Check out our Oral History Blog, Listen To This!
The oral history program has undertaken a long-term project to interview Boulder County people about their flood experiences. Were you impacted by the flood? Did you help with recovery? Were you involved with providing government services or fixing roads or reclaiming open space trails?
If you would like to be placed on our interview list, contact program manager Cyns Nelson
The Maria Rogers Oral History Program, at the Carnegie Library for Local History, is a collection of audio and video interviews with long-time residents and other people knowledgeable about the history of the city and county of Boulder in Colorado.
We are in the process of making all of our 1,800+ interviews available. Old and new interviews are added daily. Need access to an interview that has not been loaded yet? Contact us at [email protected].
Search the Oral Histories
Search by name, topic or keyword
A Public Affair
Description: This collection is an archive of radio programs originally broadcast on radio station KGNU's program "A Public Affair." The interviews were conducted by Richard Kiefer.
African Americans in Boulder County
American Association of University Women Interviews
Description: The Boulder Public Library has a collection of ten tapes done by the Boulder branch of the American Association of University Women.
Arts in Boulder County
Description: Interviews about fine art, crafts, literary art, music, theater, and other performance art of all kinds
Description: This collection consists of a series of five interviews with Tom Theobald, who was the last bee inspector for Boulder County. Filmed at different times of the year in his bee yards and his Honey House, he talks about and demonstrates various aspects of beekeeping, harvesting and extracting honey, and using beeswax to create candles, in addition to talking about the history of beekeeping.
Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry
Description: The members of Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry worked for the release of Soviet Jewish "Refusniks" during the 1980s and 1990s, and then helped immigrants resettle in Boulder. This collection includes interviews with Soviet Jewish immigrants and BASJ members, including organizers, board members, host families, volunteer coordinators, and ESL tutors.
Boulder County Farmers Market
Description: This collection explores more than thirty years of the history of the Boulder County Farmers Market from its beginnings on the courthouse lawn in the 1978 to its becoming one of the more diverse and successful farmers markets in the country.
Boulder County Latino History
Description: This collection of interviews about Latinos in Boulder County consists of two parts. There is a set of earlier interviews that were collected from 1976 through the early 2000s. In 2013 the Boulder County Latino History Project gathered a wide range of information, including through oral history interviews, about the experiences and contributions of Latinos to this area over the past century. The 40+ interviews that they recorded are archived as part of this larger collection about Latino oral history. The second phase of the Boulder County Latino History Project will be to make that material widely available by developing a website, writing a book, and working with the two local school districts to incorporate Latino history and culture into teaching units.
Boulder County Parks and Open Space
Boulder Valley School District
BPL Outreach Program - Immigrant Experience
Description: This collection was organized by Ghada Elturk, outreach coordinator for the Boulder Public Library until 2015. In these oral histories, immigrant members of the Boulder Public Library’s English conversation class interviewed one another about their home countries and their experiences since arriving in Boulder. Each narrator is posed with the question "Why Boulder?"
Buddhism in Boulder
Description: Boulder's Chautauqua was organized in 1899 and is one of only a handful of Chautauquas that still operate year-round. This collection includes interviews about the history of the Boulder Chautauqua, cultural activities that are part of it, and the Chautauqua cottages.
Churches and Synagogues
City of Boulder Government
Description: This collection includes interviews with city managers, mayors, city council members. and with others about City of Boulder political issues.
City Planning in Boulder
Description: This collection consists of interviews conducted with the heads of the City Planning Department in Boulder. Most of the interviews were conducted on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of city planning in the city.
Climbing and Mountaineering
Farming and Ranching
Description: People have been farming and ranching in Boulder County from pioneer days on. This collection documents that way of life from the late 1800s to the present day, from horse-based family farms to organic, community supported agriculture.
First Presbyterian Church of Boulder
Description: These interviews are part of a series that detail the history of the First Presbyterian Church of Boudlder
First United Methodist Church
Description: This series of interviews about the First United Methodist Church in Boulder was recorded to celebrate the church's sesquicentennial.
