By JEFFERSON FERRY and JOHN SANDERSMANDEN, Associated PressAssociated PressColorado State University library and archives director Mark Schuster, center, and staff members walk through the library’s historic archives at the university in Fort Collins, Colo., on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2017.
The university is the first major U.S. institution to have such a collection and is preparing to begin sharing it with the public.
It will become the largest collection of its kind in the country.
Colorado State Library & archives director Chris Schuster said the collection is the result of a collaborative effort between the university and the state.
Schuster helped to build the archive as director of the Library of Congress and was instrumental in making the library a national leader in library and information technology.
Schuster said he has been working with the state library since 2013 to secure an acquisition for the archive, but the library board recently authorized a $20 million gift to the library.
The gift was part of a $6.5 billion package to upgrade the library and the department of state archives.
“This is a very historic day for the state of Colorado,” Schuster told the Associated Press by phone on Monday.
“The library is a public institution and it is one of the last institutions of its type in the world to have its historic collections in one place.
There are a number of other libraries and archives around the country that have collections as large as this.”
The library has already amassed about 4,300 items from the state and is expected to add about 1,000 items over the next five years.
It includes nearly 30,000 photographs, more than 5,000 documents and more than 3,000 books.
Schusters said the project was the first step in a long process to make Colorado State’s collection one of America’s largest.
The collection will include records from the early days of the state, from the Civil War through World War II, including documents from the Great Depression and World War I.
Colorado state officials have spent years preparing for the arrival of the library, which opened in 1867 and is the largest public library in the nation.
The university has an enrollment of more than 30,600 students and has been one of Colorado’s largest employers.
The collection is part of the university’s historic archive, which is a repository of state documents and historical documents.
The archive will be available online and will include documents from a variety of eras and from different parts of the country, including from the late 19th century, the early 20th century and the early 21st century.
The library plans to display the collection on a state-of-the-art display system that will include a map of the nation’s history and a list of Colorado landmarks.
The display system will be open to the public starting Oct. 1 and will be accessible through mobile apps.