620 West Bleeker Street (Behind the Wheeler/Stallard Museum)
Hours of Operation:
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday*
For research assistance, please call 970.925.3721 to make an appointment.
*The Archive Office is closed for major holidays, including Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
About the Archives
AHS operates one of the largest public archives on the Western Slope, an invaluable public resource for the local and regional community. Located on the grounds of Ruth Whyte Park, adjacent to the Wheeler/Stallard Museum, the Archive Building is home to the Society’s archives and a significant portion of the AHS Collection.
Featuring images, historical papers, maps, and priceless artifacts from every era of the area’s history, the AHS Collection includes more than 67,000 historical items including maps of 1800s mining claims, 46,000 images, ledgers, oral histories, moving images, the entire Aspen Times newspaper archive since 1881, over 7,500 objects, and more. AHS ensures the information is 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 for research, for anything from genealogy to birth certificates to historic land use records. Archive technicians are available for research assistance (appointments are recommended). In addition, AHS manages an ever-growing online collection at archiveaspen.org where the public can search by keyword, or purchase photo prints. Research assistance and complete archive access is available by appointment, call 970.925.3721.
Currently on display in the Community Gallery,* The Durrance Collection display features photographs by Margaret and Dick Durrance, whose collection was donated to Aspen Historical Society in 2018 by their sons, Dick Jr. and Dave Durrance. Curated from over 600 images, the display captures Aspen and Aspenites beginning in the 1940s. Margaret Durrance was a professional photographer who worked with her husband while he pursued film projects; her work appeared in national magazines such as LIFE, Look, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. The collection features color as well as black and white images and focuses on skiing and ski races as well as Aspen’s culture of music and intellectual pursuits. The Durrances’ long history in the area and their immense contributions to the development of Aspen and Snowmass are reflected in the 90 + images on display. The Collection was accessioned with support from the Fred & Elli Iselin Foundation; it is available to view online at www.archiveaspen.org.
*The Community Gallery is open during Archive 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. The AHS Campaign raised $1 million in capital expenses to renovate the Archive Building, which was completed in 2017. Thanks to the collective generosity of many, the Archive Building now features community space for exhibitions, educational programming, and events; a 35% increase in our 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 allows AHS to best protect the Collection, display more artifacts as well as host additional and larger educational programs and lectures.