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About the Colorado Encyclopedia

Welcome to Colorado Encyclopedia.

Colorado Encyclopedia is the leading online reference work on the Centennial State, with more than 700 main entries on the state’s history and culture. It has been recognized as an authoritative source. According to the competitive Alexa Global and National web traffic ranking analysis, Colorado Encyclopedia already ranks nationally with other long-established, similar-sized encyclopedias of fewer than 1,000 entries; it has also achieved a global rank better than some encyclopedias with many more entries.

One major focus has been education. A quarter of Colorado Encyclopedia entries have been reconfigured for use by 4-12 grade students, with accompanying teacher resource sets and inquiry cards to encourage research on the state’s past. As the Pueblo Chieftain reported in 2016, “Colorado Encyclopedia [is] geared to young pupils. . . . It’s plausible the site might be used someday in statewide curriculum.” This is a prospective goal.

With its recent National Endowment for the Humanities grant (2019), Colorado Encyclopedia has entered its second phase of development, which will add several hundred new entries, with accompanying digital media and teacher resources. This new content will deepen the inter-connections between the site’s entries and enable readers to more thoroughly explore the Encyclopedia’s humanities themes.

As part of this new phase, Colorado Encyclopedia is participating in the Colorado Women's Vote Centennial, a celebration of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution (1920), which gave all American women the right to vote. With the generous support of the University of Colorado Boulder and Denver campuses, and the Colorado State University Libraries, Colorado Encyclopedia will be adding new articles focusing on this subject as well.*

Our central aim continues to be to offer a reliable resource for all those interested in learning about this extraordinary state.

William Wei, PhD
Editor in Chief
July 12, 2019

* Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these articles and on this site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the University of Colorado Boulder and Denver campuses, or the Colorado State University Libraries.

Our Team

Editorial Staff

Editor in Chief and State Historian
William Wei, PhD,
Professor of History,
University of Colorado-Boulder
Managing Editor
Dawn Paschal, MA, 
Associate Dean, Research, Digital Library & Data Services,
Colorado State University
Senior Associate Editor
Nick Johnson, MA
Associate Editor
Scott Spillman, PhD
Education Editor
Cynthia K. Stout, PhD,
Jefferson County School District (retired)

Governance Board

William Wei, Director of the Colorado Encyclopedia project
Margaret Coval, Executive Director, Colorado Humanities
Jared Orsi, PhD, Professor of History, Colorado State University
Darrin Pratt, Director, University Press of Colorado

Editorial Advisory Board

Jared Orsi, PhD, Professor of History, Colorado State University
Thomas G. Andrews, PhD, Professor of History, University of Colorado-Boulder
Rebecca Hunt, PhD, Professor of History, University of Colorado-Denver
Kevin Black, MA, former Assistant State Archaeologist, History Colorado (retired)
Patricia Limerick, PhD, Professor of History, University of Colorado-Boulder

Technology Advisory Board

Dawn Paschal, Associate Dean for Research, Digital Library & Data Services, Colorado State University
Regan Harper, Director of Networking and resource Sharing, Colorado State Library
Helen Baer, Digital Repository Unit Head, Colorado State University Libraries
Mark Shelstad, Digital Collections Services Coordinator, Colorado State University Libraries
Greg Vogl, Middleware Developer, Academic Computing and Networking Services​
Yongli Zhou, Associate Professor, Colorado State University Libraries

Media Acquisitions

Emily Bond, Colorado State University

University Press of Colorado

Lauren Anderson, copyeditor
Cheryl Carnahan, copyeditor
Laura Furney, Assistant Director & Managing Editor, University Press of Colorado
Tracy Jones, copyeditor
Sonya Manes, copyeditor

Education Advisory Board

Michelle Delgado, Aurora Public Schools
Chris Elnicki, MA, District Social Studies Coordinator K-12, Cherry Creek Schools
Jason Hanson, MA, Center of the American West, University of Colorado-Boulder
Stephanie Hartman, PhD, Social Studies Content Specialist, Colorado Department of Education
Michelle Pearson, Historic Preservation Education Grants Coordinator, State Historical Fund, History Colorado
JJ Rutherford, MA, Director of Museums Programs, History Colorado
Brooke Tolmachoff, MA, Social Studies Content coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Content Specialists                                     Student Interns

Asunta Barone                                               ​Thomas Gilbert
Andrew Cabrall​                                              Benjamin Goldsmith
Michael Conniff                                              Alex Massimi​
Sean Fallon                                                       Matthew Steven Mungai​
Claire Lanier                                                    Sam Routhier​
Zach Lewis                                                       Dane Vanhoozer​
                                                                                Brittney Washington 
                                                                                Eugene Wan 
                                                                                Laura Schafenacker


Anne Hyde, Community Section Editor (2009-16)
Reem Abu-Baker, Editorial Assistant (2013-14)
Josephine Jones, Managing Editor and Marketing (2009-18)
Leigh Grinstead, Digital Services Consultant, LYRASIS (Technology Advisory Board, 2013-15)
Daniela Rovida, Library Technician, Colorado State University Libraries (2014-2016)



Colorado HumanitiesColorado State UniversityUniversity Press of Colorado


History Colorado State Historical FundNational Endowment for the Humanities


Center of the American WestColorado Tourism OfficeColorado Department of Education Colorado State LibraryMetropolitan State University of DenverRocky Mountain PBS   Colorado State University Public Lands History Center