Water Oral Histories Collection
Scope and Contents
The Water Oral Histories Collection consists of oral histories and reminiscences dated 1986 to 1996 and 2017 to 2022. With a couple exceptions, the oral histories in Series 1 were conducted by Colorado State University history professor Dr. James E. Hansen II and his graduate student assistants. Hansen interviewed civil engineers or the family members of engineers who contributed significantly to Colorado's water history. Subjects include irrigation engineering and research, Colorado State University's contributions to irrigation research, development of large water storage projects in Colorado, and the personal and professional lives of some of Colorado's water leaders. The interviews in Series 2 were conducted by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District employee Ken Whitmore and cover the history of several of Colorado's Front Range irrigation companies. Materials are PDF files of transcripts and associated maps, photographs, and newsclippings. The interviews in Series 3 were conducted by the Water Resources Archive by request and focus on Colorado groundwater issues. Series 4 contains interviews conducted with Colorado water leaders who had retired or were near the end of their careers. Series 5 contains a set of interviews conducted by CSU history professor Ruth Alexander of the Public Lands Hisotry Center and comprise the Fort Collins Utilities Oral History Project.
- Creation: 1986-2022
Restrictions on Access
There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, it is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
The Water Oral Histories Collection contains interviews and reminiscences covering the work of several Colorado civil engineers, irrigators, and water leaders. The earliest of these oral history recordings and transcripts were mostly assembled by oral historians Dr. James E. Hansen II and Ken Whitmore in the 1980s and 1990s. A set of interviews on the subject of groundwater has been added. Interviews generated as part of the Water Legacy Oral History Project, jointly conducted by the Water Resources Archive and the Poudre Heritage Alliance, were added between 2019 and 2022. A set of interviews comprising the Fort Collins Utilities Oral History Project can also be found here.
0.25 linear feet (1 document box)
Language of Materials
The Water Oral Histories Collection consists of interviews and reminiscences covering the work of some of Colorado's distinguished civil engineers, irrigators, and water leaders. Subjects include Northern Colorado's irrigation history, irrigation engineering and research in Colorado, large water storage projects, groundwater issues, and the personal and professional lives of some of Colorado's water leaders. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.
The collection consists of 5 series in 1 box:
Series 1: James Hansen oral histories, 1986-1996
Series 2: Ken Whitmore oral histories, 1988-1990
Series 3: Groundwater Oral History Project, 2017-2020
Series 4: Water Legacy Oral History Project, 2019-2022
Series 5: Fort Collins Utilities Oral History Project, 2019
The Water Oral Histories Collection was assembled from several sources. The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District donated PDF files of interview transcripts by Ken Whitmore to the Water Resources Archive in October 2015 and February 2016. In the 1990s, Dr. James E. Hansen II deposited several interviews with the Colorado Agricultural Archives (CAA); the collection was transferred from the Agriculture and Natural Resources Archive (previously the CAA) to the Water Resources Archive in March 2016. Transcripts and notes formerly housed in administrative files of other collections--Freda Ogilvie from the Papers of James L. Ogilvie and Norman A. Evans from the Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute--were added to the collection at the same time. An interview conducted by the Water Resources Archive at the request of a CSU research team occurred in 2017, with additional interviews conducted in 2020 and added in 2021. Interviews conducted as part of the Water Legacy Oral History Project were added between 2019 and 2022. Interviews conducted as part of the Fort Collins Utilities Oral History Project were donated in 2019.
Most of the materials in this collection are available digitally through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.
Processing of the original collection was completed in April 2016. Electronic files were saved on the Library's digital server. Transcripts were placed in acid-free folders, and audiotapes were rehoused in archival polypropylene cases. All materials were then re-housed in an acid-free box. The 2017 interview in Series 3 was added in March 2018, with the rest of the series added in February 2021. For Series 4, the 2019 interviews began being added in August 2019, the 2020 interviews in October and December 2020, and the 2021-22 interviews in April 2022, with the final compilation video added in July 2022. The Series 5 interviews were added in January 2021.
Note: Supplied information in the inventory is bracketed.
- Glover, Robert E. (Robert Ellsworth), 1896-1984. (Person)
- Evans, Norman A. (Person)
- Ogilvie, James L. (Person)
- Parshall, Maxwell. (Person)
- Johnson, Harvey G. (Person)
- Spencer, Herb. (Person)
- Longenbaugh, R. A. (Robert A.) (Person)
- Sharp, Thomas R. (Person)
- Stulp, John. (Person)
- Wilkinson, Eric. (Person)
- Wells, Patricia. (Person)
- Hamel, Alan C. (Person)
- Smith, Travis. (Person)
- Robbins, David W. (Person)
- George, Russell. (Person)
- Shimmin, Mike. (Person)
- Evans, Harold G. (Person)
- Harmon, Dennis. (Person)
- Smith, MaryLou M., 1950- (Person)
- Danielson, Jeris. (Person)
- Scanga, Ralph. (Person)
- Porter, John. (Person)
- Kuhn, Eric. (Person)
- Schmidt, Max. (Person)
- Luecke, Daniel. (Person)
- Randall, Owen. (Person)
- Colorado State University. (Organization)
- Colorado State University. Department of Civil Engineering. (Organization)
- Colorado Water Resources Research Institute. (Organization)
- Denver (Colo.). Board of Water Commissioners. (Organization)
- United States. Bureau of Reclamation. (Organization)
- Anderson Ditch Company. (Organization)
- Coal Ridge Ditch Company. (Organization)
- Left Hand Ditch Company. (Organization)
- Lower Boulder Ditch Company. (Organization)
- Water Supply and Storage Company. (Organization)
- Pueblo Board of Water Works (Colo.) (Organization)
- Colorado. Department of Natural Resources. (Organization)
- Fort Collins (Colo.). Utilities. (Organization)
- Broderick, Jim (Person)
- Shoemaker, Jeff (Person)
- Trout, Thomas J. (Thomas James) (Person)
- Werner, Brian (Person)
- Mobley, Terry (Person)
- Doesken, Nolan J. (Person)
- Ward, Robert C. (Person)
- Wright, Kenneth R. (Person)
Genre / Form
- Arkansas River Watershed.
- Big Thompson River (Colo.)
- Boulder Creek (Boulder County and Weld County, Colo.)
- Cache la Poudre River (Colo.)
- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
- Colorado River Water Conservation District (Colo.)
- Denver Basin.
- Dolores River Valley (Colo. and Utah)
- Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Colo.)
- Ogallala Aquifer.
- Orchard Mesa Irrigation District.
- Rio Grande (Colo.-Mexico and Tex.)
- Saint Vrain Basin (Colo.)
- San Luis Valley Irrigation District.
- South Platte River Watershed (Colo. and Neb.)
- Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District (Colo.)
- Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District (Colo.)
- Guide to the Water Oral Histories Collection
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Clarissa J. Trapp; revised by Patricia J. Rettig
- Copyright 2022
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA