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Records of the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter

Identifier: WAPW

Scope and Contents

The Records of the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter, consists of documents and photographs dated 1864 to 1988, with the bulk falling from 1973 to 1985. The material is useful for providing insight into the routine workings of the APWA's Colorado Chapter, through information on finances, membership statistics, award nominees, chapter publications, and various committees concerned with fundraising and general operations. Of special interest is research material collected in the writing of Challenge to Build, a chapter history published in 1987. This material consists of articles and clippings broadly related to public works, as well as biographical sketches and oral histories concerning key officers in the association's Colorado Chapter. As a whole, the collection provides an institutional overview of the Colorado Chapter, with most documents relating to the organization's administrative and bureaucratic functioning. Materials include annual reports, meeting minutes, correspondence, membership statistics, conference agendas, workshop pamphlets, newsletters, photographs, slides, and oral history audiotapes.


  • Creation: 1864-1988
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1973-1985


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 American Public Works Association (APWA) is a professional and educational organization that facilitates the exchange of knowledge and techniques related to various urban concerns - from sanitation and transportation systems to water supplies, flood control, and stormwater drainage. Created in 1937 by a merger of the American Society of Municipal Engineers, the International Association of Street Sanitation Officials, and the International Association of Public Works Office, the organization provides a forum for public agencies, private companies, and individuals to share ideas about public works.

The APWA's predecessor organizations were formed in response to the challenges of America's rapid urbanization in the late nineteenth century. Early municipal agencies such as these were usually independent from one another, each pursuing separate approaches to interrelated urban problems. Because these problems could rarely be overcome by a single professional specialty or within any one political jurisdiction, the APWA was chartered to promote broad coordination between all entities involved in public works. The association currently serves more than 25,000 members from 67 local chapters throughout the United States and Canada, publishing a variety of educational materials and sponsoring numerous workshops and symposiums.

The Colorado Chapter of the APWA was founded in 1962, with Bill Korbitz as its first president. Since then, its membership has grown to nearly 700. The chapter promotes public works statewide by encouraging professional development and public outreach through seminars and research, addressing issues of regional concern such as flood control, transportation, sanitation, construction quality, liability insurance, water resources, and administrative management. In addition, the Jim Murray Scholarship Fund, named after one of the chapter's founding members, supports education by offering financial backing to select university students in Colorado. The chapter also honors outstanding contributors to public works by bestowing annual awards, such as the Contractor of the Year Award and the Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year Award. The chapter distributes these and other awards to recognize achievements of both public employees and private individuals.


13 linear feet (8 record cartons, 2 document boxes)

Language of Materials



The American Public Works Association is an international educational and professional association that provides goods and services related to public works. The organization was created in 1937 by a merger of the American Society of Municipal Engineers, the International Association of Street Sanitation Officials, and the International Association of Public Works Office. The collection pertains mainly to activities of the association's Colorado Chapter, founded in 1962. Materials consist of reports, correspondence, financial records, meeting minutes, publications, photographs, slides, audiotapes, and research materials for Challenge to Build, a history of Colorado public works published in 1987.


The materials in the collection were originally grouped roughly by material or document type, which were then made into series. Materials within series were maintained in alphabetical order as found or minimally rearranged for alphabetical consistency.

The collection consists of 4 series in 10 boxes:

Series 1: Annual reports, 1974-1985

Series 2: Committee files, 1973-1986

Series 3: Colorado Chapter files, 1936-1988

Series 4: Visual and audio materials, 1864-1987 and undated

Subseries 4.1: Photographic materials, 1864-1987 and undated

Subseries 4.2: Audiotapes, 1986 and undated


The Records of the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter, was transferred from the manuscripts section of the Archives and Special Collections Department to the Water Resources Archive in February 2003.


The processing of the collection was completed in October 2006. Materials were removed from existing folders, inserted in acid-free folders, and reboxed. Metal fasteners were removed and replaced with plastic clips as needed. Rubber bands and self-stick notes were removed. Newspaper clippings were inserted between sheets of acid-free paper. Loose photographs, negatives, and slides were inserted in archival sleeves, envelopes, or folders. Existing slide sleeves and audiotape boxes were replaced with archival ones. Published materials not pertaining to the APWA Colorado Chapter were removed from the collection. Some routine correspondence, service and supply receipts, unused banking materials, and rough drafts for Challenge to Build were discarded.

Inventory Note

Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Estimated paginationis preceded by an "e."

Guide to the Records of the American Public Works Association, Colorado Chapter
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Nicolai Kryloff
Copyright 2006
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA