Significance of Collection Statement
Golden History Museum & Park collects things that document the history of Golden and the region. We have approximately 16,000 cataloged objects in our collection. Objects drive research, exhibitions, and programs.
GHM&P organizes the collections into four curatorial areas, including:
Objects (10,000 items) – The objects collection primarily includes historical items, but also includes art and a small number of archeological and geological specimens. The history collection encompasses household furnishings, decorative arts, machinery, clothing and textiles, tools, equipment and other Golden memorabilia related to Coors Industries, Colorado School of Mines and Jefferson County, to name a few.
Photography (3,500 items) – The photography collection contains photographic materials ranging from film negatives and transparency slides to digital prints and photo albums. GHM&P stewards the most comprehensive Golden photography known to exist. The earliest photographs record Washington Avenue in 1859 through today.
In 2012, we launched an innovative program to make archival scans of photos from residents who were unwilling to donate originals. We also care for a growing collection of moving pictures that includes early silent films produced locally and industry films from Coors Brewing and the Jolly Rancher Candy Company.
Archives (1,100 items) – The archives collection comprises historical records in a variety of formats, including documents, manuscripts, periodicals, correspondence, scrapbooks, booklets, oral histories, maps and newspapers. Holdings include the most complete collection of Golden maps (one of the earliest known to exist) and directories.
In 2018, the City of Golden Clerk’s office transferred 18 boxes of archival records to the museum. GHM&P also holds the Parfet family archive documenting 100-plus year story of clay mining and related business dealings along with papers and research from local historians, and Colorado’s Governor John Vivian.
Library (1,400 items) – The library is comprised of published materials including books, periodicals, and serials in relation to Golden, Colorado and the greater Jefferson County. The library includes nearly every published book on Golden, many of which are rare and out of print.
About 3,500 highlights of the collection may be viewed online, and more are being added regularly. About 2,900 of those are photographs which document a visual record of Golden. Some of our earliest photos give a glimpse of business on Washington Avenue in 1860, while more recent photos evoke the thrill of racing in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in 2011, for example.
These Golden-centric photographs have the power to educate, inform, record, and preserve moments in time for future generations. They are invaluable for sharing memories and self expression.
Interested in purchasing a reprint? Here’s how.