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10th Mountain Division Resource Center Update

10th Mountain Division Resource Center – Preserving Our Stories 

The Foundation supports the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center, established at the request of veterans in 1987, is divided between the Denver Public Library Western Genealogy Department and History Colorado. 

The library houses military documents, correspondence, photographs, oral history recordings, film, maps and other such “flat” materials, and the museum houses three-dimensional artifacts including uniforms, equipment and even a Studebaker M29 Weasel. 

As archivist of the 10th Mountain Division Resource Center, Keli Schmid maintains collections and ensures the preservation of materials. Here is her update for 2022 projects:

Acquisitions/Collection Development

Early this year, documentary producers Reda Films contacted us about using some of our original footage in a piece they are working on with National Geographic. They offered to digitize the films and provide us with copies so we sent them three reels from the H. Newcomb “Newc” Eldredge collection (TMD23) as a trial run. We now have three newly digitized reels of footage from 1945 Italy and are adding the videos to our YouTube channel. The films show Italian towns and citizens, mountains in northern Italy, and soldiers in foxholes.

We have taken in four donations composed of photographs, pamphlets, correspondence, and VHS cassettes. We are also continuing to work toward digitizing the Laurence Jump Papers. We received two estimates from outside vendors to digitize the collection; the cost will be approximately $100,000 and will take roughly 12 months once the project begins. Researcher Pascal Hess is conducting preliminary fundraising efforts to support the project. 

Community Outreach and Education

I gave two tours of the archives in March and will be giving two more this fall. One of the tours was for Alessandra Ravanelli and Marcus Knaus, documentary filmmakers from Austria who have met and worked with most of the members of the 10th Mountain Division History Forum.

Also with many of the 10th Mountain Division History Forum members, I have joined the advisory board for Ninety-Pound Rucksack, the podcast Christian Beckwith is creating about the 10th Mountain Division. The first episode will be available to the public soon.

I offered a Zoom tutorial on October 26 to demonstrate how to find information at DPL (and a few online sources) about specific soldiers and their service with the 10th Mountain Division. https://www.denverlibrary.org/event/navigating-archives-10th-mountain-division-soldiers

Thanks to a grant from the 10th Mountain Division Foundation, we have hired a 10th Mountain Division Archives Associate, Adrian Johnson, who will assist with research, digitization, accessions, and collection management. As part of a library cross-training effort, Adrian has spent time over the past two years in the digitization lab and in the archives. Projects he worked on include both accessioning donations and digitizing 10th Mountain Division photographs, so he hit the ground running on his first day in October. Projects he will digitize include:

  •  “This Was My Valley”, a hand-crafted album consisting of photographs of Eugene Rice and his brother in Italy, accompanied by a narrative poem by Rice describing their experiences in Italy (Eugene W. Rice Papers, TMD261)
  • “Dismantling and Salvage: Camp Hale, Pando, Colorado”, a photo storybook detailing the dismantling of Camp Hale after the 10th Mountain Division transferred to Camp Swift, Texas (J. Hunter Carroll Papers, M1966)
  • Color slides of the 10th Mountain Division in Italy photographed by Cruz Rios
  • Selected photographs taken while making a training movie at Paradise on Mt. Rainier in 1942 and 1943 (Curt E. Krieser Papers, TMD244)
  • Any to-be-identified items to supplement the web-based timeline Chris Juergens and Sydney Mauck are creating

Find out more at the Denver Public Library 10th Mountain Resource Center.