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Archives Research

Cheyene Mtn. view from Monument Valley Park
Cheyenne Mtn. view from Monument Valley Park

Starsmore Center for Local History
Welcome to the Starsmore Center for Local History (SCLH), the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. The Center was a gift to the citizens of Colorado Springs from Mary E. Starsmore in memory of her husband, James W. Starsmore. We are a repository of written and pictorial materials which document the history and culture of the Pikes Peak Region.

All Starsmore Center for Local History Collections are non-circulating, due to their rarity, source, condition and/or format. Access to the materials is available to students, scholars and the general public by appointment in the SCLH Reading Room. Due to recent budget cuts and the resulting staff reductions, appointments are available Wednesday through Saturday, Noon - 4 p.m. Please contact us for further information.

What is an Archive?  Unlike a library, an archival repository houses one of a kind materials such as diaries, letters, scrapbooks, maps and photographs. As a result, storage and access are handled much differently than the open shelves of books available in a library. Collection materials are not only irreplaceable but require special handling and storage environments which necessitates that the stacks be closed to the public. This does not mean that the public cannot view the materials it simply means they need an appointment to do so. A research visit to an archives, therefore, is much different than a visit to a library. Once you submit a research request regarding your area of interest, the SCLH staff will determine if there are documents within the collections that will assist you in your search. If it is determined that we have information that will be useful to you we will contact you to schedule a visit. Click here to submit a research request (via email).

What Are Manuscript Collections?  Manuscript collections are hand-written, type-written, or printed materials created by an individual, business or organization. Manuscripts are by their very nature unique to a repository as they aren't produced in multiple copies. These documents are primary sources that can be used to study, analyze and interpret the history of not only the Pikes Peak Region but events on the state and national level as well.

What should I expect to find in your collection?  The SCLH houses over 6,000 square cubic feet of materials with the bulk of the collection being created between 1870 and 1930. It contains a variety of unpublished archival records such as letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and photographs that document not only the individuals and organizations who created them, but also provide insight into the broader social, political and economic history of this region.