Hidden Photographic Treasures From our Past: Museum to Host Historic Photo Contest

To coincide with National Historic Preservation Month, the Museum of the West and the Loyd Files Research Library are asking the community to dust off your scrapbooks and show us your best local photographs from the past for our historic photo contest, May 4 through August 3. Participants’ photos will be used as part of an exhibit at the Museum of the West between October – December, and winners will be chosen in August with first, second, and third place prizes being awarded.

“National Historic Preservation Month is a time to celebrate history and historic places,” says Dr. Peter Booth, Museums of Western Colorado Executive Director. “We are encouraging community members to take a few moments to think about how history in our community has touched lives. We hope this historic image contest will inspire folks to dig through their family history and show us the best from the past.”

The Museum intends for the contest to complement the Loyd Files Research Library by filling in the gaps in the museum’s collection. Participants’ photos will be scanned into the collection, and the originals will be returned to the owners. 

“The photo collection at the Loyd Files Research Library is one of our greatest assets as a community museum,” says Carly Jones, Education Curator for the Museums of Western Colorado. “They show us our legacy and allow us a glimpse into the past; they provide us with context and understanding of how life adapted and changed over time; and they preserve what, in some cases, has been entirely lost. While our collection is vast, it is by no means complete. We would like to request the community’s help to enhance our collection and continue our area’s story,” says Jones.

The Museum will be accepting photos from all periods, including, but not limited to: The 1940s-1990s; Main Street prior to Operation Foresight; WWII Home Front; Maritime History of the Valley – ferry crossing; Rapid Creek; Rulison Explosion; Cross Orchards Historic Site; Teller Institute; and Operation Plow Share.

To enter the contest, please bring your photo to the Loyd Files Research Library Photos will be accepted on Friday afternoons after 2 pm between May 4 and August 3, or by appointment. Please contact Erin Schmitz at 242-3960 or eschmitz@westcomuseum.org. Photos will be scanned, and information will be taken on the historical significance. All photos will be returned. Photos will also be accepted through our Museum of the West and Loyd Files Research Library Facebook page if scanned in a high resolution with accompanying information. The museum will accept entries only with background information. Photos left at the front desk without curatorial permission will become property of the Museums of Western Colorado to be used at the curators’ will.

For further information, contact Erin Schmitz, Curator of Collections and Archives, (970) 242-3960, or Carly Jones, Education Curator, (970) 242-3960, ext 213, or visit museumofwesternco.org.