History of the Jeffco Archives

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

Our previous post on the anniversary of Jeffco’s Archives didn’t mention the key role JCHC played in the origins of the Jefferson County Archives. In a longer version of her anniversary archives article, which will appear in this fall’s Historically Jeffco magazine, archivist Ronda Frazier reviews this early history. Excerpts below:

As early as 1916, Jefferson County became aware of the importance of protecting and preserving its invaluable records after a fire broke out at the courthouse in Golden. At a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, funds were authorized to build a vault which would be sufficient in size to accommodate all the records of the county. The vault would be used by the Treasurer and the Assessor, and for overflow records from other offices. In 1979, a recommendation was made by County Clerk and Recorder Norm Allen to establish a County Archival Department which could be housed in the jail that would soon be abandoned. However it wasn’t until 1989 that an actual job description for an archivist was written and approved, with help from the Jefferson County Historical Commission.

In January 1991, the first County Archivist, Duncan McCollum, was hired. His office was in the Library Administration Building in Lakewood. With no budget or staff, he reported to County Librarian Bill Knott. … The County Archivist was directed to identify and locate all County public records; to develop a comprehensive plan and program for the management and permanent preservation of the County’s records (as mandated by the Colorado General Assembly); and to act as coordinator between the County and the Colorado State Archives to ensure that records retention requirements set by the State were met. …

In 1994, the Records Management Department was created. Offices and storage areas were moved to the new Administration and Courts Building, and staff positions were added. The department’s name was changed to Archives and Records Management in 1995 (the name was reversed to Records Management and Archives in 2009)… A County Records Manager position was added; Archives and Records Management became a section within the County’s IT Services Department in 2005. In 2010, the offices, archives reading room, and historical collections were moved to their current location in the Laramie Building at 3500 Illinois Street in Golden.

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