There are hundreds if not thousands of stories waiting to be discovered in the Water Resources Archive. Below are some tips to help you find documents for telling your story, as well as examples of stories told by others.
Archival research can be difficult and daunting, but it doesn't need to be. Learn some helpful tips here:
- To get started, explore Colorado's water history (in just a few minutes).
- Do your secondary research first. A good starting point for finding books is Colorado Water History: A Bibliography.
- Get into the flow of archival research with a helpful research flowchart.
- Looking for maps? See Strategies for finding historical water maps.
- Doing research on ditch companies? Read an article on Colorado ditch company collections.
- Doing research related to the Cache La Poudre River? Surf over to the Poudre River wiki.
- Need some research ideas? See our growing list to get started. Also, read an article on research opportunities (pp.22-23) in the Water Resources Archive.
- Additional Colorado water history pointers can be found through the Colorado Water History LibGuide.
Here are some brief examinations of interesting items to help get you started. Watch for more to come (or, contribute your own).
- An American Struggle: Drought, Depression, and Desperate Times
- Eastern Capital, Western Development: The Greeley Poudre Irrigation District
- 1976 Big Thompson Flood, Wildlife Recovery Efforts
- Controversy: The National Park Service and Echo Park Dam
- Discovering: Why Echo Park Dam Must Be Stopped
- Valuable Insights: The Big Thompson Flood
- Parshall's Lantern Slides: A New Look at Old Tech
- Nature's Fury: Firsthand Accounts of the Flooding of the Big Thompson Canyon
- A "Grand" River No More: Naming the Colorado
- Travels with Marcie: Finding Love in the Archives
- Measurements Make Laws: Integrating Surface Water and Groundwater Administration
A number of books, theses, and even a documentary have been created from collections held by the Water Resources Archive.
- Crifasi, Robert R. A Land Made from Water: Appropriation and the Evolution of Colorado's Landscape, Ditches, and Water Institutions (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2015).
- Ettema, Robert, and Cornelia F. Mutel. Hans Albert Einstein: His Life as a Pioneering Engineer (Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2014).
- Franklin, Karmen Lee. Digging the Old West: How Dams and Ditches Sculpted an American Landscape (Arvada, Colo.: Franklin Design Bureau, 2011).
- Grace, Stephen, and Jim Havey, photographer. The Great Divide (Guilford, Conn.: TwoDot, 2015). Companion book to the film of the same title.
- Jones, P. Andrew, and Thomas Cech. Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2009).
- Laflin, Rose. Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache la Poudre River, Special report (Colorado Water Resources Research Institute) no. 15 (Fort Collins: Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Colorado State University, 2005).
- Mackey, Mike. Protecting Wyoming's Share: Frank Emerson and the Colorado River Compact (Sheridan, Wyo.: Western History Publications, 2013).
- Powell, James Lawrence. Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).
- Schorr, David. The Colorado Doctrine: Water Rights, Corporations, and Distributive Justice on the American Frontier (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).
- Sibley, George. Water Wranglers: The History of the Colorado River District: A Story About the Embattled Colorado River and the Growth of the West (Grand Junction: Colorado River District, 2012).
- Summitt, April R. Contested Waters: An Environmental History of the Colorado River (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2013).
- Tyler, Daniel. WD Farr: Cowyboy in the Boardroom (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2011).
- Tyler, Daniel, ed., with Betty Henshaw. Love in an Envelope: A Courtship in the American West (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008).
- Tyler, Daniel. Silver Fox of the Rockies: Delphus E. Carpenter and Western Water Compacts (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003).
- Nicolai Kryloff, “Western Waters: New Mexico's Big Ditch and Groundwater in Colorado's South Platte Valley.” M.A., Colorado State University, Dept. of History, 2008. The second portion of this thesis drew upon the Groundwater Data Collection, the Papers of Robert E. Glover, the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family, and the Records of GASP.
- Carol Hutton Lucking, “When the Well's Dry, We Know the Worth of Water”: Groundwater Mining in Douglas County, Colorado.” M.A., Colorado State University, Dept. of History, 2009. This thesis used the Papers of James L. Ogilvie as a source.
- Havey Productions has created The Great Divide, the first full-length film covering the broad history of Colorado water. The Havey team used a number of photos from various Water Resources Archive collections.
- Rocky Mountain PBS produced a "Colorado Experience" episode on the 1976 Big Thompson flood. They used a number of images from the David McComb Big Thompson Flood Collection.
- Megan Damele created this video, “The Colorado River Compact of 1922,” as a seventh grader for National History Day. She won the state level and went on to the national competition. Many of the documents shown come from the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family.