Growing up in a mining camp

20 May

Denzil Acklin was born in 1929 and grew up in the Industrial Mine coal mining camp near Superior, Colorado, during The Depression. Yesterday (May 19, 2014) he was awarded a Square Nail Award by the Boulder County Heritage Roundtable for his contributions to historic preservation in Boulder County.  Mr. Acklin was interviewed by Shirley Steele in 2002 for the Maria Rogers Oral History Program. Jenna Woods has produced a “History in a Minute” short video of Mr. Acklin talking about living in the Industrial Mine Camp. The video includes a hand-drawn map of the mine camp housing and photos of the family, the mine camp, and the run-down housing that his mother turned into the nicest house in the camp.

Got a minute? You can watch this short video here or directly on YouTube:


The complete interview is posted on our online oral history archive at


Creating Poetry Everywhere

18 Apr

As we head into the last third of National Poetry Month, we bring you a delightful 8-minute visit with poet Jack Collom, renowned for teaching thousands of Boulder County schoolchildren to love and write poetry and also for his stint as a “poetry busker,” during which he wrote poetry on demand for passersby on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall.

Many thanks to Jenna Woods for creating this “MROHP Short” and to Joyce Gordon who recorded the original nearly two-hours-long interview from which this short video was distilled. You can listen to the original interview on our online archive at The short version, “Creating Poetry Everywhere,” is below:

We’re All Over the Internet

4 Feb

OH Logo

We have a new brochure about all the ways to experience the Maria Rogers Oral History Program interviews on the internet. For example, did you know that:

  • there are two playlists of Maria Rogers Oral History Program interview videos on the Boulder Public Library’s YouTube channel: MROHP Shorts and MROHP Interviews? Play one or play them all!
  • We have oral history podcasts on our own iTunes page?
  • You can print out a form to order your own copies of oral histories?

And, of course, you can visit our online archive 24/7.

And you can read (and even subscribe to) this blog.

Read all about it in this new brochure:

OH Access Brochure 2014

Looking Backward, Looking Forward

27 Jan

2013 annual report banner

This past Saturday, the Maria Rogers Oral History Program hosted its annual meeting, at which we looked back at what we accomplished in the past year and looked ahead to what we all hope to do in the coming year.

A Readers’ Theater of excerpts from many of the 45 interviews that were archived during 2013, left people by turns laughing or moved with the poignancy of people’s experiences and insights. And inspired them to go out and collect more history in 2014. We plan to feature some of those excerpts in coming weeks to give our blog readers a sense of the some of the new interviews in our collection.

In the meantime, if you’d like to see an overview of what we’ve been up to in the past year, you can take a look at our 2013 Annual Report

New online archive site debuts

31 Dec
An interview on our new online archive. Now we are able to offer full video of interviews.

An interview on our new online archive. Now we are able to offer full video of interviews.

We haven’t been posting much to this blog in the last few months, but that is about to change. New year! New posts! Stay tuned!

Part of the reason for our silence is we’ve been spending lots of time fine-tuning our new online archive. The new archive is up and open to the public with:

  • lots of special collections
  • lots of information about each interview
  • lots of ways to search the interviews
  • and–for the first time–we are starting to add in video of whole interviews.

Come visit us at and explore.

In the meantime, a happy new year to all!

The Past and Future of “the White Man’s Fly”

12 Jul

What’s a bee space?

Who brought bees to Colorado?

What is propolis?

And why did Native Americans call bees “the white man’s fly”?

You can find out the answers to these questions and much more in our YouTube video “What About Bees?” featuring Tom Theobald.

Tom Theobald was the last county bee inspector in Colorado and has been a beekeeper for more than 30 years. A lively and passionate speaker, Mr. Theobald was filmed in his bee yards in full bee regalia as he told stories of the history of beekeeping, showed and explained the inner workings of bee hives, and reflected on the welfare and future of bees in Boulder County.

This video was compiled from a series of interviews recorded in 2003 for the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department and the Maria Rogers Oral History Program of the Boulder Public Library. The interviews were conducted by Anne Dyni and filmed by Liz McCutcheon. Video editing and production by Jenna Woods.

Grasshoppers Were Eating the Fenceposts

31 May

There will be a free showing of “The Grapes of Wrath” at the Canyon Theater at the Main Branch of the Boulder Public Library this Sunday (June 2) at 1 pm. To set the stage, watch this interview clip from our “History in a Minute” series, in which Genevieve Crawford describes coming to Colorado in a Model A Roadster during the height of the Dust Bowl.


If you can’t see the video here, you can view it on YouTube

From an interview by Shirley Steele for the Maria Rogers Oral History Program. Part of the Industrial Mine Camp Special Collection.

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