- Finding Aids
- Library OPAC
- Visit Us
- College Records
Using the Collections
The Robert Delaney Southwest Research Library and its collections are open to use by any user. We are a research library that houses an open-stack book and periodical collection as well as special archival collections. Archvial collections are not available for check-out. Although use is limited to the library’s open hours, the library’s holdings, including archive collections, are searchable online in the Reed Library OPAC. To access inventories of specific special collections, please view the online Finding Aids. Students and researchers are encouraged to do preliminary research to locate materials.
Advance notification to use our special collections is very appreciated. If you anticipate using collections other than our non-circulating book collection, please contact the Archives Manager ahead of time to schedule your visit and to allow time for our staff to locate the records you would like to see. Feel free to contact the Assistant Librarian for help with researching books, periodicals and special subjects.
The Delaney Library's books, periodicals, and microforms are openly accessible in the library. Other materials are housed in closed storage archives due to their special or rare nature and are brought to the research room upon completion of the Center's Special Collections Request Form and the User Registration Form. While the Delaney Library promotes the use of its collections, special handling requirements may have to be used to ensure their preservation for future use. Please see the Special Collections Use Policy regarding access and use of the archival collections at the Delaney Library.
Purpose and Scope
The Robert Delaney Southwest Research Library specializes in the acquisition, preservation, organization and use of materials that document the history of the College and the Southwest region of the United States, especially the Four Corners area, and the Native American tribes of the greater Southwest, including northern Mexico. Materials in the special collections include personal papers of individuals and families, business records of mining, railroad, and other companies, records of fraternal, religious and civic organizations (e.g. Durango Civic Club, American Legion), community action groups (e.g. Durango Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Land Use Commission), local government and political organizations, and similar groups. We acquire the records of defunct organizations, but also the inactive records of currently functioning groups.
The purpose of the collection is to provide information for the use of Fort Lewis College students and faculty in their studies, primary sources for the training of students in History, Archaeology, Business, and other areas, as well as materials to support research by the Southwest/Four Corners community. The library supports the College’s Southwest Studies curriculum. Delaney Library resources support student/faculty/staff research work, classroom instruction, administrative work pertaining to the College, research by visiting scholars and the citizens of Colorado and worldwide.
Orientation and tours of the Delaney Library and its special collection are available to faculty, students, staff, community members and groups, and other guests by appointment. While it is best to tour the library during our regular open hours, we will do our best to accommodate your class or group if that is not possible. Please send the Archives Manager, Nik Kendziorski, or the Assistant Librarian, Jen Pack, your tour request at least one week in advance.
Set Aside Research Time
Research is notoriously time consuming. Set aside ample time to complete your research well before your due date. Reading through various books, periodicals and manuscripts is a slow process, and you may at times be hindered by technical issues when using the library's microfilm machines and copy machine. In addition, most of our collections (excluding periodicals, books, and microfilm) must be retrieved from the closed stacks area by library staff and can require additional time.
Bring Appropriate Research Tools
• Laptops: The Delaney Library is WiFi enabled if you choose to bring your own laptop. First download and install the Anti-Virus Software so that you will be able to connect on campus. The library has three computer terminals for you to search the OPAC and Finding Aids.
• Pencils: Pens are not allowed to protect older documents.
• Change for the copy and microfilm machines: $.10-.20 per page.
• Flash drive: This is the FREE method of saving digital files of documents you find when searching microfilm or paper documents you choose to scan.
• Familiarize yourself with the Special Collections Use Policy.
Contact Us if You Plan on Using the Collections
Advance notification to use our special collections is very appreciated. If you anticipate using collections other than our non-circulating book collection, please contact the Archives Manager ahead of time to schedule your visit and to allow time for our staff to locate the records you would like to see. We will try to accommodate your research needs if you schedule ahead. Feel free to contact the Assistant Librarian for help with researching books, periodicals and special subjects.
Ask for Assistance
If you become frustrated or confused while researching or using the resources at Delaney Library, please ask for assistance. We are here to help you with your research!
