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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 1,000 entries* written and edited by scholars, students, professional researchers, community members, and others. Entries cover everything from the state’s ancient history to wildlife, sports, weather, geology, modern culture, current events, and much more. Approximately 25 percent of all entries include versions re-written at 4th, 8th, and 10th-grade reading levels for greater accessibility to K-12 students. Many entries also come with teacher resources, created according to state educational standards to help educators.

Since its inception, the Colorado Encyclopedia has been generously supported by the NEH, Colorado State Historical Fund, major universities, and various local organizations. In 2019, Colorado Encyclopedia received another major grant from the NEH, enabling it to begin its second development phase. This phase coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic, which re-affirmed the value of reliable digital resources amid nationwide library, museum, and archive closures. Colorado Encyclopedia continued to forge ahead during this period, adding more than 300 new entries with additional educational resources, including interactive inquiry cards and award-winning History Day essays on Colorado topics for students to read and emulate.

In 2020, Colorado Encyclopedia received another grant from the State Historical Fund for a pilot project to add virtual tours of historical sites to the encyclopedia. Soon, thanks to innovative drone photography and other technology, encyclopedia users can visit these sites to learn about them from all angles.

In addition, the Colorado Encyclopedia is currently in the process of applying for additional funds from the NEH for a third development phase. This phase will merge the Colorado Encyclopedia with History Colorado, the state’s premier historical society, to ensure ongoing support and consistent, robust development in the future.

With the support mentioned above, Colorado Encyclopedia will continue to be the most reliable source of information for all those interested in learning about the Centennial State.

William Wei, PhD
Editor in Chief
June 16, 2022

* Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the articles on this site do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State Historical Fund, or CE’s developers and sponsors.

Our Team

Editorial Staff

Editor in Chief & State Historian
William Wei, PhD,
Professor of History,
University of Colorado-Boulder
Managing Editor
Dawn Paschal, MA, 
Senior Associate Dean
Collections & Discovery,
Colorado State University
Senior Associate Editor
Nick Johnson, MA
Erika Volchan O'Conor
Associate Editor
Scott Spillman, PhD
Education Editor
Cynthia K. Stout, PhD,
Jefferson County School District (retired)

Virtual Tours Producer
Erika Volchan O'Conor 
Volchan Productions, LLC

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

Derek Everett, PhD, History Instructor, Colorado State University
Jonathan Rees, PhD, Professor of History, Colorado State University-Pueblo
Kevin Black, MA, former Assistant State Archeologist, History Colorado (retired)
Rebecca Hunt, PhD, Professor of History, University of Colorado-Denver
Stephen Leonard, PhD, Professor of History, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Thomas Noel, PhD, Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies, University of Colorado-Denver

Indigenous Advisory Board

Yufna Soldier Wolf (Arapaho)
Garrett Briggs (Southern Ute)
Adesbah Foguth (Diné)

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, Head, Digital Repository Unit, Colorado State University Libraries
Mark Shelstad, Coordinator for Digital and Archives Services, Colorado State University Libraries
Greg Vogl, Identity and Access Management, Division of Information Technology, Colorado State University
Yongli Zhou, Digital Repositories Librarian, Colorado State University Libraries

Media Acquisitions

Emily Bond, Colorado State University
Trista Barker, 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, Instructional Coach, Aurora Public Schools
Chris Elnicki, MA, Executive Director, Colorado Center for Civic Learning & Engagement
Jason Hanson, MA, Chief Creative Officer, Director of Interpretation and Research, History Colorado
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, Museum Educator, Studio Tectonic
Brooke Tolmachoff, MA, Assistant Principal, McElwain Elementary, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Content Specialists

Asunta Barone 
Andrew Cabrall​ 
​Claire Lanier  ​
​Michael Conniff 
Sean Fallon
Zach Lewis 
Dane Vanhoozer​​      

Student Interns

​Alex Massimi​​
Benjamin Goldsmith
Brittney Washington
​Eugene Wan
Grace Gann
Laura Schafenacker
Matthew Steven Mungai​​
Sam Routhier​
Thomas Gilbert


Anne Hyde, Community Section Editor 
Daniela Rovida, Library Technician, Colorado State University Libraries
Jared Orsi, Ecology Section Editor
Josephine Jones, Managing Editor and Marketing 
Leigh Grinstead, Digital Services Consultant, LYRASIS (Technology Advisory Board)​
Patricia Limerick, Place Section Editor
Reem Abu-Baker, Editorial Assistant
Thomas G. Andrews, Political Economy Section Editor


Colorado HumanitiesColorado State UniversityUniversity Press of Colorado


History Colorado State Historical Fund National 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