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Helen Fischer papers

Identifier: COU:605

Scope and Contents

The Helen Fischer Papers contain materials related to her life at the University of Colorado, Boulder as well as organizations she was involved through her life. These materials include correspondence, a diary, publications, programs, memorabilia, photographs, and three audiocassettes of an interview.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1970

Biographical Note

Helen May (Waltemeyer) Fischer was born in Fall City, Nebraska on July 27, 1888. She is the second of three children, Frances and Marie. Her father worked in the mining industry and came to Boulder, Colorado in 1897 followed shortly by his family in 1898. Fischer was a student from 1907-1910 at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studied literature, was involved in a variety of activities, and was the vice president of her class for three years. She was also active in Mortar Board, Pi Beta Phi social sorority, Y.M.C.A., and served as literary editor for the Coloradoan. Fischer participated in the Women’s Athletic Association, playing basketball for four years as “Running Center”, and captaining the women’s basketball team in 1909. During her time at CU, she was involved in 11 school activities. Some activities she was heavily involved with were Pi Beta Phi and the Women’s basketball team. Helen Fischer graduated with a degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Colorado in June of 1910. After graduation, Fischer taught school in Leadville for a year along with her two sisters. She then returned to Boulder, married Dr. Valentine Benjamin Fischer in 1911, and received her Master of Arts degree in 1915.

Helen Fischer was involved in many organizations during her life. She was president of the Boulder Woman’s Club for two years, during which time there were over 500 members with the Boulder club the largest Woman’s Club in the state. Fischer served for four years as state president and director of the Colorado Federation of Woman’s Clubs, receiving an honorary title by the Ute tribe. She became a princess of the Ute Native American tribe at ceremonies at Fort Lewis Indian School near Durango. Chief Buckskin Charley presented her with the chieftain’s robe and gave her the tribal name ‘Red Bird”. She was also the president of the Boulder Child Welfare Association for over 13 years; was on the National American Mother’s Committee; and was the Chairman of the Colorado Division of that committee. At the request of Governor Sweet, Fischer served in 1928 and 1929 on the Colorado State Board of Pardons and Parole. She was also became the Vice president of the Anti-Capital Punishment Organization. After World War, II President Roosevelt appointed Fischer as the Colorado State Chairman of the National Rehabilitation Administration. Another organization she helped establish was the Consumers’ Council of Colorado and served as head of that group in the early 1930s.

Following Dr. Fischer's death in 1945, Helen Fischer traveled around Europe and other places. She made a special round the world trip in 1963. Helen Fischer died in 1978.


7 linear feet

Language of Materials



Helen May Fischer was a student at the University of Colorado Boulder from 1907-1910. Mrs. Fischer’s collection consists of a diary; memorabilia of the University of Colorado; her work with the Women’s Clubs; and the political and social life of Boulder, Colorado.


Except when preservation needs dictated rehousing, the Helen Fischer Papers physical arrangement has been kept in the order that they have been found. To aid in discovery, intellectual series have been created in the order below.

Series 1 includes audiocassettes, scrapbooks, a diary and correspondence.

Series 2 is a collection of programs both from the area of Boulder, Colorado and the University of Colorado. Within these two groups are the University of Colorado Artists' Series, Players Club and other University performances.

Series 3 is a compilation of clubs’ and other organizations' materials with a bigger subgroup of materials from the Federation of Women's Club.

Series 4 contains political materials consisting of letters, brochures, clippings, ephemera loosely organized.

Series 5 is a collection of University publications grouped together, then other publication materials following that list.

Series 6 contains photographs within folders 1-2, which are photographs from after her marriage to Dr. Fischer. These photographs have been intellectually merged within the rest of the photographs in two subseries and were kept in the order they were discovered in whenever possible. The rest of the folders in this series relate to Helen Fischer under her maiden name of Helen Waltemeyer. These photographs were physically and intellectually arranged into subseries. The first subseries called “landscapes” are groupings of mountains and grasslands, urban areas and water. The second subseries called “people” divide into groups, children, men and women.

Processed by Doris Mitterling, March 1979; Reformatted by James A. Thompkins, Jr. March 2006; Partially processed by Pariss Hazelman, April 2017. Uploaded into ArchivesSpace and edited by Jennifer Sanchez
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, Rare and Distinctive Collections Repository

1720 Pleasant Street
184 UCB
Boulder Colorado 80503 United States