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Rocky Mountain News Collection

"The Rocky" is here!

After almost four years of contract negotiation between Scripps and the City, the Denver Public Library has officially been designated the repository of the Rocky Mountain News archives. The Rocky was Denver's first newspaper and existed from April 1859 until it closed in February 2009. The archives will be the largest single collection in the Western History/Genealogy Department of the Denver Public Library.

Here are the details:

  • Denver Public Library is the owner of the copyright including text and images.
  • The only property that Denver Public Library does not own is the Rocky Mountain News logo and IP address.
  • The collection consists of:
    1. 350,000 born digital photographs published from the 1990s to 2009. These images document the Broncos, Colorado Rockies and other professional sports teams; events such as the visit to Denver by Pope John Paul II; the Oklahoma City trial; as well as the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize winning photos.
    2. Nearly 200 boxes of negatives dating back to 1940s
    3. Approximately 500 boxes of photo prints
    4. Over 1000 boxes of newspaper clippings
    5. Microfilm negatives of the Rocky Mountain News from 1948 to 2009
    6. Electronic files of the Rocky Mountain News web page
    7. Some office files from the vacated news room, including files of the last editor-in-chief, John Temple
    8. Sketches made by the newspaper's cartoon artist, including images of civic leaders, business leaders, and celebrities
    9. Full text searchable articles from 1990 to 2009, available digitally on Newsbank, a library database

It will take staff several years to make everything in the collection available to the public. Making the digital photographs available on the Library's website is a priority.

RMN Collection timeline:

  • Digital photograph files will become available when they are loaded in the Digital Collections: late fall/winter 2013
  • Transfer and ingest all digital photograph files to the Denver Public Library Digital Collection: completion target, June 2014
  • Photographic print series becomes accessible, finding aid completed: 2015
  • John Temple and office files become accessible, finding aid completed: 2015
  • News clippings series becomes accessible, finding aid completed: 2016
  • Preserved RMN website pages available after 2016

Please note that this timeline is approximate and may change. The Library will continue to update the public when new portions of the archives become accessible.

Red Rocks Amphitheater during construction [1930].

Five men stand in front of the Rocky Mountain News building near 1301 Walnut Street in the Auraria neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Shows a single story wood frame building with brick chimney. Four men wear dark suits and straw boaters or bowlers. One man wears suspenders and leans on a cane. [1859].

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Updated: June 25, 2013