skinner Music Library and Dr. George Junne from Africana Studies to digitize some oral history interviews conducted by Mr. Paul Stewart.  Mr. Stewart interviewed a wide variety of African-American Colorado pioneers, including former cowboys and cattle rustlers.  Mr. Stewart was instrumental in the foundation of the Black American West Museum in Denver and has put together an important collection of artifacts, photographs, newspapers and other materials documenting the experiences of African-Americans in the Rocky Mountain West. 

New digital images are being added to Digital UNC.  The new images include additional lantern slides and photographs from the first decade of the Little Theatre of the Rockies. The Archival Services Department faculty and staff are beginning to convert our older finding aids into Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format.  EAD has become the standard for publishing electronic finding aids throughout the nation and the world. 

Both of the Archival Services faculty members will be presenting at the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery conference in Colorado Springs, CO.  The theme of the 2010 conference is the “Image of the Hero in Literature, Media and Society.”  Jay Trask will be presenting a paper entitled “Batgirl to Oracle: Barbara Gordon, stereotypes and the image of librarians.”  Kay Lowell will be presenting a paper entitled “Doing the Wrong Things for the Right Reasons – Or Not?  The Multi-Faceted Image of the “Hero” in Rurouni Kenshin.” 

Archivist Jay Trask will be presenting a workshop entitled “Preservation 2010: Preserve and Keep Your Paper Documents” at the Centennial Park Library on March 31st from 1:30pm to 3:30pm.  For more information, please visit the High Plains Library District calendar of events.  

Shirley Soenksen, Library Technician, will present "The Great War & Colorado State Teachers College" as the second half of the  Weld County Genealogical Society mini-class to be held on Thursday, April 1, 2010.  The mini-class runs from 6:15-6:45 p.m. in the Betty Bowers Meeting Room at the Centennial Park Branch Library, 2227 23rd Avenue, Greeley, Colorado.  Ms. Soenksen will present examples of faculty and staff who served during the war, briefly discuss the Student Army Training Corps (SATC), Weld County's Record in the War, the July 1918 Supplement to the Weld County News, and give examples of a few World War I posters, books and government documents available at the University of Northern Colorado Libraries that may be of interest to genealogists and the general public.

Approximately ten linear feet of materials related to James A. Michener were recently acquired from David and Karen Groseclose. Mr. Groseclose, who assembled the collection, is a leading expert on Michener’s life and career. He produced a near exhaustive bibliography of Michener’s writings entitled, James A. Michener, A Bibliography. Mr. Groseclose used his knowledge of our collection and of Michener’s writings to procure materials to fill the gaps in our own James A. Michener Special Collections. Both he and Karen are active members in the James A. Michener Society and have long supported the Archival Services Department.

The new acquisition represents a valuable addition to the James A. Michener Special Collections and will supplement the materials acquired earlier from the Grosecloses in 1997. The materials include rare and long out of print copies of Michener’s work in a variety of formats ranging from early writings as an undergraduate to magazine articles for a number of different publications. Additionally, the collection includes photographs, items from Michener’s political aspirations, and materials from studio productions of his novels. These new materials will strengthen the research value of the current collection, providing scholars with an even broader picture of Michener’s career.

Additional photographs from our James A. Michener Special Collections have been added to Digital UNC.These images were taken by Michener during his time in Colorado from 1936-1938 when he was both attending UNC’s earlier incarnation, the Colorado State College of Education, and teaching at the College High School. 

World-Renowned Sci-Fi Author Announced Donation to UNC: Connie Willis, an award-winning author regarded as one of the world’s premier science fiction writers, will speak and sign copies of her new book, "Blackout," during a reception 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the University of Northern Colorado’s James A. Michener Library, intersection of 14th Avenue and 20th Street.

The UNC alumna also will formally announce that she’s donating to the university her works, some of which will be digitized and be made available online. The collection will include her manuscripts, library editions of her own books, research for a number of her projects and her numerous awards. Willis, a 2009 inductee of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, has earned an unprecedented 10 Hugo and six Nebula awards - two of the genre’s most prestigious.

Willis’ campus presentation will take place in the Mari Michener Gallery, near the main entrance on the library’s north side. Free parking will be available in lots west of Michener Library. Refreshments will be provided. Copies of the book will be available to purchase.

Willis’ works include"Blackout," "All Clear," "Doomsday Book," "Lincoln’s Dreams," "Bellwether," "Impossible Things," "Remake," "Uncharted Territory," "To Say Nothing of the Dog," "Fire Watch," and "Miracle and Other Christmas Stories."

Willis earned from UNC her bachelor’s degree in English and Elementary Education in 1967. In 2000, a residence hall was named after Willis and Mildred Hansen, longtime publisher of the Greeley Tribune.