The Colorado Mountains: View from the Archives

Atop Mount Audubon, circa 1916-18.

Atop Mount Audubon, circa 1916-18.

Now more accessible than ever! Thanks to a grant from the Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board, we were able to process and digitize a portion of the Colorado Mountain Club Archives.

Located in the American Mountaineering Center, the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) Archives are maintained by the staff of the American Alpine Club (AAC) Library. From April 2017 to May 2018, with a dedicated group of enthusiastic CMC & AAC volunteers, we organized, inventoried, rehoused, and digitized much of this collection. The most painful part was organizing the huge duplicate collection of Trail & Timberline back issues and flattening summit registers. Interested in purchasing back issues of the T&T? Contact us at [email protected] Proceeds will go towards archives maintenance.

What's in the Colorado Mountain Club Archives?

The archives date back to before the founding of the Colorado Mountain Club in 1912. There are trip reports, photographs, lantern slides, scrapbooks, old gear, 'Save the Wildflowers' posters, and much more. Currently, most of the early trip reports (over 1,150) have been digitized and eight photo scrapbooks. We are gradually adding them to our Digital Collections website. As we create and catalog finding aids, you can find them in our catalog here.

Putting It All Together

Having all of these records inventoried and cataloged makes it so much easier for researchers to find information. For example, you can now find photographs from the 1915 Clear Creek Outing on our Digital Collections website, with a selection seen below.

By searching the inventories, you can pair those photographs with the Song Book written by the Club members, the Grays and Torreys trip report and the summit registers that were signed by the CMCers when they climbed Grays and Torreys on August 20, 1915. 

There are many more great records. Feel free to drop by the library and take a look. Keep an eye on our Digital Collections website as we are constantly adding more photographs and records.

This project was supported in part by an award from the Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), National Archives Records Administration. This project would not have been possible without the volunteers that inventoried, sorted, boxed, re-foldered, and scanned. Many thanks to Donna Anderson, Karyn Bocko, Dan Cohen, RoseMary Glista, Ann Hudgins, Peter Hunkar, Mike Lovette, Jan Martel, Barbara Munson, Roxy Rogers De Sole, Linda Rogers, Lin Wareham-Morris and Pat Yingst.