Tools & Tips
There are several venues for searching for information in the Delaney Library. You will conduct a more comprehensive search if you employ several or all of these methods. The search methods are also viewable in the following How-To Videos:
• Searching in the OPAC for materials located at Delaney Library Video!!
• Searching in the OPAC for the special collections Video!!
• Use the Google search box to search the CSWS websiteVideo!!
• Browse the online finding aids and pathfinders Video!!
• What forms do I need to fill out to conduct my research?Video!!
• Use the OPAC. The most familiar way is to start by searching in the OPAC, which contains records for both Reed Library and Delaney Library. To isolate your search to include only those items in Delaney Library, use the Advanced Search option and limit the location to "Southwest." For a demo, you can watch Searching in the OPAC for materials located at Delaney Library.
Approximately 450 discrete collections are described briefly at the collection level in the OPAC. You can conduct a call number search to isolate these collections by typing in the search string sw coll immediately followed (no space) by one of the following letters (e.g., sw collm). For a demo, you can watch Searching in the OPAC for the special collections.
C for maps
D for info in digitital form
F for artifacts
I for microfilm and microfiche
M for paper-based archival and manuscript collections
P for photos
U for data contained in an audio or audio-visual medium (e.g., oral history tapes and videotapes)
• Use the CSWS site search box. By using the site's built in search box powered by Google, you may locate detailed information that isn't cataloged in OPAC records. The search box will search our entire site and exclude information from the open Web. To search only the page you are viewing, use the Edit > Find (Ctrl+F) feature that is built into your browser. As an example, try searching in the OPAC for Jicarilla Apache. The results in the OPAC are cataloged book and artifact holdings. The same search for Jicarilla Apache results in a different set of materials, mostly photos and primary source documents, when using the CSWS site search box. This method is similar to searching the pages of a book for keywords rather than searching only the table of contents and title of a book. It is a broader search method and will generally retrieve more irrelevant hits than searching in the OPAC. For a demo, watch Use the Google search box to search the CSWS website.
• Browse the online finding aids and pathfinders. The online Finding Aids are arranged and described by Record Groups and Series as determined by the contents of the collection. Often, keyword searching will miss larger concepts, so browsing is recommended if you are researching a particular topic. For a demo, watch Browse the online finding aids and pathfinders. Thirteen of our special collections finding aids are encoded in EAD and are searchable in the Rocky Mountain Online Archives, which represents selected collection holdings of 20 archival repositories in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
• Browse the stacks. This is a commonly overlooked research method that can often lead researchers to finding pertinent information through serendipity. If you have a specific research topic, go to that section of the stacks by locating your topic's possible location in the Library of Congress Classification scheme, which is the scheme that the Delaney Library uses to shelve its books. Scan titles and table of contents for information relevant to your research.
• Don't forget about the databases. Reed Library subscribes to a variety of databases that you may find useful in researching your topic. Particularily helpful when researching the Southwest are databases such as AnthroSource, Ethnic NewsWatch, JSTOR, and PyschInfo. Be sure to check a specific database's search features, as they often vary.
Understanding Archival Arrangement and Description
• Archivists organize and describe materials using the principle of provenance; which means that all the materials produced by a certain institution, office, or person are grouped together. Think about which institution and which individual is apt to have collected records in your research areas (e.g., Jim Dyer served on the Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee in the Colorado Legislature for the past ten years, so his collection should be useful if you're studying ranching in this region). Browsing books and collections are two different ball games; the researcher must think "provenance" when looking for materials in archival collections.
• Most archival records were produced for some practical immediate purpose other than your research needs. Think creatively about how to use those records.
• Archival materials are grouped in Records Groups or Series. All of an institution's records that pertain to the same function are filed together (e.g., you'll find all the College's old yearbooks in the same place).
• Subject access can be problematic; use the Library of Congress Subject Headings to search by the same words the catalogers used.
