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Exhibits (14 total)

No More Pios: The Legacy of Settler Colonialism and the University of Denver

published as part of review process - December 3, 2020

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver (DU) has a history of athletic team nicknames, mascots, and university branding that draw heavily on the identity as the oldest private university in Colorado. The history of DU is also forever connected to the Sand Creek Massacre, where more than 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho people - mostly elders, women, and children - were murdered by Colorado’s Third Cavalry in November 1864, just six months after the University’s founding. 

Like many colleges and universities in the American West, DU has appropriated and romanticized Native American peoples and the U.S. settler colonial project. While many of our alumni associate the term "pioneer" with positive memories of the university, for many others, this term represents the forced expropriation of Native lands. Universities use mascots and nicknames to create a sense of community, but for Native students, alumni, faculty, staff, this term is a reminder of stolen land and genocide.

This exhibit explores DU’s history of mascots, nicknames, and branding and the changes over its 150 year history, which often took place alongside related social and cultural changes. “Pioneer” has not always been the nickname and Denver Boone was not the first mascot. DU’s traditions have changed considerably over time, and these changes – like the demands to remove “Pioneer” as the nickname – have largely been student-driven.  

DU is long overdue for another change. #NoMorePios 

Curators: Kate Crowe (Curator of Special Collections and Archives, Associate Professor), Elia Trucks (Student Outreach Librarian, Assistant Professor), Madison Sussmann (Exhibits Manager).

Warning: This exhibit contains materials that are racist and may be painful or traumatizing to viewers. Please proceed with caution.

MARS: From Red Rocks to the Red Planet

Coloradans have been fascinated by our neighboring red planet, Mars since the 1890s. Beginning in the 1940s, Colorado universities, companies, and individuals have worked toward reaching the planet and understanding its many mysteries. The first successful mission to Mars was in 1965. Since that flight Coloradans have worked on almost every successful Mars mission attempted by the United States.

This exhibit was developed by the University of Denver Libraries, Special Collections, and it explores the different people and institutions from Colorado that have been instrumental in United States Mars missions.

Access the full online exhibit - MARS: From Red Rocks to the Red Planet


After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

Seeking Grace: Black Alumnae at the University of Denver

Special thanks to: “Seeking Grace” project founder Dr. Nicole Joseph and the women of the Sistah Network at DU, the group she co-founded with Anthea Johnson Rooen to support Black women in graduate programs at DU. Thank you to DU’s IRISE (Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (In) Equality), for funding the work of Black graduate womxn and non-binary researchers to continue this important work.

Researcher Credits: Patrice Greene (2018-2019), Stevie Gunter (2019-2020), Kahlea Hunt-Khabir (2018-2020), Elizabeth Ndika (2018-2019), Rachel Taylor (2019-2020).

For more information on the Sistah Network, contact Anthea Johnson Rooen at anthea.johnson@du.edu.

For more information on the project, contact Kate Crowe, Curator of Special Collections and Archives at katherine.crowe@du.edu.

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

Woodstock West: "Build, Not Burn"

In May 1970, University of Denver (DU) students banded together to express dismay and frustration about the May 4 Kent State University shootings, and more broadly about the Vietnam War, imperialism, and the current American political establishment. Over the course of a week, May 5 – 13, students constructed what came to be known as “Woodstock West,” an encampment of tents and shanties housing 1,500 students on the site of what is now the Anderson Academic Commons.

This exhibit reenacts the day-to-day events including student protests, police and National Guard intervention, and the students’ desire to “Build, Not Burn,” the slogan that would become a rallying cry for the encampment. It also reflects on the significance of student activism and its impact on campus policies and practices.

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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Healing with Dignity: Access, Equity & Archives

This exhibit juxtaposes archival material from the Jewish Consumptives’ Relief Society (JCRS) with contemporary issues of healthcare access and equity. Each poster, curated by DU student, connects historical artifacts to contemporary organizations, individuals, and questions. By placing examples from the past and the present side by side, we hope to highlight the value of culturally sensitive care, celebrate successful institutions and leaders, and call attention to the work that is yet to be done.

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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Artwork from the Beck Memorial Archives

The Ira M. and Peryle Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives serves as a repository of the heritage of Jewish culture and history of the Rocky Mountain region, with an emphasis on Colorado. This includes the creative works of the many artists that are part of our community. This exhibit focuses on some of the incredible artistic works from the Beck Collection and the individuals who made them. 

The collections held by the Beck Archives contain a variety of materials including manuscripts, private papers, institutional records, oral histories, photographs, newspapers, memorabilia and documents which reflect the history of organizations and businesses, and the lives of individuals who have contributed to the building of Jewish life in the region. 

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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DU Know About Earth Day?

The University of Denver (DU) has participated in Earth Day since its inception on April 22, 1970. This year, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet.

All items featured were gathered from the University Libraries Special Collections and its government documents holdings. For more information about the history of Earth Day, visit www.earthday.org or the DU Libraries Research Help Center.

Join the DU Center for Sustainability in Virtual Earth Week 2020! They have a great line up of ways to appreciate our planet from our homes, wherever that may be! Check out the schedule for the week on their Facebook event page. Also. read DU newsroom's  "How to Celebrate Earth Day During a Pandemic" for how DU community is coming together to celebrate our plant during the pandemic. 

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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Portrait Project: Child Survivors of the Holocaust

Portrait Project: Child Survivors of the Holocaust features the collection of the Ira M. and Peryl Hayutin Beck Memorial Archives by artist and University of Denver Professor, Deborah Howard.  The project involved drawing 25 survivors of the Holocaust.  Four of the drawings are housed in the collection at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem, Israel.  The remaining 21 drawings as well as study materials, photographs, and other associated artworks are now part of the Beck Archives. 

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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#RESIST - Student Activism @ DU

Student activism on American college campuses, including the University of Denver (DU), rose significantly with the onset of the women’s movement, civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and related social movements. In the past decade, both on the DU campus and beyond, social media has played a major role in activist movements, providing activists with a platform to highlight injustice, build community, and rally people to their cause. Where relevant, hashtags for protest actions are included in image captions.

This exhibit features images from the University of Denver Archives, as well as images provided by student activists on the DU campus for recent protest actions. The exhibit is necessarily limited to protest actions documented in the Archives or by student activists and available to the exhibit curators.

The exhibit curators are grateful to the students and student groups whose work - in so many respects - contributed to this exhibit. We see you. We appreciate you. Thank you.

After visiting the exhibit, please complete this feedback form for a 1-minute survey. Collected information helps us improve and engage our exhibits with different audiences. 

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Chasing The Cure

Because of its high altitude and sunny, temperate climate, by the 1880s Colorado had earned an international reputation as "The World's Sanatorium." The state's small Jewish community was the first to come forward to aid consumptives who arrived in droves to "chase the cure" for tuberculosis, or "The White Plague," as it was also known, the leading cause of death in late-nineteenth and early -twentieth century America.

Dr. Jeanne Abrams provided the text for this Exhibit, which is based on her monograph Blazing the Tuberculosis Trail.     

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