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Colorado Chautauqua Association Publications

Identifier: COU:378

Scope and Contents

The Colorado Chautauqua Association Collection does not contain official papers pertaining to the organization. These papers can be found at the Colorado Chautauqua headquarters on 900 Baseline Road in Boulder, CO. This specific collection primarily contains public and personal publications, arranged in chronological order from 1890-1989. Within the archives, there is also a photo collection in the University of Colorado Museum Photographic Collection.


  • Creation: 1892 - 1949


The Chautauqua movement began in Chautauqua, New York in 1847 and rapidly spread throughout the country. The aim was to combine the religious with cultural and intellectual events to “build the moral character and give a broader view of intellectual life.”

Before radio and television, the Chautauqua movement united millions in common cultural and educational experiences. Orators, performers, and educators traveled a national Chautauqua circuit of more than 12,000 sites bringing lectures, performances, concerts, classes, and exhibitions to thousands of people in small towns and cities. Theodore Roosevelt called Chautauquas, “The most American thing in America.”

The Chautauqua made its way to Colorado in September 1897, when G.F. Winston, President of Texas University, several other fellow educators from the south west, and railroad officials sought to place a Chautauqua west of the Mississippi River. At the time, most Chautauqua’s were centered in and around New England. In the fall of 1897, investors finally agreed to place the Chautauqua in Boulder, providing that the town donate the land needed, and make a commitment to a long term investment.

Since 1898, the Colorado Chautauqua has served as a quaint summer retreat to many. It has been a means of bringing culture, classes, lectures, concerts, and outdoor activities to not only those who have participated in the Chautauqua retreats but to those living in the Boulder Area.

The Colorado Chautauqua Association is the organization that keeps the Colorado Chautauqua running each year. Its members are comprised of people from all over Boulder County that look after its well being and financial status. The association is also closely affiliated with the National Register of Historic Places. With the proper guidance of the NRHP, The Colorado Chautauqua Association has been able to make necessary accommodations to keep the buildings and cabins in proper condition for those who use them during the retreats and throughout the year.

Today the Colorado Chautauqua serves as one of the only remaining Chautauqua’s in the country and the only remaining Chautauqua west of the Mississippi River. Never the less, every summer it still manages to bring in travelers from all over the United States.


1.50 linear feet (3 Boxes)

Language of Materials



The Colorado Chautauqua Organization was organized in 1897 and holds sessions each summer in Boulder, Colorado. The collection contains the early history of Chautauqua, the programs and bulletins of the Colorado Chautauqua from 1902-1949.


This collection is arranged into the following series: PUBLICATIONS

Processed by: Christopher Leighton Edited by: Alex Jefferson
December, 1977
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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