Preserving Denver’s History

The Denver Clerk and Recorder archives
the history of Denver government. Early City history was recorded in large books. Books from the mid 19th century combined handwritten records of City Council
minutes or City ordinances. These books can be damaged by water,
by fire or simply the ravages of time. Many of our books are in such a fragile state that the public can’t use them for research. But with the support of Denver City
Council, the Clerk and
Recorder undertook a massive project to move all the
records from paper to the Internet. Crews worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 38 days. They used special equipment to photograph each and every page of 900
books. Laid end to end, those 900 books would
stretch all the way from Mile High Stadium to the State Capitol. Almost half
a million pages were photographed. Photographing the books is only the
first step. When the project is complete, you’ll be able to search the index of documents by name, type and date. You can think of the index like the table of
contents in a book. The index will tell you what book the record is in and what page it is on. Then the search engine will pull up that record for you. So if you want to research marriage records or the deed to your home, you’ll be able to find that sort of information quickly and easily on the Clerk and Recorder website. While one team works on the index,
another team will seal and protect
the books to keep them from deteriorating further. This preservation project ensures that generations to come will be able to access the great history
of the City and County of Denver.

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