Archives Research - CSPM

Archives Research

Starsmore Center for Local History

Welcome to the Starsmore Center for Local History (SCLH), the Archives and Special Collections Department of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. The Center was a gift to the citizens of Colorado Springs from Mary E. Starsmore in memory of her husband, James W. Starsmore. We are a repository of written and pictorial materials which document the history and culture of the Pikes Peak Region.

All Starsmore Center for Local History Collections are non-circulating, due to their rarity, source, condition and/or format. Access to the materials is available to students, scholars and the general public by appointment only in the SCLH Reading Room located at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.

What is an Archive?

William Palmer Portrait
William Palmer Portrait

Unlike a library, an archival repository houses one of a kind materials such as diaries, letters, scrapbooks, maps and photographs. As a result, storage and access are handled much differently than the open shelves of books available in a library. Collection materials are not only irreplaceable but require special handling and storage environments which necessitates that the stacks be closed to the public. This does not mean that the public cannot view the materials it simply means they need an appointment to do so. A research visit to an archives, therefore, is much different than a visit to a library. Once you submit a research request regarding your area of interest, the SCLH staff will determine if there are documents within the collections that will assist you in your search. If it is determined that we have information that will be useful to you we will contact you to schedule a visit. You may also email us to submit a research request.

What Are Manuscript Collections?

Manuscript collections are hand-written, type-written, or printed materials created by an individual, business or organization. Manuscripts are by their very nature unique to a repository as they aren’t produced in multiple copies. These documents are primary sources that can be used to study, analyze and interpret the history of not only the Pikes Peak Region but events on the state and national level as well.

What should I expect to find in your collection?

The SCLH houses over 6,000 square cubic feet of materials with the bulk of the collection being created between 1870 and 1930. It contains a variety of unpublished archival records such as letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and photographs that document not only the individuals and organizations who created them, but also provide insight into the broader social, political and economic history of this region.

Setting up a research appointment:

Please look through CSPM’s database, manuscript collections, finding aids and inventories, photograph collections, and maps and blueprints. Once you identify resources to help your research, contact the Starsmore Center for Local History. Include any names, dates, businesses and other information to help clarify your research topic. We receive dozens of requests each week and work to answer the requests in a timely manner. Please allow 7-10 business days for a response. Appointments may need to be scheduled several weeks in advance.

Citations & Permissions:

Manuscript Repositories, such as SCLH, are by their very nature unique as they aren’t produced in multiple copies. These documents are primary sources and are very important to cite as these materials cannot be found elsewhere. Whenever a source is used, a proper citation is required.

Though citation styles vary, the minimum citation for the SCLH collection is:

  • [description of item], [name of collection], Starsmore Center for Local History, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

It is also appropriate to include accession numbers, and box and folder numbers.

For permissions to reproduce items from the collection, please contact the SCLH staff for information. You can learn about reproduction and licensing fees here. On occasion, it may be required to seek permission from the copyright holder.





Palmer Artifacts
Palmer Artifacts
Handwritten Card
Handwritten Card