About the Archives:
AHS operates one of the largest public archives on the Western Slope featuring images, historical papers, maps, and priceless artifacts from every era of the area’s history. The AHS Archives and Collection include more than 80,000 historical items such as maps of 1800s mining claims, ledgers, oral histories, moving pictures, the entire Aspen Times newspaper archive since 1881, tens of thousands of historical images, over 7,900 three dimensional objects, and more. AHS ensures items are preserved according to archival best practices for the benefit of the community. The Collection grows each year, as do the number of archival consultations.
The public is invited to use the archives as a resource, for researching anything from genealogy to birth certificates to land use records. Archivists are available for research assistance (appointments are recommended).
In addition, AHS online archives is accessible online at archiveaspen.org, featuring the majority of the AHS Collection updated in real-time and searchable by keyword. Photo files are available for purchase as prints or for commercial use on a fee basis.
Research assistance and access to the physical Archives is available by appointment, email [email protected] or call 970.925.3721.
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., appointments recommended
To book an appointment or for research requests, email [email protected] or call 970.925.3721
The Archives Office is closed December 22, 2023 – January 1, 2024 as well as for major holidays including Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and November 22-24, 2023 for Thanksgiving week.
620 W. Bleeker Street (Adjacent to the Wheeler/Stallard Museum on the grounds of the Ruth Whyte Park)
The Community Gallery is a multi-use space located on the first floor of the Archives Building. The room is available by appointment for use as a meeting space, contact [email protected] to reserve. The Community Gallery also features rotating displays highlighting works from the AHS Collection.
In the Archives Building Community Gallery, a curated display of historical images from the newly accession Aspen Illustrated News Collection offers viewers a photojournalistic history of life in the area in the late 1960s. Launched as an alternative to The Aspen Times, the Aspen Illustrated News was published weekly from December 18, 1964 through February 1970. The newspaper was owned and published by Harold Pabst (of the Pabst Blue Ribbon family) and, according to the inaugural issue, the paper was “…dedicated to bringing, both in words and pictures, news of interest to Aspen and Pitkin County. Aspen and Pitkin County are growing at a pace which virtually guarantees that we will have more problems, not less. This calls for more community action, cooperation, and solid information.” The photo-heavy publication featured images taken by staff and freelancers, including prolific photographer David Hiser, who provided a vibrant view of the 1960s as they documented life in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. The Aspen Illustrated News Collection was donated by the Pabst family and includes hard copies of the issues as well as more than 5,500 images taken by various photographers for the paper.
The Community Gallery is open during Archives Building hours, however it is best to call ahead to confirm access in case there are meetings or gatherings in the room that prohibit viewing of the display.
Building History & The AHS Campaign
The replica carriage house was built in 1977. A major renovation was completed in 2017, funded by the AHS Campaign, which raised $1 million in capital expenses for the critical renovation project. Thanks to the collective generosity of many, the Archive Building now features community space for exhibitions, educational programming, and events; a 35% increase in collection storage capacity; a state-of-the-art climate control system and advanced hazard-protection system to safeguard our collection; and additional space for offices. AHS celebrated the renovation of the Archive Building with a Grand Opening and Community Celebration, on July 14, 2017 with over 400 community members. The renovation allowed AHS to best protect the Collection, display more artifacts, and host additional and larger educational programs and lectures.
Click on the images below for a larger view and details of the renovated Archive Building.