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About this collection

Pueblo City-County Library District Oral History Collection: Colorado Sound Bytes

Oral history projects during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 90s, are the building blocks of a legacy of recorded interviews on Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding region. Multiple organizations contributed to the creation of these oral histories that were originally recorded on cassette tapes. The Pueblo City-County Library District has a total of 1,625 hours of recorded history. In 2014, PCCLD begin the digital conversion of these oral histories. The Colorado Sound Bytes collection is an aggregate of seven discrete initiatives.

The Country School Legacy Collection (C.S.L) was the result of a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, and part of a larger project titled, “Country School Legacy Report for Southern Colorado,” in which these tapes are based. The audio recordings represented in this collection include Pueblo’s early schools, and those that attended the inaugural classes. Included are the tales and experiences of growing up in a different generation.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education Collection (WICHE) along with CSU-Pueblo (then U.S.C), compiled interviews which focused on a number of subject areas including family history, neighborhoods, employment, education, ethnicity, and cultural traditions. Dr. Lawrence Daxton and Mrs. Joanne Dodds were two prominent committee members that facilitated the acquisition of these oral histories based on the Pueblo community.

Pueblo Library Historical Interviews (P.L.H.I.) consists of a wide range of subjects. These oral histories tell the nuances of daily life and times in Pueblo, Walsenburg, Trinidad, Las Animas, Swallows, Rye, and Crow Junction in Colorado. Some topics include family history, the history of The Pueblo Chieftain Newspaper, the boot leg era, coal mining, Pueblo baseball history, the Hoag Family, and publishing in Pueblo, Colorado.  The Pueblo Library District Collection (which is now Pueblo City-County Library District); interviews are a continuation from the Pueblo Library Historical Interviews. Many of the same topics are covered.

The Pueblo County Archeological Society also contributed greatly to the oral history project. Many of the P.C.A.S. tapes are recordings of the society’s meetings. Topics such as the Mayan Calendar, the Comanche Grasslands, Civil War, petro glyphs in Southeastern Colorado, and Spanish Exploration in Colorado are also included. Many of the meetings include various speakers as well as the audio recordings.

The Edward Simonich Special Collection (E.S.S.C.) is vast and consists of various topics based in Southern Colorado. Mr. Simonich conducted all the interviews that are based on Pueblo businesses, the history of Union Avenue in Pueblo, saddle makers of Pueblo, Custer and Pueblo County, Beulah and Pueblo Mountain Park ,as well as Pueblo’s City Parks as told by Mr. George Williams. Also included in this collection is the history of the Mormon Cemetery of 1846.

The Pueblo Mosaic Collection was a joint project of the Pueblo Human Resources Commission, the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, and Pueblo Regional Library. Funded by the Colorado Humanities Program, the program contributed the cost of the tapes. All the other materials and expenses were from the Library. The interviews were conducted by volunteers and told the stories of ethnic heritage groups of Pueblo, Colorado. Representatives of the following groups were interviewed: Italians, African-Americans, Greeks, Irish, Slavs, Hispanics, and Germans. 

PCCLD will continually add to this collection as materials are digitized and transcribed. If there is something of particular interest, contact the Rawlings Special Collections directly.  


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