Flood of 2013
Description: These interviews document the experiences of residents, first responders, governmental officials, and others during and after the Flood of 2013. Boulder County was particularly hard hit. The storm dropped 17.5 inches of rain in the county between September 9 and September 16. The resultant flooding stranded whole communities, damaged150 miles of road, destroyed 345 houses, damaged another 557 houses, and was responsible for four deaths. This collection is a long-term project; we began interviewing late in 2013 and expect to continue to add interviews for a period of years. Check back for new interviews from time to time.
Fourmile Canyon Fire
Description: The Fourmile Canyon Fire of September 2010 destroyed 189 homes in the foothills west of Boulder. This collection includes interviews with evacuees, people who lost their homes, firefighters, and other governmental officials.
Hairy Bacon Bowl
Industrial Mine Camp
Jewish Community in Boulder
Description: This collection of interviews documents the history and workings of local public radio station KGNU.
League of Women Voters of Boulder County
Description: This collection includes interviews about both coal mining and hard-rock mining.
Description: This collection includes interviews about post-WWII subdivision housing built in Boulder.
Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant
Description: The Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant, which operated for about 50 years beginning in the early 1950s, manufactured the plutonium pit that is the explosive detonator of a hydrogen bomb. This collection examines the history of the plant from many points of view. It contains more than 150 interviews with workers, managers, regulators, protestors, and people in the surrounding community.
University of Colorado
Western Yesterdays recordings
Whittier Elementary School
Women in Colorado: Hidden Faces
Description: The "Hidden Faces" collection consist of interviews with women living in all parts of Colorado. Most of the interviews were with women over seventy years of age who have recollections of life in Colorado before 1920. The purpose of the project was to provide Coloradans with exposure to the "missing half" of state history and to reassure women that they are very much a part of history. The interviews were collected in the 1970s.
Abila, Mr. and Mrs. George – OH0084
Interview Date: 1978
Topics: Boulder’s Chicano community: school, Native Americans, sheepherding, Depression (partly in Spanish).
Abila, Tom – OH0085
Interview Date: 1978
Topics: Boulder’s Chicano community: mixed neighborhood, Casey Jr. High, Goss-Grove area, Sacred Heart, prejudice, brick layer, rivalry with immigrants.
Ackland, Len – OH0991
Interview Date: 2000
Len Ackland, a journalist and journalism professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, talks about his career and more particularly, his involvement from the 1970s to 2000 in reporting about nuclear weapons in the United States. His writing covers scientific, … Continue reading
Acklin, Denzil – OH1098
Interview Date: 2002
People: Jennie Acklin Crawford, Violet Gardner, Dave Kerr, George Kupfner Places: Superior, Industrial Mining Camp Topics: Industrial Mining Camp, houses, boarding house, Morell farmhouse and barn, diagram showing layout of camp, fence built during mine strikes, 1938 flood … Continue reading
Acklin, Denzil and Jennie Acklin Crawford – OH1085
Interview Date: 2002
Denzil Acklin and his older sister Genevieve (Genny) Acklin Crawford grew up in the Industrial Mine camp in Superior, Colorado. Their father was a coal miner. They relate their experiences in this milieu, referring particularly to school, fun, family activities, … Continue reading
Adams, Chester – OH0253
Interview Date: 1985
Worked as cook in most of the major restaurants in Boulder.
Adams, Louise V. – OH1570
Interview Date: 2009
Louise Adams moved to the then-new Martin Acres subdivision in 1955. She describes living in Martin Acres in the 1950s and 1960s while raising a family, including the affordability and social make up of the neighborhood; nearby stores, parks and … Continue reading
Agnona, Silvia – OH2003
Interview Date: October 16, 2014
Silvia Agnona immigrated to the United States nine years ago from Italy (by way of Norway and Denmark, where she lived before coming to the United States). She describes the great variety of landscapes and the beauty of Italy, as … Continue reading
Ahrens, Robert – OH1805
Interview Date: 2012
Bob Ahrens describes his thirty-year career as a guidance counselor in the Boulder Valley School District, first at Baseline Junior High and later at Boulder High School. He discusses differences between providing counseling for junior high school students versus for … Continue reading
Aiken, Paul – oh1982
Interview Date: August 6, 2014
Paul Aiken, photo editor at the Daily Camera, shares his experiences and observations of the September 2013 flood in Boulder County. He describes the challenges related to traveling in dangerous flood conditions in order to capture photos to publish in … Continue reading