• For a detailed understanding of how the Center arranges and describes its special collections, please see the Archives Procedure Manual.
Understanding Archives Links
• Archives Procedure Manual
• Using Manuscripts and Archives: A Tutorial
• Using Archives: A Practical Guide for Researchers
• Introduction to the principles of archival organization and description
• The Library of Congress Learning Page
Useful Research Links
• Citation Style Guide
• How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography
• Copyright and Fair Use
• U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System
• Library of Congress Subject Headings
• Protocols for Native American Archival Materials
• FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
• Arizona Cultural Inventory Project: a searchable portal to over 600 libraries, archives and museums in Arizona.
• Arizona University Libraries Department of Archives and Manuscripts
• Boulder Public Library: Carnegie Branch Library for local history.
• Canyons, Cultures and Environmental Change: An introduction to the land-use history of the Colorado Plateau: Summarization of a vast body of research from multiple disciplines. Compiled by Northern Arizona University.
• Collaborative Digitization Program: online digital photos, printed materials, and early newspapers of the West.
• Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection: currently includes 147 digitized newspapers published in Colorado from 1859 to 1923 and is a joint endeavor of the Colorado State Library, the Colorado Historical Society, and generous donors throughout the state.
• Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Department: contains over 120,000 digital images from the collection, viewable online.
• Federal Websites for Tribal Libraries and Tribal College Libraries: The purpose of this website is to highlight federal government agency websites that serve American Indians or focus on American Indian issues, such as the Indian Health Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs; or have significant American Indian content in them, such as the CDC and the Minerals Management Service.
• Historical Foundation for Southeast New Mexico: supports the Historical Society, which runs the Historical Museum and the Museum Archives Center. The archives contain over 300 cubic feet of documents and photos available to the public at no charge for area research.
• Library of Congress Bibliographies, Research Guides and Finding Aids
• NAGARA: the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators links to government archives at federal, state, and local levels.
• National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collection: the cooperative cataloging program operated by the Library of Congress which contributes online records in OCLC WorldCat from participating archival repositories throughout the United States.
• Online Archive of New Mexico
• Prospector: a union catalog of twenty three academic, public and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming, including Fort Lewis College.
• Repositories of Primary Sources: a list of over 5,000 repositories' websites, arranged by region, and access to descriptions of holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources.
• Rocky Mountain Online Archives: a source of information about archival collections from twenty participating institutions in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.
• UNESCO Archives Portal: access to over 6,000 websites of archival institutions around the world and a gateway to resources related to internationally cooperative records and archives management.
Links to other Institutions in the Four Corners Area
• Anasazi Heritage Center
• Animas Museum
• Arches National Park
• Aztec Ruins National Monument
• Canyon de Chelly National Monument
• Canyonlands National Park
• Canyons of The Ancients National Monument
• Chaco Culture National Historical Park
• Chapin Mesa Archaeological Museum
• Children's Museum of Durango
• Crow Canyon Archaeological Center
• Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum
• Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum
• Fred Harman Art Museum
• Gateway Museum & Visitors Center
• Hovenweep National Monument
• Museum of Western Colorado
• Ouray County Museum
• San Juan County Historical Society
• Telluride Historical Museum
• Southern Ute Indian Cultural Center
• Ute Indian Museum
• Strater Hotel
Links to other Southwest Studies Centers (listed in approximate order of their founding)
• Center of Southwest Studies established in 1964 at Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO)
• The Hulbert Center for Southwest Studies established in 1984 at Colorado College (Colorado Springs, CO)
• Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX)
• The Southwest Center established circa 1985 at The University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
• The Center for Southwest Research in the Libraries at The University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
• Center for the Study of the Southwest established in February of 1990 at Southwest Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)
• Center for Greater Southwestern Studies and the History of Cartography created by the History Department in 1991 at The University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX)
• Clements Center for Southwest Studies established in 1996 at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX)
• Southwest Studies Program established circa 2000 at Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ)
• Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies established circa fall of 2000 at Austin College (Sherman, TX)