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“Under Construction”

January 12, 2015

We’ve taken down the “Under Construction” sign. I’m not referring to the ladders, buckets, trashcans, and wads of paper towels you may have noticed recently. Those were for roof leaks.

Nor am I referring to the cones and blocked parking out front, which was all about the ice problem. Nor even the wafting scent of paint you may have caught from a little touch-up work.

The “Under Construction” sign was on our remodeled archive website. It will, of course, always be under construction as we add things to it, but it’s now open for visitors. Joy, who has been, and will be, adding to the site, would love for you to visit.

So, go to and find the tab named “The Salida Archive.” This will lead you to the archive site and another selection of tabs.

The first tab is “Photo Archive,” which is then organized by “collection,” the first of which is the “Salida Centennial Photo Archive” compiled for Salida’s 1980 centennial celebration.

Some of you may remember this collection from the old Carnegie reference room before 1997, where the photos were displayed in two red albums. Copies could be had by appealing to Dick Dixon, who would proceed to make prints to order in his dark room. I still don’t know which seems more magical—digital images or photographic paper.

There’s a brief history of the collection there, which you might enjoy. In the “Anonymous Collection” is a group photo with the rare, detailed accounting of who’s who. Photographs that include who, what, where, when, (and maybe why), can be exceedingly valuable for an archive.

The “Bateman Family Collection” has one of those wonderful shots of F Street looking toward Tenderfoot with hundred-year-old vehicles, including a horse-drawn carriage for Cool’s Jersey Dairy. Zooming in on old photos is fascinating—instant time travel, no DeLorean necessary.

The “Laura Evans Collection” includes transcripts of interviews with Laura Evans, which we offer thanks to History Colorado, which owns the Fred Mazzulla collection, whence comes much of the information about Ms. Evans.

There are many more photo collections to browse. Moving on to the “Collections” tab, you’ll find other local history information, such as “The Lago-Salida Connection” by Dr. Frank Gallo, in which you’ll see a color version of this history of Italian immigration to Salida.

There’s also the library’s collection of old tax assessor cards with information and photos about some Salida properties. It’s an incomplete collection, but all of history is incomplete from the moment it begins. The cards include some interesting photos of properties that have undergone considerable change.

The next tab is “Local Lore,” which will certainly grow over time. It includes pamphlets, clippings, stories. When does local history become real history? There’s always been more interest in local history than material to satisfy it. Much is stored in our heads, repeated and refined, sometimes even bearing resemblance to the original events. Perhaps we can help collect more of this.

The Salida Museum is another source of local history ( ), as well as the published material we keep in our Colorado collection at the library.

On the archive website, you’ll find on the “Info” tab a list of the kinds of things we’re interested in collecting. It may not be complete; however, it limits our scope in contrast to a museum collection of larger objects.

We’re committed now to offering as much of our archive collection as possible online, while cataloging and preserving originals for the future. More to come—the future never exists, but its history does.


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One Comment
  1. Congratulations! I just checked out the site and there’s a lot of stuff, more than I would have expected. Nice job! It seems like a wonderful resource for the folks in Salida.

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