Field Trip Details: Penrose Library, Colorado Springs





10:30 A.M.

Our August Field Trip to the Penrose Library in Colorado Springs is Friday, August 28th at 10:30 a.m.

We will tour the Special Collections with  Lunch to follow at the Phantom Canyon Brewery across the street.


If you have a need, please contact Walt or Sheryl

Library Address

20 N. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903


Take I-25 South to downtown Colorado Springs and exit Bijou.  Take a left on W. Bijou heading East over the interstate, and immediately veer right onto N. Sierra Madre St. which becomes W. Kiowa St a block later as the street veers slightly left.  At the stoplight for Cascade Ave take a right and the library will be immediately to your right.


There is very limited parking on the upper level adjacent to the library entrance.  Additional parking can be found by turning right from Cascade Ave onto W Pikes Peak Ave and parking at the lower level lot to your right on the PPLD grounds.  The library has coin meters for parking in either lot.  There are also several paid parking lots nearby.  Don’t forget to bring some quarters if you will be driving!


For those driving directly to the Penrose library, the main library doors open at 10:00am.  The tour will begin at 10:30am in Special Collections in the Carnegie building downstairs.   Dennis Daily, Special Collections Manager, will lead the tour.  The library is open until 6:00pm, so you may stay as long as you want to research.  We will break for lunch following the tour at the Phantom Canyon Brewery across the street.

Copies, etc.

A copier is located within special collections.  Copies are 10 cents for B&W and 50 cents for color, payable to the reference desk when you are finished.  It is free to scan images to a USB flash drive.

The database subscriptions at Penrose include Ancestry Library Edition, HeritageQuest,, AmericanAncestors,, and 19th Century US Newspapers (published by Gale).  There are 6 dedicated computer terminals for accessing these databases.  The first 10 printouts from online resources are free, then 10 cents per page thereafter.  There is no printing code, so once you print, be sure to retrieve your copies from the printer, as they will print immediately.

There are 6 microfilm/microfiche reader/printers.  The first 10 copies are free, and then 10 cents per page thereafter.  PPLD is now a FamilySearch affiliate, so microfilm can be rented and ordered in to be viewed at PPLD, which may have broader operating hours than most Family History Centers.

What NOT to bring.

The following items are not allowed inside Special Collections; however, if you do bring them, lockers are available for your use outside of Special Collections.:

  • zippered bags (including purses, backpacks, fanny packs, etc.) or folders.
  • ink pens (only pencils are allowed)
  • food and drink
  • any published books or magazines (since Special Collections materials don’t circulate, it’s the best way to keep track of what’s what.)

Online Catalog

Take some time to search the PPLD online library catalog before the trip to see what resources you might want to access while there.  You can access the Catalog link in the menu from the main website.  If you want information on how to effectively use the catalog, there are some great online tutorials at

When viewing the items related to your search terms in the online catalog, you can check the boxes next to each item in the results list, and at the top of the page, choose the “Select an Action” drop-down box and choose “Add to List.”  You can make a list of items you wish to research and print it out before the field trip.  If you obtain a library card while on the field trip, you can also save your research lists for future access to be used as your research log or bibliography.

Library Card

Only tax-paying residents of the library district can obtain a PPLD library card with full benefits, but non-residents can obtain a Colorado Library Card that allows full borrowing privileges, but access to the genealogy databases is limited to in-library use.  There are other libraries networked throughout the state that also participate in this program and might be of use for genealogical research, such as saving catalog search results for future research.  If you wish to obtain such a card, bring a government ID such as a drivers license that shows your residency, or a utility bill.


Some things to be aware of in advance to help prepare for the most effective research trip:

  • Internal electronic resources like CD-ROMs are pre-loaded on the 6 computers and cataloged in main catalog with a notation that says “ask at reference desk.”  The CDs include such things as Colorado cemetery indexes.
  • The Pikes Peak Genealogical Society regularly purchases new books to donate to the Special Collections.  These are shelved on the new book shelf for 3 months, and then rotated into the stacks.
  • A large collection of periodicals is housed in the collection, including NEHGS, NGS Magazine, and local Colorado society newsletter exchanges
  • Microfilm/fiche collection includes DAR lineage society applications, Colorado censuses, National Archives films for all post-1906 Colorado naturalizations, local newspapers for El Paso County as well as surrounding areas such as Cripple Creek, among other items
  • Newspaper online index to Colorado Springs Gazette and other local newspapers is accessible via Pikes Peak Newsfinder at  If searching for an obituary or death register entry, can also link to the image directly from this index.
  • Colorado Springs death registry entries cover approximately 1872-1920.  These were indexed for PPLD by the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society.
  • Local resources include Colorado Springs city directories, government materials, manuscripts and archives, maps, photographs, oral histories and more.  Some of these materials have been digitized and are available at
  • Colorado Springs city directories, 1879-1922, have been digitized in a project with the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society and are available online through both the PPLD and the PPGS websites.
  • Finding aids for manuscript collections are online, accessible via the Rocky Mountain Online Archive (RMOA) at  
  • The general webpage for Special Collections is, which contains many additional links on the left sidebar and sub-menu tabs across the top of the page, worth exploring.