The Western History Subject Index is a treasure trove, and one of the librarians’ go-to sources. Think of it as an old-fashioned Google where researchers can go to find sources on various topics and people.
Each card includes a topic, a brief summary of an article, and a citation where the full content can be found, such as a particular date and page of the Rocky Mountain News.
There are plenty of quirky and unexpected subjects in the index, but one of the most dinner-party-worthy may be the Colorado “firsts.” This category covers a very wide range, from the first duel in Colorado to the first time women outnumbered men at a dance in Denver, to the first African American woman mayor in the state.
When looking at the cards, keep in mind that the date listed is when the article was published, not the date of the actual event, but the full content can be found in the microfilm and books in our collections.
For example, the citation for the first waffles served in Denver led to this description from the Rocky Mountain News, September 22, 1874, p.4 c.1:
Those geometrical, delicately-flavored and feather-light cakes, whose succulent virtues are epitomized under the one appetizing word ‘waffles,’ made their appearance at our hotels and restaurants yesterday.
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