Get the state of the state with new 'Colorado Encyclopedia'

Posted by Gracie Ramsdell on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM

It would be a beautiful thing if people could reference an encyclopedia on Texas before they proceed with the not-infrequent nitwit questions about my home state. I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me if I used to ride a horse to school; or why I don’t have a southern accent; or if things “really are bigger.”

Unfortunately, there isn’t an encyclopedia — at least not yet. However, Texas is one of the 39 states recently granted funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop just that: an encyclopedia dedicated to its state. In total, the grants amount to $17.4 million. 

Another state on the list? Colorado.

The $250,000 grant was given to a independent nonprofit called Colorado Humanities, whose mission is to educate Coloradans about the history of our state and inspire an appreciation for its past, present and future. Their desire to encourage the engagement and furthering of the humanities is expressed on their website: “… We envision a Colorado that celebrates its heritage and its diversity; that reads, embraces cultural activities, participates in critical discussions, and listens, teaches, and learns.”

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So, in the spirit of this vision, Colorado Humanities has joined hands with several other Colorado organizations dedicated to the education of its citizens in an endeavor to develop an online resource called the Colorado Encyclopedia.

The folks at CH say that this will be a place for Internet browsers of all ages to find information about our state, with 25 percent of the website designed specifically for kids K-through-12. They're hoping to have 500 posts published within the first three years.

With this new resource coming down the proverbial pipeline, it’s time to start thinking about the kinds of things you’ll look up when the encyclopedia is first launched. Some things I want to know: Does Wondervu have wonderful views? And who was the drunk bastard who named No Name, Colorado? Does he or she want to get a drink sometime?

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