Library corner: A glimpse into the past through archives

Polly Gallagher and Tallie Gray
Grand County Library District

In an era where knowledge and awareness of our roots play an integral role in shaping an informed citizenry, the Grand County Library District stands as a beacon of enlightenment. Amid the bustling stacks and quiet reading nooks, the library unveils a trove of local history resources that not only offer a fascinating glimpse into the past but also cultivate a strong sense of civic responsibility.

As Constitution Week carries on, residents and visitors are invited to delve into the extensive collection of historical documents, photographs and archives curated by the library.  Hosting the only collection of microfilm, along with a brand-new microfilm machine located at the Granby library, patrons can view the county’s growth with firsthand accounts of pivotal events that have shaped its identity.

Now, one can select, edit, capture, enhance, annotate, share, save and print anything of interest from the microfilm. This machine is a perfect instrument for historians, students, researchers, authors, genealogists and anyone interested in savoring Grand County history.

Understanding our history fosters a deeper connection to our community. We’re thrilled to offer these resources to our citizens, enabling them to appreciate the struggles, triumphs and lessons of the past. And, if you’re uncertain how to use the microfilm viewer, ask a member of staff. We’re also happy to set up a group training if you’re involved in a local organization interested in this collection.

In the heart of the five libraries’ local history sections, visitors can find a trove of materials that reflect the diversity and resilience of Grand County’s residents. Our collection of Grand County Historical Association texts includes original letters, diaries, journals and personal experiences of individuals who have witnessed Grand County’s development firsthand.

There are lots of titles to check out at your local library if you are curious about Grand County’s history.
Grand County Library District/courtesy photo

Just two weeks ago, a retired U.S. Forest Service ranger visited the Hot Sulphur Springs Library with his family. As he walked around the library, he shared his memories of the building before it became a library. He spoke of bunking in the building about 50 years ago, how much he loved working for the Forest Service in Grand County, and how happy he was to return for a visit.

He and his family poured over local history books and journals for a couple of hours, oohing and aahing over names he recognized, black and white photos, and authors and titles that they all wanted to explore further. The daughter signed up for a library card and checked out numerous books to help with reminiscing. It was another celebratory day to be working in the library.

As we celebrate Constitution Week, we are not just commemorating a document. We are celebrating the living ideals that bind us as a community and a nation. Our local history provides the context for understanding how these ideals have been embraced and challenged over time.

Take the time to explore the rich tapestry of our heritage. By fostering an appreciation for history and civic values, the library continues to contribute to a community that is not only well-informed, but also deeply connected to its past, present and future.

Ask your local librarian for books and other historical items available for check out.
Grand County Library District/Courtesy photo
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