You are here

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 & 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